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912 Live Oak Park Rd South
Fallbrook, CA, 92028
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+1 (760) 728-9121

Pala International has consistently earned its reputation as the direct source for the finest colored stones.

Bill Larson in Hong Kong and Burma, 2012

Bill Larson in Hong Kong and Burma, 2012

by Bill Larson


In the fall of 2012, Bill Larson completed his 34th trip to Burma. Along the way he also attended the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair. Larson is hoping Americans can do business again in Burma once the sanctions are rescinded. He just browses now.


Elephant photo image
Beast of burden. This ivory and crystal elephant is an example of Japanese Shibayama (inlay) from the Meiji period (1868–1912). It is decorated with pearl, mother of pearl, coral and metal. From the Hong Kong show. (Photo: Bill Larson)


Walkway photo image
On the mall. This elegant walkway belies its location: the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. (Photo: Bill Larson)


Jewels photo image
Sweet suites. What appear to be beryl beads and cabochons are displayed with three suites of diamonds. From the Hong Kong show. (Photo: Bill Larson)


Elephant photo image
Verdant. Emeralds and diamonds displayed at the Hong Kong show. (Photo: Bill Larson)


Diamonds photo image
Window shopping. It appears that a buyer or two indeed found irresistable these 10- to 30-carat flawless D-grade diamonds. From the Hong Kong show. (Photo: Bill Larson)


Jadeite photo image
Jade act. Burma jadeite. From the Hong Kong show. (Photo: Bill Larson)


Bill Larson photo image
Browsing. Bill Larson looks at finished jadeite in the gem street of the Bogyoke Market in Yangon. (Photos: George Hickox, above; Bill Larson, below)
Jadeite photo image


Spinel photo image
Yum. Spinel crystals from Naya, a village in the mining area of Myitkyina, Burma. (Photo: George Hickox)


Bill Larson photo image
Red rover. Bill Larson examines spinels in the Bogyoke Market. (Photos: George Hickox, above; Bill Larson, below)
Spinel photo image



Peridot photo image
Green giant. An illuminated peridot crystal, from Burma. (Photo: Bill Larson)


Synthetics photo image
New and old. A variety of synthetics, above, were offered outside the Shwezigon Pagoda, below, in Bagan. The temple was completed in 1102. Bill Larson’s traveling buddy, George Hickox, stands in front of the temple. The sellers guarantee these are real Mogok gemstones. Very hush-hush. (Photos: Bill Larson)
Temple photo image


Buddha photo image
Serene. Inside the temple at Bagan. (Photo: Bill Larson)


Sapphire and Model photo image
Accessorized. A model poses in a garden, adorned with a 100-plus-carat Burma sapphire. (Photo: Bill Larson)


Bill Larson photo image
Setting a trend. Bill Larson poses with a friend in Bagan, Burma. (Photo: George Hickox)


Stupa photo image
Mingun Pahtodawgyi. This massive construction project near Mandalay, initiated by King Badawpaya in 1790, was intentionally left uncompleted. Read why here. (Photo: Bill Larson)


Guide photo image
Pathfinder. Bill and George’s eight-year-old guide at Mingun. (Photo: Bill Larson)


Buddha photo image
Upstairs. On top of Old Mingun. (Photo: Kyaw Thu)


Boat photo image
Steady… Walking the narrow gangplank in order to cross the Irrawaddy River, on the way back to Mandalay. (Photo: Bill Larson)


Boat photo image
Fresh. A newly mined macle twin: a color-change spinel from Bomaw, Mogok, Burma. In calcite matrix, 9 cm. (Photo: Bill Larson)