GIA Researchers Receive Liddicoat Award

Shane McClure, Wuyi Wang, and Matt Hall of the Gemological Institute of America Laboratory have received the American Gem Society annual Richard T. Liddicoat Journalism Award for Industry/Trade Reporting. They shared the honor with former GIA researcher Christopher Smith for their article titled “Identification and Durability of Lead Glass–Filled Rubies,” which was published in the Spring 2006 issue of Gems & Gemology.

The award was presented at the AGS Circle of Distinction Dinner, held July 31 at the Rainbow Room in New York City. The winners share a $1,500 monetary award, and a $1,000 donation is being made in their names to the Richard T. Liddicoat Scholarship Fund at GIA.

In 2004, the industry was alerted to the presence in the market of natural rubies that had been filled with high-lead-content glass to reduce the visibility of internal fractures. The G&G article presented GIA’s research into this new form of treatment, its effectiveness and durability, and the microscopic features that can be used to identify it.

“The undisclosed clarity enhancement of rubies with lead-glass fracture fillers is a major concern, particularly because the substances do not withstand some jewelry repair procedures and exposure to some household products,” said G&G editor-in-chief Alice Keller. “Shane McClure and his coauthors rigorously investigated the treatment, and they are worthy recipients of this prestigious award.”

This is the fourth Gems & Gemology article to receive the Richard T. Liddicoat Journalism Award since its inception in 2003. AGS developed the annual journalism award in remembrance of the longtime GIA president and chairman, who was also G&G editor-in-chief from 1953 to 2002. In addition to industry/trade reporting, the award recognizes consumer reporting in national or multiple markets and local consumer reporting.

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