Sep 19, 2019

GIA Names New Mineral After Renowned Gemmologist John Koivula

Gemological Institute of America has named a recently discovered mineral in honour of GIA researcher John Koivula.

Johnkoivulaite, as it has been dubbed, was discovered in the Mogok Valley of Myanmar by local gemmologist Nay Myo. It is a member of the beryl family.

The 1.16 ct crystal has been accepted by the International Mineralogical Association as a new mineral species. GIA Senior Research Scientist Aaron Palke will present the newly-named mineral at the Geological Society of America (GSA) conference on September 25, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona.

“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,” said Tom Moses, Executive Vice President and Chief Laboratory and Research Officer. “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.”

Going on to describe the characteristics of the new mineral, GIA said: “Johnkoivulaite has a hexagonal crystal structure that is very similar to beryl and other members of the beryl group, such as pezzottaite. Standard gemological testing gave an RI of 1.608, with a birefringence too small to accurately measure, an SG of 3.01, a hardness of 7½, a conchoidal fracture, vitreous luster, and no reaction to long-wave or short-wave UV. This mineral is especially unique due to the strong pleochroism it shows from deep violet to nearly colorless when observed with polarized light.”

A specimen of the new mineral now resides in the GIA museum collection, located at the Institute’s world headquarters in Carlsbad, California.

Pic cap: Johnkoivulaite shows strong pleochroism, going violet (left) to near-colorless (right) when examined with polarized light. Field of View:10.05mm. Photomicrographs by Nathan Renfro/GIA.

Pic Courtesy: GIA