Press Release

Dr James Shigley Recognised with GIA’s Highest Honour


Four people standing on a stage
Dr James Shigley and past recipients of the Richard T. Liddicoat Award for Distinguished Achievement at GIA’s holiday party in December. From left, John Koivula, analytical microscopist; Kathryn Kimmel, senior vice president and chief marketing officer; Dr James Shigley, GIA distinguished research fellow; and Tom Moses, executive vice president and chief laboratory and research officer.

GIA researcher awarded Richard T. Liddicoat Award for Distinguished Achievement

CARLSBAD, Calif. – 8 Jan 2019 – GIA bestowed its highest honour, the Richard T. Liddicoat Award for Distinguished Achievement, on Dr James E. Shigley, GIA distinguished research fellow, for his many contributions to gemmological research and the Institute’s mission. The award, named in honour of GIA’s second president Richard T. Liddicoat, recognises those who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to furthering the Institute’s mission.
 
In his more than 30 years at GIA, Dr Shigley has been widely recognised as the face and voice of GIA research. Representing the Institute around the world, he has lectured and published extensively on diamonds, coloured stones and gem identification. His work has solidified the Institute’s reputation for groundbreaking research.
 
“Mr Liddicoat believed deeply that GIA should have a strong research department, and thanks to Dr Shigley’s work – from the very inception of his career – this vision has been fulfilled,” said Tom Moses, GIA executive vice president of laboratory and research. “Dr Shigley’s selfless sharing of knowledge leaves a lasting legacy, not only for GIA but for the gem and jewellery industry.”  
 
Shigley is a prolific contributor to gemmological research. His studies have identified methods of separating natural from laboratory-grown diamonds, documented important gem localities and established the characteristics of HPHT laboratory-grown diamonds. Shigley was instrumental in the creation of the GIA Gem Project, a collection of 2,800 stones (representing 225 minerals) from the Edward J. Gübelin Collection that is used for research, education and display.
 
Since 1984, he has authored or co-authored 195 scientific articles, including 79 for Gems & Gemology (G&G); 27 of those have received the journal’s Most Valuable Article award. He serves as a contributing editor for G&G, and as the editor of the G&G in Review book series.
 
Shigley’s contributions have earned industry recognition, including The Dr Edward J. Gübelin Most Valuable Article Award (1998), AGA’s Antonio Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology (2007) and the AGS Lifetime Achievement Award (2017).
 
The Richard T. Liddicoat Award for Distinguished Achievement has only been given to 13 people since it was instigated in 1994. Several recipients are still at GIA today – Kathryn Kimmel, senior vice president and chief marketing officer; John Koivula, analytical microscopist; and Tom Moses, executive vice president and chief laboratory and research officer.


About GIA

An independent non-profit organisation, GIA (Gemological Institute of America), established in 1931, is recognised as the world’s foremost authority in gemmology. GIA invented the famous 4Cs of Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight and, in 1953, created the International Diamond Grading System™ which is recognised around the world as the standard for diamond quality.
 
Through research, education, gemmological laboratory services and instrument development, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gems and jewellery by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science and professionalism.