Important Note: The author: Vincent Pardieu is an employee of GIA (Gemological Institute of America) Laboratory Bangkok since Dec 2008. Any views expressed on this website - and in particular any views expressed by Vincent Pardieu - are the authors' opinions and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GIA or GIA Laboratory Bangkok . GIA takes no responsibility and assumes no liability for any content on this website nor is GIA liable for any mistakes or omissions you may encounter. GIA is in particular not screening, editing or monitoring the content on this website and has no possibility to remove, screen or edit any content.
We are gemologists (gemmologists) sharing a passion for gemstones, gemolology (gemmology), gem people and traveling.
You will find in this website gemological expedition reports and some studies of gemological interest.
Visiting many gem mining areas we saw that people in remote mining and trading areas have difficulties to access to gemological publications. As today the Internet can be accessed in most of these gem mining areas and trading centers, the author started to build this website to give gem people living there the opportunity to see the result of the gemological expeditions they were associated in. It is a way to thanks them for their time and collaboration and to help them to get access to more gemological information.
At the same time the author hope that these expedition reports will please the people from consuming countries interested in gemstones and fascinated by their mysterious origins. Our purpose here is to help people facing difficulties to get quality first hand information about gems and their origins to get the information they need through this website and its links.
With our field expeditions to gemstone mines and gem markets around the world, we intend also here to share our passion for photography, gems and our fascination for the work of the "Gem People" bringing gemstones from the ground to magnificent jewelry.
From the gems external beauty to the intimate beauty of gemstone inclusions, from gem lore to the mines, the people and the landscapes gems origin from, we expect to share with you our passion for gemstone beauty.
We also invite you to join us on some gemological forums we are active in as they are convenient tools to get rapid answers to your questions as they are regularly visited by many other passionate gemologists, jewelers, hobbyists and professionals willing to learn more and share their knowledge about gemstones.
Index page: Vincent Pardieu's Blog
About the Author
About me : How did a countryside Frenchman became a "Shameless travel addicted gemologist"? ( Under construction)
Sep. 2005: Madagascar with Richard W. Hughes and Dana Schorr (Will be available one of these days...)
Summer 2005: Gemological expeditions to South East Asia (Vietnam) South Asia (Sri Lanka) and East Africa (Kenya, Madagascar and Tanzania) with J.B. Senoble and Tanguy Lagache with the support of the AIGS, the ICA and the Gubelin Gem Lab:
- Introduction to AIGS/ICA/Gubelin Gem lab 2005 Expeditions
Special THANKS for their support for our field expeditions since 2005:
about gems, gemology, field expeditions, studying gemology, minerals, jade, pearls or jewelry? We recommend these FORUMS where the author is contributing:
Do you want to STUDY GEMOLOGY?
Here are some recommended institutes where the author studied gemology in Thailand ... and was happy about his investment!
For those willing to go further after their gemological studies: Recommended Advanced Gemological Courses:
To finish here are some BOOKS about gemology the author have read and appreciated and would like to recommend to people willing to learn more about gemstones, gemology and the places where gemstones are found:
This post is not about one of the author expeditions or about an article he collaborated with, but it is about one friend, who was a great source of inspiration for the author's when he was still searching his way in gemology: I mean Georges Bosshart.
Last week while I was traveling to Sri Lanka I received the sad news that Georges passed away in Switzerland after a long and very courageous struggle with cancer. He was one of these persons that I would have loved to spend more time with. All my thoughts are today to the one he used to call his best treckking companion: His wife Anna.
The first time I met Georges Bosshart, it was in 2003. I was then working as a part time consultant for the AIGS laboratory in Bangkok, but I was mainly spending my time traveling to Burma to buy gems for my boss Henry Ho, the owner of the AIGS lab. Georges came to the lab while he was on an OPT (Off Premise Testing) mission for the Gubelin Gem Lab. On that occasion Georges was willing to use some of the advance equipment we had. For a young gemologist like the author, learning from such an experienced gemologist like Georges Bosshart was an occasion not to be missed. The contact with Georges turn to be extremely easy as we were sharing similar interests not only for gemology but also about traveling to gem mining areas (particularly in Burma).
"Swiss gemologists in Pailin, Cambodia!"
Left to right Georges Bosshart, Walter Balmer checking heat treated sapphires at a sapphire burner place in Pailin, Cambodia"
Photo: V. Pardieu / AIGS, 2006
That first visit was quite brief as it took less than one hour, just the time to make few analyses. Few months later, on a another OPT, he contacted us again and this time Jim Mullen, the AIGS lab director, made an agreement with Georges Bosshart that in exchange of the possibility to use the lab advanced instruments, he would spend some time showing to the lab gemologists how to better use them. Thanks to that on that second visit the author had the privilege to be able to spend two full days in the lab with Georges Bosshart teaching him how to better use the EDXRF, the UV-Vis and the FTIR. Then as out contact was very good, we also spent a day looking at the samples I collected in Burma during my gemology studies and discussing about them, gemology and our experiences traveling to gem mining areas in Burma. Georges was one of the rare persons to have been able to visit not only the gem mines of Mogok and Hpahant but also the small diamond deposit near Momeik.
These three days working on instruments and looking at stones besides Georges Bosshart were a major event for the author as Georges passion for gemology was very contagious: For the young gemologist still searching his way that I was then, his comments and advices were very encouraging and inspiring. After discussing with Georges, I had the great feeling that I was doing the right thing. Georges also convinced me that I could do much better because I had the unique opportunity to be a young gemologist based in Bangkok: It was then much easier for me to get some interesting samples to study visiting the numerous gem mines and markets located around Bangkok that it had been from him in his young days based in Switzerland. He encouraged me to continue going to the field in order to collect seriously reference samples, and then study them very seriously as he said it was the best way to get more knowledge.
In the weeks and months following Georges visit, I spent more and more time in the lab. I also started to travel more regularly to gem mining areas near Chanthaburi, Kanchanaburi and Pailin in order to collect reference samples at the mines, study them back at the lab and then I also started some heat treatment experiment with the help of local Burners in order to see what had changed in the samples after heat treatment.
My boss Henry Ho noticed then rapidly my increasing interest for gemology and soon accepted that I was somewhere lost for the gem trade. In September 2004, a little bit more than one year after meeting Gorges Bosshart for the first time Henry Ho proposed me to become the Director of the AIGS Laboratory. I accepted with pleasure and passion...
In December 2006, few weeks before leaving Thailand to work as a gemologist for the Gubelin Gem Lab in Switzerland I had also the pleasure to welcome again in Thailand Georges Bosshart with his wife Anna and two other Swiss friends: Walter Balmer (who had just left the Gubelin Gem Lab to start a PhD at Chulalorkorn University in Bangkok) and Michael Kremnicki from SSEF. We went on a field expedition to the sapphire mining areas near Chanthaburi and then to the ruby and sapphire mines near Pailin. It was a real pleasure to spend some time with Georges, this time in the field, help him to visit Cambodia and use that occasion to thank him for these very inspiring days we spent together in Bangkok. Again we had some great discussions about some of his favorite subjects like green minerals or Burmese diamonds.
"Georges Bosshart at the IGC in Arusha in Oct. 2009 with a large crystal of Tanzanite. If he was already struggling against cancer, his passion for gems was still vibrant, fresh and contagious."
Photo: V. Pardieu / GIA Laboratory Bangkok, 2009
I had the pleasure then to meet again Georges and Anna at their home in Switzerland for a great diner where they introduced me to Alan Jobbins, who studied the Pailin ruby and sapphire mining areas in the 1970's. We also met at few more occasions in Bangkok and in Tanzania for the IGC in Arusha in 2009. Again his discussion was very inspiring.
Georges was indeed somebody very special: It is not easy to describe him with words. He was of course a very complete gemologist and a true gem connoisseur with a very extensive knowledgeable about diamonds, pearls, jade and colored stones. He was an expert on instrumentation and a great lab gemologist. But that was not all: He was also an experienced traveler and one of the most experienced gemologists regarding traveling to gem mining areas. But most of all he was also a very sincere, passionate, and meaningful man, a great man who enjoyed sharing his tremendous knowledge with young people, speaking true to them mixing humour and sarcasm to the perfection: A very rare man and a truly a great source of inspiration for young gemologists like the author.
Georges, it was a real pleasure to have been able to meet you and to have had the privilege to have spend few days around you. I would like to thank you here for all these inspiring moments and great advices that you gave me. If today I enjoy working as Field Gemologist at the GIA, I've to say that I own you a lot as you helped me to find my way and then to keep on the right track...
You will be missed for sure but be sure that you will remain a great source inspiration for all the people who had the pleasure to have met you.
Important Note: Vincent Pardieu is an employee of GIA (Gemological Institute of America) Laboratory Bangkok since Dec 2008. Any views expressed on this website - and in particular any views expressed by Vincent Pardieu - are the authors' opinions and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GIA or GIA Laboratory Bangkok. GIA takes no responsibility and assumes no liability for any content on this website nor is GIA liable for any mistakes or omissions you may encounter. GIA is in particular not screening, editing or monitoring the content on this website and has no possibility to remove, screen or edit any content.