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Nerd Out on Liddicoatite

It’s not my usual style to post something swiped “whole cloth” from another source. This morning, however, I was so bowled over by what showed up in my Inbox that I simply had to share!

The eye-catching image above, shot by Emily Lane/GIA, was accompanied by the following paragraph, provided through the Knowledge Rocks series published by GIA, the Gemological Institute of America, the world’s foremost authority on diamonds, colored gemstones, and pearls:

A Gem of a Gem: Named After a GIA President

Liddicoatite is a rare species of tourmaline rich in calcium, lithium and aluminum. It’s a gem that is close to our hearts because it was named after Richard T. Liddicoat (1917–2002), the second president of GIA who is often referred to as the “Father of Modern Gemology.” This honor was granted in 1977 by Dr. Pete J. Dunn and his colleagues from the U.S. National Museum of Natural History, who were the first to recognize this gemstone as a separate mineral. Liddicoatite can show striking and complex color zoning in an array of hues when it is sliced horizontally across the length of the crystal. The most notable source for liddicoatite is the Anjanabonoina pegmatite deposit in central Madagascar. This particular specimen belongs to the GIA collection.

For additional information about Liddicoatite, GIA provides this link.

Truly, my curious nerdism was totally fired-up by today’s GIA Knowledge Rocks email. What a gorgeous stone! What passion Liddicoat must have felt throughout his lifetime as the “Father of Modern Gemology!” Wouldn’t we all like to live like that?! Ahh, yes… that is my answer. Thank goodness they shared.

GIA is the superlative resource for gemstone education in the United States. Among other contributions, its founder, Robert M. Shipley, was the originator of the 4C’s of diamond quality: Color, Cut Clarity and Carat Weight, the proverbial gold standard in diamond analysis. With locations worldwide, GIA provides a roadmap for communications and business standards for the gemstone market around the globe. The organization provides diamond analysis, grading and, as noted in the paragraph above, original research in the field of minerals, some of which applies to contemporary industry. Fields that touch all our lives such as construction, electronics, plastics and filtration depend upon minerals to thrive and benefit us.

I, myself, have had the pleasure of studying online with GIA, earning my Accredited Jewelry Professional credential in 2010. The AJP is a step toward earning my Graduate Gemologist diploma at some point in the future. My son, jeweler Jonah Lieberman of ROX Gemstones, is moving quickly through the GG program, leaving me in the dust. (Find ROX on Instagram: @rox_gemstones)

I adore learning new things. I’m fortunate that resources like GIA make it easy for me to nerd out on the beauty of gemstones, as well as stay abreast of exciting developments in my field. And isn’t that what you expect from your jeweler?


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