Dr. James Shigley Receives the 2021 Robert M. Shipley Award®

Dr. James Shigley of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is the recipient of the American Gem Society’s (AGS) most prestigious honor, the Robert M. Shipley Award®.

Dr. Shigley was awarded the honor based on his commitment to the jewelry industry and because of his decades of friendship and service toward the Society.

Bill Farmer, Senior Advisor to the AGS International Board of Directors and current chair of the Robert M. Shipley Nominating committee, announced Dr. Shigley as the winner of this year’s award during the Robert M. Shipley Luncheon at the AGS Conclave in Dallas, Texas on September 13.

Dr. Shigley was not in attendance to accept his award, however, prior to Conclave taking place, the GIA team, along with his family, surprised him with the plaque on campus. The special moment was filmed, then sent to AGS to air during the Luncheon.

“Over the years, Dr. Shigley’s focus on the facts of photomicroscopy helped everyone with his spot-on analysis and insight,” said Mr. Farmer. “The Shipley award can go to those who serve the Society or even their community. However, those who receive the Shipley honor in the realm of Gemology are rare and special indeed. The good doctor is most well-deserving.”

Dr. James Shigley,
GIA Distinguished Research Fellow

For more than 30 years, Dr. James Shigley, GIA’s only Distinguished Research Fellow, has been widely recognized as the face and voice of GIA research. His work has helped solidify the Institute’s reputation for groundbreaking research.

Dr. Shigley’s notable studies identified methods of separating natural from laboratory-grown diamonds, documented important gem localities, and established characteristics of HPHT laboratory-grown diamonds.

His contributions earned industry recognition, including The Dr. Edward J. Gübelin Most Valuable Article Award (1998), AGA’s Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology (2007), the AGS Lifetime Achievement Award (2017), and the Richard T. Liddicoat Award for Distinguished Achievement.

The American Gem Society would like to thank the GIA for, once again, being the exclusive sponsor of the Robert M. Shipley Award® Luncheon.