Sinkankas Leaves Final Gift to GIA Library

The Gemological Institute of America has received the third and final gift from the late Marge Sinkankas, co-owner of Peri Lithon Books and wife of the late John Sinkankas.

The donation was given to the Institute’s Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center. The gift included 37 boxes of books, journals, awards, letters, and scrapbooks, as well as original watercolors and manuscripts of some of John Sinkankas’ well-known gem and mineral books.

Marge Sinkankas died on May 30 at the age of 89.

“This gift is special because it represents important milestones of John and Marge’s life together,” said Dona Dirlam, director of GIA’s Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center. “In our visits together in the last several years, Marge was always interested in what was happening in gemology and at GIA. It was her wish that this donation be used to continue support of the GIA Library in Carlsbad, though she also envisioned it being a part of the creation of libraries for other campuses as GIA expands internationally.”

Included in the donation are an original typescript of Peri Lithon catalogs; a five-volume set, Encyclopédie ou Dictionnairé Raissoné des Sciences, des Arts, et des Metiers, 1969; Curtis Schuh’s 1989 draft of Mineralogy and Crystallography: A Biobibliography from 1469 to 1920; illustrations from John Sinkankas’ Gemstones of North America 3rd edition; a 1994 manuscript of the translation of Arab Roots of Gemmology by Al Tifaschi; and early Rocks & Minerals magazines from 1951 to 1954.

The Sinkankas’ extensive book collection was acquired by GIA’s Library in 1998 and, according to Dirlam, became the “cornerstone” of the Library’s Cartier Rare Book Repository and Archives. Marge Sinkankas had made two other donations to the RTL Library since her husband’s death in 2002.


John and Marge Sinkankas at GIA’s Robert Mouawad campus on John’s 88 birthday.