Gmail now gives it’s users over 1000 Emoticons to insert in the mails. This feature was previously available under google labs.Here is the link for the unicode emoji’s and their descriptions. I personally think it’s an overkill, but hey gmail users out there might have wanted them afterall. These plethora of emoticons are available in the new pop up compose email window. When you are there you can add the emoticons by clicking on the emoticon button or using shortcut key Ctrl+Shift+2
For the folks who do not understand the mayhem, here are the emoticons that one can place in Gmail. Behold the gmail emoji burj.

Links:
Unicode Emoji List
Unicode Symbols