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AGA Lifetime Achievement Award

Dona Mary Dirlam, Director of GIA's Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center

January 2015, AGA President Stuart Robertson announced, "The Accredited Gemologists Association is particularly pleased to present Ms. Dona Mary Dirlam with the AGA's Lifetime Achievement Award." This marks only the second time in the association's history that this award has been presented. "Ms. Dirlam is recognized for incomparable contributions to the gemological community through an enduring commitment to securing and safeguarding the written works of researchers and scholars, both past and present, for the benefit of the global gemological community of today and tomorrow," said Robertson.

Under her leadership—which now spans more than three decades—the library has expanded from a 2,000-book installation to a state-of-the-art facility. Over 16,000 books and 1,800 videos are in circulation, along with CD-ROMs, audio CDs, and subscriptions to more than 230 periodicals in numerous languages. These remarkable reference collections are accessible to on campus students and to those in the gemological field and the general public who are able to visit the GIA Carlsbad campus. The Cartier Archives and Rare Book Repository Collections, which houses the 14,000 volume Sinkankas collection, currently consists of more than 41,000 resources. Dirlam personally negotiated acquisition of the Sinkankas collection, a process that took four years to complete.

Ms. Dirlam has coauthored 12 articles for GIA's prestigious journal, Gems & Gemology, five of which received a G&G Most Valuable Article award; and she is coauthor and editor of the book, Splendour and Science of Pearls.

Dona has also dedicated tremendous energy towards exposing more gemology to the geoscience world. Important successes in this area include her shared efforts with Dr. Jim Shigley to advance Gemology at both the GSA (Geological Society of America) as well as IMA (International Mineralogical Association) meetings through special sessions dedicated to promoting Gemological research in the 21st Century.

Dona Mary Dirlam's service to the gemological community continues today, yet her many achievements have already made an indelible mark.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented at AGA's Gala Dinner Dance at the conclusion of its Tucson Conference, Wednesday, February 4, 2015.

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