John Sinkankas, known the world over for his writings on mineralogy, and gem cutting, dated his interest in minerals to the age of seven when he collected minerals in his native Paterson, New Jersey. Since retiring from a twenty-five-year career as a naval aviator, he has pursued a second successful career in mineralogy. He is the author of four other books. In addition, he contributed hundreds of articles to amateur and professional journals, and was a member of many gem and mineral societies. His expertise in lapidary work is evident in the many very large gems which he cut for the Smithsonian Institution and which are on display there. John Sinkankas was a fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America and the Mineralogical Society of Canada; an honorary member Rochester Academy of Sciences, the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society, and the Cosmos Club of Washington, D.C.; and a honorary Fellow of the Gemmological Assiciation All-Japan. In 1982 he was awarded the Distinguished Associate Award from the Gemological Institute of America, and was presented with a degree of Doctor of Human Letters by the Board of Trustees of William Paterson College. He was presented the Carnegie Mineralogical Award in 1989.