Gemological Institute of America (GIA) recently bestowed the Richard T. Liddicoat Award for Distinguished Achievement to John Koivula, its chief research gemologist. Koivula received the award at the hands of GIA's president and chief executive officer (CEO), Donna Baker, at a surprise ceremony on December 17, 2009 at the Institute’s headquarters in Carlsbad, California.
Baker said, “John is deeply concerned about GIA, the promulgation of the Institute’s core values both inside and outside of our walls and ensuring GIA’s future. His talents are multifaceted and he uses them to shed light on gemology – particularly the microworld of gemstones – through a variety of roles, including photographer, researcher, author and speaker.” She further added that “The Richard T. Liddicoat Award for Distinguished Achievement goes to an individual who truly embodies the characteristics that made Mr. Liddicoat so great and who sets an example for all of us in our service to the industry and the public.”
Koivula has delved into writing over 800 articles on gemstone inclusions and related topics. His work also includes three volumes of the Photoatlas of Inclusions in Gemstones with the late Dr. Edward J. Gübelin. Koivula’s The MicroWorld of Diamonds covers natural diamonds, synthetics, simulants and enhancements and the Glossary of Geology, the fifth edition of Robert Webster's Gems: Their Sources, Descriptions and Identification, GIA’s Diamond Dictionary and Geologica: Earth’s Dynamic Forces. Apart from print work, Koivula has also assisted in the development of “MacGyver” for ABC television, working as a scientific and technical advisor during the show's seven-year run.