A lifelike bust of the late Dr. Edward J. Gübelin now resides in the Salvador J. Assael Grand Atrium lobby of the Gemological Institute of America’s Robert Mouawad campus in Carlsbad, Calif. The bronze sculpture was designed and fabricated by Montana realist Lyle Schwabauer and shows Dr. Gübelin holding a gemstone in tweezers and looking at it through his loupe. The gemstone is modeled after a 10.50 ct. natural-color Sri Lankan sapphire, and the loupe was made from a mold of Dr. Gübelin’s own loupe. Dr. Gübelin’s 1965 Certified Gemologist pin was also molded for his lapel.
The idea for the bust came from Robert E. Kane, chief executive officer and president of Fine Gems International, Helena, Mont. A longtime GIA supporter and a close friend of Dr. Gübelin, Kane commissioned Schwabauer for the project. Schwabauer is best known for his sculptures of wild animals. His largest to date is installed at the entrance to the Grizzly Discovery Center in West Yellowstone, adjacent to the national park. The sculpture is that of a giant grizzly bear grasping for a jumping fish. Kane donated the Gübelin bust in time for the 75th diamond anniversary gala.