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:
GIA FE33 (GIA Laboratory Bangkok Field Expedition 33): Feb. 28 - Mar. 09, 2012: Sri Lanka
After the GIA Laboratory Bangkok FE24 and FE30 field expeditions to Sri Lanka respectively in March 2011 and January 2012, the author returned recently to Sri Lanka at the end of February 2012 as some surprising news came from the "Gem Island". Indeed On Feb. 23rd 2012, Shamil Sammoon from Sapphire Cutters Ltd, informed the GIA Laboratory Bangkok that a new sapphire discovery happened near Kataragama, a sapphire mining locality located west of the famous Yala National Park. The area is a known sapphire producing area since the end of the 1970's (For more details read: Zwann P.C., "Sri Lanka, the Gem Island", Summer 1982 issue, Gems & Gemology) and the author and his team visited in 2005 and 2011. But if the place was known for about 30 years, it was mostly known to produce usually small included stones.
The new discovery had some serious exposure in the Sri Lankan media and visiting the island it was obvious that many people were living a blue sapphire fever. News about large fine blue stones were reaching Bangkok and within few days the GIA laboratory planned a new expedition thanks to the support of the Sri Lankan NGJA (National Gem & Jewelry Authority) who provided us some useful support and local contacts including the necessary introduction letters to pass the police check points protecting the access to the different mining sites.
On March 13th the GIA sent around the world its March 2012 G&G eBrief containing a short concise expedition report from that FE33 field expedition to Kataragama signed by Lou Pierre Bryl, Andrea Heather Go (Canada), Boris Chauviré (France) and the author. It will be available to non G&G subscribers in June 2012 at the following G&G eBrief archive
On May 02nd, 2012, the GIA Laboratory published on their websites (here and here) an extensive study about the new discovery near Kataragama. The study was written by Vincent Pardieu, Emily Dubinsky, Supharart Sangsawong and Boris Chauviré.
a presentation of the area,
- the GIA FE33 expedition report,
some observations and comments about the geology of that new unusual deposit
and a detailed study of some of the samples collected on site during the expedition.
On March 12th 2012, a selection of four "GIA postcards" were published on NGJA's website from photos taken by the author during that expedition and that the GIA was happy to share.
As it seems that these photos are already been posted in many places, you might enjoy to find them here also:
"Icy transparent (but included...) sapphire crystal from Kataragama, Sri Lanka"
A local man from Kataragama presents us a 30 carats sapphire crystal he told the author to have found on the road building site where the gems were first discoverted in Feb. 2012.
Photo: V. Pardieu / GIA Laboratory Bangkok, 2012
"Gems on the road..."
A young girl from Kataragama is presenting to the author a sapphire crystal found on the road construction site near Kataragama where the stones were first found on Feb 14th, 2012.
Photo: V. Pardieu / GIA Laboratory Bangkok, 2012
"Wine and sapphires..."
That's a kind of photograph the author wanted to take for quite a while.
The occasion came in Colombo on March 09th 2012, while having our farewell diner in a cosy restaurant. One of the author's Sri Lankan new contacts, he met duing that expedition, was nice to present him a noticeable sapphire crystal found few days before on the road construction site near Kataragama. As it is common in Kataragama material from the new deposit, the large crystal hold by Boris Chauviré, and weighting around 150 grams had sadly many fractures, but still in several areas some clean facetable material was present".
Photo: V. Pardieu / GIA Laboratory Bangkok, 2012
The author is hoping that this new discovery will enable people to appreciate even more the beauty, the quality and the diversity of the gemstones produce from Sri Lanka, it is just unbelievable that after so many centuries of gemstone mining people are still discovering there new deposit. It means one wonderful thing for the author: It means that it is very likely that in places like East Africa where the tradition regarding gemstone mining are much more recent but that share many similarities with Sri Lanka due to their common geological history, we can expect for the years and probably the centuries to come still many new discoveries.
A visit to gem markets and gem mining areas in Sri Lanka (Spring 2005):
Abstract of the Sri Lanka 2005 page (Available at that link): This web page presents the field expedition lead by Vincent Pardieu (then Director of the AIGS Gemological Laboratory, Bangkok, Thailand) to Sri Lanka in May 2005. This fieldtrip was part of the expedition supported by AIGS and Gubelin Gem Lab with the help of ICA to Asia and Africa during summer 2005. During that expedition the author was helped by Jean baptiste Senoble, a young French gemologist who was the author student at AIGS Bangkok in 2005.
That expedition was planned with the support of ICA Member Armil Samoon, a Colombo based Sri Lankan gem merchant the author met in February 2005 at the ICA congress in Bangkok. We started our visit traveling from Colombo to Ratnapura. After visiting the area for few days we continued to Elahera, Bibile, Okkampitaya focussing on sapphires and completed the expedition with the historic city of Galle, famous for its gem merchants and jewelers. We finished our visit of the "gem island" visiting the moonstone mines near Metiyagoda.
"Jean Baptiste Senoble returning to the surface after a visit to a sapphire mine near Ratnapura". Photo: V. Pardieu/AIGS/Gubelin Gem Lab/ICA, 2005
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.