Prof. Dr. Hermann Bank - In Memoriam

Last Updated: 29th Feb 2020

Last week I received a very sad new from the German Gemmological Association journal: Prof. Dr. Hermann Bank passed unfortunately away on last Aug. 14, 2019 at 91. He had been President of the German Gemmological Association (Deutsche Gemmologische Gesellschaft, DGemG) in Idar-Oberstein, Germany, and afterwards Honorary Chairman of that institute. He was one of the most important people in Idar-Oberstein and all over the gemmological world because of his research and moreover because of his decisive contribution for the growth and the development of the German Gemmological Institute, until it has become the institution we all know nowadays. The institution of the FEEG (Federation for European Education in Gemmology) was mostly due to him as well, and in 2003 he was given the title of "Honorary Chairman" of the FEEG. Some decades before, in 1975 he suggested building a more modern and efficient centre for the DGemG. This centre is what we all can see nowadays in Schlossmacher Strasse in Idar-Oberstein. Among the over 1000 publications about mineralogy and gemmology, the article "On The Practice Of Research" ("Aus der Untersuchungspraxis") is to be mentioned: thereby he introduces the practical gemmology in an exhaustive and systematic way. He was also the first researcher describing the blue variety of zoisite from Tanzania, which was called tanzanite afterwards, and the "Paraiba" variety of elbaite tourmaline containing traces of copper.
Personally I am extremely grateful to Prof. Bank for all the education he gave me, not only regarding the use of gemmological instruments or distinguishing a natural stone from an artifact, but also because he made me appreciate even more what I have considered the most beautiful discipline in the world since my childhood. I knew him in 1992 while attending the gemmology courses in Idar-Oberstein, he was an examiner of mine too.
A friendly greeting to Monica, Schiko and Martina is to be given.
Thank you very much indeed, Prof. Bank!

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