Melanoma is the deadliest skin cancer: it is estimated that 91,270 cases will be diagnosed in 2018 and of these, 9,320 patients will die of melanoma. The incidence of melanoma has been increasing relentlessly over the last few decades, and while melanoma only comprises approximately 3% of all skin cancers, it accounts for a large fraction of mortality due to skin cancer. The most effective treatment for melanoma is early detection and surgical removal of the primary lesion. In order to effectively diagnose melanoma, pathology plays a key role in differentiating melanoma from other melanocytic skin lesions. In the first article of this issue of Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery, Drs Messina and Gibbs review the pathology of melanocytic lesions. They have provided an excellent review and commentary on our current understanding of the molecular and clinical features of different subtypes of melanoma and the prognostic implications of these molecular and pathologic features.