Robert Crowningshield: ‘Excellence in Gemology’

G. Robert Crowningshield, vice president of the Gemological Institute of America Gem Trade Laboratory (GIA-GTL) and one of the original leaders of the laboratory in New York, received this year’s Antonio C. Bonnano Award for Excellence in Gemology from the Accredited Gemologists Association (AGA). The citation praised Crowningshield for “a lifetime of contributions to the field of gemology.”

GIA president William E. Boyajian added, “Both the gemological community worldwide and the GIA Gem Laboratory have benefited immeasurably from Bob Crowningshield’s historic work and his intense pursuit of identification techniques. He is richly deserving of an award such as this, which recognizes his great importance in this field.”

Crowningshield, who joined the GIA-GTL in 1948, is a legend in the field of gemology and is revered for his pioneering work in many areas of gemological research, most notably spectroscopy. His extensive list of “firsts” includes groundbreaking findings in the spot method of refractive index, spectroscopic recognition of treated colored diamonds, a comprehensive study of gem- quality synthetic diamonds, and another study on dyed jadeite. He also has extensive expertise in nomenclature and is widely recognized for his contributions in that field, which include the acclaimed 1983 treatise, “Padparadscha: What’s In a Name?”

Tom Moses, vice president of identification and research services for the GIA-GTL, accepted the award on Crowningshield’s behalf, during a ceremony and dinner held Feb. 5 in Tucson, Ariz.