Gemologist and businessman Tom Cushman was honored by the government of Madagascar with the Knight of the National Order.
The ceremony (pictured with Cushman on the left) took place Oct. 15, at the Lacroix Conference Hall of the Energy and Mines Ministry, Antananarivo, Madagascar. Cushman has been in living in Madagascar for 18 years where he has been a leader in gemological and humanitarian causes.
“This prestigious award symbolizes the Ministry of Energy and Mines’ and the Institute de Gemmologie de Madagascar’s recognition of Mr. Cushman’s dedication and accomplishments in Madagascar’s gem industry,” the government of Madagascar said in a statement.
Cushman has been living in Madagascar since 1991, and has been instrumental in the founding, in 2003, of the IGM. The same year, he became a member of the National Mines Committee, and has since then actively participated in the writing of the Madagascar Action Plan and in the organizing of numerous Strategic Decision Meetings. During his time working at the IGM, Cushman shared his vast experience with his colleagues, and had a crucial role in making Madagascar’s gem potential and industry known on an international level. With his support, Malagasy gemstone cutters and tradesmen have been able to attend many international fairs.
Cushman is the Madagascar project manager of Artminers, The Institute for Sustainable Mining. Artminers, with funding from the Tiffany & Company Foundation, awards scholarships to Malagasy students in gemology, gem cutting and jewelry making.
He also is active in the gemstone trading field, and is the International Colored Gemstone Association Ambassador in Madagascar, and is an active conference speaker and writer.
The Knight of the National Order Award is a well-deserved honor that reflects the quality and accomplishments of Mr. Cushman’s eighteen year gemstone career in Madagascar.