GIA Innovators

Brief histories of the notable researchers, pioneers, and scholars who have shaped
the Gemological Institute of America—from past to present.

Robert Shipley Sr.
Robert M. Shipley Sr. (1887–1978)

Founder of GIA and the American Gem Society, and one of the most influential figures in modern gemology.

GIA Innovator
Robert Shipley Jr. (1912–1982)

Developer of gemological instruments and creator of GIA’s gem instruments division.

GIA Innovator
Richard T. Liddicoat (1918–2002)

Former GIA president and chairman, as well as the architect behind GIA’s diamond grading system and the editor-in-chief of Gems & Gemology for 50 years.

GIA Innovator
G. Robert Crowningshield (1919–2006)

Longtime director of GIA's New York laboratory, well known for his groundbreaking discoveries and contributions in gemological literature.

GIA Innovator
Eunice Miles (1917–1997)

GIA’s first female gemologist and a pioneer in the industry.

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Lester Benson (1921-1961)

Renowned teacher, master of gem identification, and developer of gemological techniques and instruments.

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Glenn Nord (1928–2019)

A distinguished educator who taught GIA’s first overseas courses, he later served as Institute president and Governor for Life.

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Charles “Chuck” Fryer (1928–2003)

World-renowned gem identification expert who guided GIA's lab services to the forefront of gemological research.

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D. Vincent Manson (1936–1999)

A gemologist, educator, and self-described dreamer who established the Institute’s research department and founded the world-renowned International Gemological Symposium.

Robert C. Kammerling
Robert Kammerling (1947–1996)

A researcher, author, and instructor regarded as a "hero of modern gemology."

Bert Krashes
Bert Krashes (1923–2014)

The vice president and director of GIA's New York lab was a fixture on 47th Street for five decades.

Kathryn Kimmel
Kathryn Kimmel

GIA’s longtime head of marketing and public relations, and the first female member of its executive team, dramatically raised the Institute’s profile across the industry and public.

Alice Keller
Alice Keller

The longtime editor of Gems & Gemology who spearheaded groundbreaking changes in the format, content, and legacy of GIA’s flagship journal.

Dona Dirlam
Dona Dirlam

A childhood love of gems and minerals led to the transformation of GIA's library and to a lasting reputation of excellence.

John Koivula
John Koivula

A pioneer in the field of photomicrography and the study of inclusions led to groundbreaking changes in the study of gems.

James E. Shigley
James Shigley

GIA’s current distinguished research fellow has represented the Institute’s gemological excellence around the world for the past four decades.

John King
John King

An artist and gemologist whose research impacted the industry’s understanding of colored diamonds.

Shane McClure
Shane McClure

GIA’s global director of colored stone services raised the gemological bar in identifying gem materials and treatment processes.

Bill Boyajian
Bill Boyajian

A self-described idealist whose dedication to the Institute led to worldwide expansion and gemological innovation.