Dr. James Shigley Receives GIA’s Highest Honor

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has bestowed its highest honor, the Richard T. Liddicoat Award for Distinguished Achievement, on Dr. James E. Shigley.

Shigley, who has been at GIA for 30 years and currently serves as GIA’s distinguished research fellow, was honored for his many contributions to gemological research and the institute’s mission.

The award, named in honor of GIA’s second president, Richard T. Liddicoat, recognizes those who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to furthering the institute’s mission.

Dr. Shigley has been widely recognized as the face and voice of GIA research. He has lectured and published extensively on diamonds, colored stones, and gem identification.

“Mr. Liddicoat believed deeply that GIA should have a strong research department, and thanks to Dr. Shigley’s work, this vision is fulfilled,” said Tom Moses, GIA executive vice president of laboratory and research, in a statement. “Dr. Shigley’s selfless sharing of knowledge leaves a lasting legacy, not only for GIA but for the gem and jewelry industry.”

Shigley’s studies have identified methods of separating natural from laboratory-grown diamonds and have documented important gem localities and established characteristics of HPHT laboratory-grown diamonds. Shigley was instrumental in the creation of the GIA Gem Project, a collection of 2,800 stones (representing 225 minerals) from the Edward J. Gübelin Collection that is used for research, education, and display.

Since 1984, Shigley has authored or coauthored 195 scientific articles, including 79 for Gems & Gemology. Twenty-seven of those received the journal’s Most Valuable Article award. He serves as a contributing editor for Gems & Gemology, and as the editor of the Gems & Gemology in Review book series.

Shigley has also earned the Dr. Edward J. Gübelin Most Valuable Article Award in 1998, the American Gemologist Association’s Antonio Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology in 2007, and the American Gem Society Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.

The Richard T. Liddicoat Award for Distinguished Achievement has been given to only 13 people since it started in 1994.

(Image courtesy of American Gem Society)

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JCK News Director