New Book Chronicles GIA’s History

The history of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), from its founding during the depths of the Great Depression through its development into what is today the world’s foremost authority in gemology, is recounted in a new book released in October. Legacy of Leadership: A History of the Gemological Institute of America was researched and written by award-winning veteran journalist William George Shuster, a senior editor for JCK magazine. The institute’s remarkable evolution, led by the vision of founder Robert M. Shipley Sr., and the three successive leaders who built on and expanded his legacy—Richard T. Liddicoat Jr., Glenn Nord, and William E. Boyajian—is chronicled in detail and with numerous little-known anecdotes in the book’s 451 pages.

Shuster, a three-time winner of the Jesse H. Neal Award for Editorial Achievement (business journalism’s version of the Pulitzer Prize), has received numerous other awards and citations for his work since 1980 at JCK magazine, and before that as a newspaper reporter. He was asked by Boyajian to undertake the project because of his previous articles about the institute’s history. “The GIA story is a fascinating one, involving and affecting many people, not only in North America, but worldwide,” Shuster says. “Its impact on the gem and jewelry industries, and on consumers in general, is unique and unlike any organization in any other industry. That’s why I wrote this book to tell the GIA story, not only to those in the jewelry and gem trades, but to the public at large, who are unfamiliar with it.”Illustrated with more than 200 archival photographs dating back to the early 20th century, the book was written for jewelers, gemologists, gem enthusiasts, and the public at large. Legacy of Leadership: A History of the Gemological Institute of America is available for $49.95. To order a copy, call (800) 421-8161 or (760) 603-4200 or visit and click on “Gem Instruments & Books.”