Former JCK senior editor Robert Weldon, G.G., has been appointed manager of photography and visual communications at the Gemological Institute of America. He will be based in GIA’s Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center in Carlsbad starting in July. In the interim, Weldon will work out of the Institute’s offices in New York City.
Weldon’s GIA duties will include library reference work, writing, and photographic assignments aimed at supporting the library as well as various Institute publications, such as Gems & Gemology. Weldon’s skills in writing and photography will also be tapped by other departments, such as the GIA Laboratory and the Institute’s course development team.
“Robert brings a wealth of knowledge to GIA. I know his photographic and writing skills will be great assets to the Library and GIA as a whole. With his years of experience in the jewelry industry, he will help support the outreach programs our librarians provide,” said Dona Dirlam, director of the Liddicoat Library.
Weldon began his industry career at GIA in 1987, shortly after earning his Graduate Gemologist diploma. He worked as a research librarian and photographer at the Institute until 1990, when he was hired as the senior editor of gemstones for JCK magazine. During his tenure at JCK, Weldon specialized in colored gemstone reporting and photojournalism. He also edited Heritage magazine, a JCK publication serving the antique and estate jewelry market.
In 1997, Weldon left JCK to join in the creation of Professional Jeweler. He was appointed director of photography and senior writer on gemstones. For nearly two decades, Weldon has written about major diamond and gemstone issues. Weldon established a unique style of gemological photojournalism by photographing gems and combining these images with pictures captured at exotic localities. Weldon has written and photographed from such places as Burma, Thailand, India, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania, Russia, and Bolivia.
Last year, Weldon authored two gemstone books, both of which are to be published later this year. Weldon, who is fluent in three languages and possesses a working knowledge of several others, has lectured on gemological and photographic topics throughout the world. He has won numerous awards for his writing and photography, including several Chilton Editorial awards, four Richard T. Liddicoat Journalism Honorable Mention awards, and being chosen as a nominee for the Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology in 2003.
“I have always sought to combine all of the things I love doing and to forge a career out of them,” Weldon said. “My aim is to bring these industry experiences back for the benefit of GIA and the GIA Library, while also immersing myself anew in gemological challenges.”