G&G Announces Most Valuable Article Awards

Two blue sapphires side-by-side
A matched pair of Kashmir sapphires, approximately 7 carats total. Photo by Robert Weldon/GIA. Courtesy of Amba Gem Corporation

Gems & Gemology is pleased to announce the winners of the Dr. Edward J. Gübelin Most Valuable Article Awards for 2019. G&G’s Most Valuable Article Award recognizes the three most groundbreaking articles from the previous year. For the first time in the competition’s history, the ballots were cast by the journal’s editorial review board.

First place went to “Geographic Origin Determination of Blue Sapphire,” by Aaron Palke, Sudarat Saeseaw, Nathan Renfro, Ziyin Sun and Shane McClure. This article, from the Winter 2019 special issue on geographic origin, detailed GIA’s methodology for establishing the origin of blue sapphire.
Aaron Palke is senior manager of research at GIA in Carlsbad, California. He holds a Ph.D. in geology from Stanford University.
Sudarat Saeseaw is a senior manager of colored stone identification at GIA in Bangkok. Saeseaw received her master’s degree in analytical chemistry from Mahidol University in Thailand.
Nathan Renfro is manager of colored stones identification at GIA in Carlsbad. He earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from Appalachian State University in North Carolina.
Ziyin Sun is a research associate in the gem identification department at GIA in Carlsbad. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in analytic chemistry from Nanjing University in China.
Shane McClure is global director of colored stone services at GIA in Carlsbad and co-editor of G&G’s Lab Notes section. He is well known for his many articles and lectures on gem identification.

A group of seven various-shaped rubies
A variety of rubies from Niassa and Montepuez in northern Mozambique that were mined in 2009–2010. They include untreated and heated stones weighing between 1.07 and 4.62 ct. Photo by Robert Weldon/GIA. Courtesy of Tommy Wu, Shire Trading Ltd

Two articles tied for second place. From the Summer 2019 issue was “A Decade of Ruby from Mozambique: A Review,” by Wim Vertriest and Sudarat Saeseaw. This report reviewed the mining history, market impact and properties of ruby from northern Mozambique near Montepuez, now the world’s most productive source.

Wim Vertriest is supervisor of field gemology at GIA in Bangkok. Vertriest has visited gemstone mining areas worldwide and oversees the field gemology department and curates GIA’s colored stone research collection in Bangkok. He obtained a master’s degree in geology (geodynamics and geofluids) from KU Leuven in Belgium.
Sudarat Saeseaw was profiled in the first-place entry.

Taj Mahal front with reflecting pools
Tranquil reflecting pools add to the symmetry of the Taj Mahal. Photo by Robert Weldon/GIA

Sharing second-place honors was “Gemstones in the Era of the Taj Mahal and the Mughals,” by Dona Mary Dirlam, Chris Rogers and Robert Weldon. This Fall 2019 piece explored the gem ornamentation of an iconic landmark, with a look at the jewels of the Mughal dynasty.
Dona Dirlam is librarian emerita at GIA’s Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center in Carlsbad, California, where she established and expanded the collection known as the world’s leading resource center for gems, gemology and jewelry. Dirlam holds a master’s in geology and geophysics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Chris Rogers is a research librarian at GIA’s Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from San Diego State University and a master’s in library and information science from San Jose State University.
Robert Weldon is director of GIA’s Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center. He is well known for his gem photography and has contributed to scores of international publications and several gem-related books.

Congratulations to all of this year’s winning authors!