A Tribute to Richard T. Liddicoat Jr.

He's called "The Father of Modern Gemology," but Richard T. Liddicoat Jr., late chairman of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), deserves another title, too—"The Father of Retail Jewelry Professionalism." Liddicoat focused unswervingly on giving jewelers what he called "over-the-counter practicality" through education, innovations, policies, writings, and research he created or championed. In doing so, he improved the professional lives and businesses of countless retailers—past, present, and future—in North America and around the world. In this tribute to JCK's 2002 Person of the Year, we look at just a few ways in which Liddicoat, who died July 23, affected jewelers during his 60 years at GIA. Innovator Liddicoat is justly celebrated for creating GIA's diamond grading system, today's international standard for evaluating diamonds. But he devised it for jewelers, not th
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