The American Gem Society (AGS) recently presented its Lifetime Achievement Award to G. Robert Crowningshield, retired vice president of the Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA) Gem Laboratory, and the new Richard T. Liddicoat Journalism Award to GIA chief research gemologist John I. Koivula. The ceremony was held July 29 at the Rainbow Room in New York.
Crowningshield accepted the award from AGS president-elect Bill Sites. GIA vice president of Identification and Research Services Tom Moses remarked on Crowningshield’s frequent involvement in AGS Conclaves. “Bob was well known for bringing practical information to the conclaves that members could take back to their stores and put to use immediately,” Moses said. “Through his interaction with you at conclaves, he developed numerous friendships that he holds in high regard and often reminisces about today.”
Crowningshield’s career was distinguished by an extensive list of “firsts,” including groundbreaking findings in the spot method of refractive index determination on Rayner and similar refractometers; spectroscopic recognition of treated color diamonds; and a comprehensive study of gem-quality synthetic diamonds and another on dyed jadeite. Crowningshield also is renowned for his expertise in nomenclature and is widely recognized for his contributions in that field, including an acclaimed 1983 treatise, “Padparadscha: What’s In a Name?”
The Richard T. Liddicoat Journalism Award honors journalists who “have made exceptional contributions to the understanding of gemology, as well as AGS ideals of ethics, education, and consumer protection.” Koivula won for his article, “Photomicrography for Gemologists,” in the Spring 2003 issue of GIA’s Gems & Gemology.
Koivula has authored and co-authored more than 700 articles, notes, and books on gemological topics, including Photoatlas of Inclusions in Gemstones (co-authored by Dr. Edward Gübelin) and MicroWorld of Diamonds.