Legacies

The jewelry industry lost one of its great pioneers this summer with the passing of Richard T. Liddicoat. The father of modern gemology, Liddicoat left as his biggest legacy the GIA grading system, acknowledged as the world's foremost method for identifying and valuing gems. But he also left another legacy that had an equally far-reaching impact: the influence of his personality on all who knew him. A modest, self-effacing man, Liddicoat was every inch a true gentleman. His name will be central in the history books for developing the GIA grading scale, but his presence in the industry will be carried on through the actions and behavior of those who worked with him. Despite his great accomplishment, he never set himself up as greater than anyone else in the industry. When I met him in the mid 1980s, I was a junior editor at JCK. I could barely tell a tsavorite from a tourmaline, but he
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