Liddicoatite: Vibrant Gem Honors Father of Modern Gemology
February 13, 2015
First recognized as a separate mineral in 1977, liddicoatite was named in honor of Richard T. Liddicoat (March 2, 1917 – July 23, 2002), the second president of GIA who is often referred to as the “Father of Modern Gemology.” Dr. Pete J. Dunn and his colleagues from the U.S. National Museum of Natural History identified liddicoatite as a distinct mineral and chose the name in recognition of Liddicoat’s many contributions to gemological knowledge and education, including his creation of the International Diamond Grading System and its well-known and universally recognized scales for measuring the color and clarity of diamonds.
Liddicoatite – along with elbaite, dravite, uvite and schorl – is one of the major tourmaline species. Its appearance is similar to elbaite, and it can only be distinguished through chemical analysis. Most known liddicoatite comes from the Anjanabonoina pegmatites in central Madagascar.