Bill Larson in Burma and Vietnam, 2005

Following the International Colored Gemstone Congress in February, Pala International President Bill Larson joined the ICA Gem Mines Tour to Burma. He was then lured to Vietnam to track down some of the finest spinels in the world. What follows is a brief selection of photos from his travels.

Robert Weldon photo image
All is bliss: Robert Weldon (left) at the Swedagon Pagoda in Rangoon, on the ICA tour to Burma led by Richard W. Hughes.
Amethyst and Aquamarine photo image
Rough/Cut: Fine amethyst and aquamarine, with cut sapphire and spinel, purchased by Bill Larson Chaung Gyi, Burma.
Melo Pearls photo image
They call me melo melo: Fine melo pearls contain no nacre, being products of the mysterious marine snail, or Bailer Shell. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Pink Sapphire photo image
Pretty in pink: Pink sapphire, up-country in Luc Yen, Yenbai Province, Vietnam.
Spinel on Matrix photo image
Quite a handful: Exquisite spinel specimen purchased by Bill Larson at the Luc Yen Mine site in Vietnam. Now in a private collection in California.
Bill Larson photo image
Riding in style: Bill Larson (right) and Mr. Hai before driving to airport in antique French auto, Hanoi, Vietnam.

For more information regarding melo pearls on, see: