Renowned microscopist and Gemological Institute of America (GIA) researcher John Koivula has received an honour most fitting.
GIA researchers, in collaboration with scientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), have confirmed a new mineral species, which has been named johnkoivulaite after Koivula.
The 1.16-carat crystal was discovered in the Mogok Valley of Myanmar by local gemmologist, Nay Myo, and has since been accepted by the International Mineralogical Association (IMA).
Koivula has more than 40 years’ industry experience in research and photomicrograghy. Among his contributions are several books, including The Microworld of Diamonds, as well as three volumes of Photoatlas of Inclusions in Gemstones, which he co-authored with Edward J. Gübelin, and Geologica, co-authored with Robert Coenraads.
Koivula has also been recognized with several accolades, including American Gem Society’s (AGM’s) Robert M. Shipley Award, Accredited Gemologists Association’s (AGA’s) Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology, and GIA’s Richard T. Liddicoat Award for Distinguished Achievement.
“We are privileged to be able to name this mineral after John Koivula, who has contributed so much to science and the gem and jewellery industry as a prominent gemmologist and innovator in photomicrography,” says Tom Moses, GIA executive vice-president. “Discoveries such as this remind us of the importance of our mission-based research and of the numerous important contributions John has made in his more than four decades of scientific work.”
GIA senior research scientist Aaron Palke will present the mineral at the Geological Society of America (GSA) conference on Sept. 25 in Phoenix, Ariz. A johnkoivulaite specimen also resides in the GIA museum collection at the institute’s world headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif.