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Gemologist Walter William Hanneman Dies at 93

Jan 6, 2021 9:39 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Walter William Hanneman, a gemologist, author and instrument maker, died on December 12 at the age of 93, his family announced this week.

Born in 1927 in Oak Park, Illinois, he entered the world of gems and minerals thanks to his father, Walter Mooney Hanneman, an avid lapidarist. The young Hanneman taught the subject to himself, later claiming to be the “world’s foremost self-ordained gemologist.”

His formal training was in organic chemistry: He earned a PhD at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and worked as a research analytical chemist for major companies in the field.

He achieved recognition in the gemology world for his numerous articles and books on spectroscopy, diamond grading and garnets, including his best-known work, Guide to Affordable Gemology. He also created a line of reasonably priced gemological equipment under the brand Hanneman Gemological Instruments.

In 2018, he received the Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology from the Accredited Gemologists Association (AGA) for his work making gemology accessible and affordable. He later picked up the AGA Lifetime Achievement Award for his “dedication to challenging the status quo on various gemological issues,” his family added.

His wife of 65 years, Margaret Marie (Lynch) Hanneman, predeceased him. He is survived by his four children, Kathleen, Bill, Patricia, and Judith (Peter), as well as a granddaughter and three great-grandchildren.

Image: Walter William Hanneman. (Hanneman family)
Tags: Accredited Gemologists Association, AGA, Guide to Affordable Gemology, Hanneman, Hanneman Gemological Instruments, Rapaport News, spectroscopy, Walter Mooney Hanneman, Walter William Hanneman
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