Thanks and disclaimer:


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.


About FieldGemology. org

This website is home for "Shameless Travel Addicted Gemologist" Vincent Pardieu (B.Sc., GGA, G.G.). Vincent is "Supervisor, Field Gemology" at GIA Laboratory Bangkok. He is a gemologist specialized on "origin determination of gemstones".
This is also home for Vincent's regular traveling companions: David Bright, Jean Baptiste Senoble, Richard W. Hughes, Guillaume Soubiraa, Walter Balmer, Michael Rogers, Kham Vannaxay and many others like recently: Philippe Ressigeac, Oliver Segura , Flavie Isatelle and Lou Pierre Bryl.

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.


Website Map


Index page: Vincent Pardieu's Blog

About the Author

About me : How did a countryside Frenchman became a "Shameless travel addicted gemologist"? ( Under construction)


Contact the author:


Write Comments:

Fieldgemology Page on facebook

Popular Articles

"Tsavorite, an Untamed Gem" with R.W.Hughes, first published in ICA's InColor (Winter 2008)
"Working the blue seam" The Tanzanite mines of Merelani with R.W.Hughes first published on
"Spinel, the resurection of a Classic" with R.W. Hughes, first published in ICA's InColor (Summer 2008)

Gemological studies

(Apr. 2009) "Sapphires reportedly from Batakundi / Basil area" a preliminary study about unusual sapphires we saw at GIA Laboratory Bangkok
(Mar. 2009) "Rubies from Niassa province, Mozambique" a preliminary study about rubies we saw at GIA Laboratory Bangkok
"Lead glass filled rubies" :
First published on AIGS Lab Website (Feb 2005)

Expedition Reports

Autumn. 2009: GIA Field Expedition FE09: Rubies from Mozambique. (pdf file)

May. 2009: GIA Field Expedition FE08: Melos and their pearls in Vietnam. (pdf file)

Dec. 2008 and Feb-Mar. 2009: GIA Field Expeditions FE01 and FE04: Rubies and sapphires from Pailin, Cambodia. (pdf file)

Aug. 2008: Sapphires and Tsavorite from the south of Madagascar with the AFG (Association francaise de Gemmologie) : Available soon...

Apr. 2008: Expedition to the new Winza ruby deposit in central Tanzania with Jean Baptiste Senoble and the support of the Gubelin Gem Lab

October 2007: Gemological expedition to East Africa (Kenya and Tanzania) with Richard W. Hughes, Mike Rogers, Guillaume Soubiraa, Warne and Monty Chitty and Philippe Bruno:

Summer 2006: Expeditions to Central Asia gem wealth with Guillaume Soubiraa and the support of the AIGS, the ICA and the Gubelin Gem Lab:

Oct. 2005: Colombia by J.B. Senoble

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:

- Feb. 2005: A visit to Thailand, Cambodia with the AFG (Association Francaise de Gemmologie) (under construction)

- 2002-2007: Expeditions to Pailin (Cambodia), Chanthaburi Kanchanaburi (Thailand) Houay Xai (Laos) Mogok, Namya (Burma) (under construction)

- 2001: Expeditions to Namya, Hpakant and then Mogok with Ted and Angelo Themelis and Hemi Englisher (under construction)

Find our blogs using the following Keywords:

     black star sapphire
     Bo Rai
     Dak Nong
     Di Linh
     Fair Trade
     Field Report GIA
     Gemological study
     Ha Long
     Ha Long Bay
     Houay Xai
     Khao Ploy Waen
     Kho Laem Sing
     Kul I Lal
     lead glass filled ruby
     Luc Yen
     Mae Sot
     Mong Hsu
     pearl farm
     Phan Thiet
     Quy Chau
     Richard W. Hughes
     Richard Wise
     Sri Lanka
     star ruby
     Yen Bai

Find our photos using the following Keywords:

     Bai Lai
     Ha Long
     Ha Long Bay
     Luc Yen
     Minh Tien
     pearl farm
     star ruby
     Tan Huong
     Thac Ba

Discover fieldgemology newsletter:
(Currently under "hibernation status"...)

Number 01: Sept 2006
(I know: it was long time ago...)



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

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:




Creative Commons License

The photos and articles on are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Feel free to use the photos and articles with links and credits. No commercial use without permission.
All the best,

February 6th, 2011 | Keywords:Zambia , emerald Travel |
Blog Title: blog_GIA_FE22_Zambia

GIA FE22 (GIA Laboratory Bangkok Field Expedition 22): Jan. 24, 2011 -Jan. 28, 2011:


Each last Wednesday of the month, the GIA Laboratory Bangkok and the GIA Thailand School join their forces to organize events called the "GIA Gemstone Gatherings" at the Crowne Plaza Hotel (previously known as Pan Pacific hotel) on Rama IV road in Bangkok. On November 24th, 2010, Flavie Isatelle, a young French geologist/gemologist who travelled for one year around the world visiting gem mines was given the opportunity to give a public presentation about Emeralds from Colombia as during summer 2010 she spent nearly a month in Colombia living for several weeks in an emerald mine in Muzo in order to study its geology. Thanks to the interest generated worldwide by that presentation, she was contacted by Gemfields, an important company mining emeralds in the Kafubu deposit in Zambia (one of the world’s largest emerald deposit) and was invited to give again her presentation in Zambia. That was a great opportunity for her to visit that mining operation one of the world largest colored stone mines. Remembering the help that the author provided her in her numerous expeditions in Asia, Africa and South America, she was nice to ask the me if I was interested to travel with her in Zambia... There are some proposals that are very difficult to refuse.


For more information about the GIA Gemstone Gatherings please visit the "news" page on GIA Laboratory Bangkok website. There you will find, details about the next event. Using the calendar at the bottom of the page you will also find written reports and photos of the previous GIA gemstone gatherings.


Thanks to Flavie, I was also invited by Gemfields and at the end of Januray 2011 I was on my way to Zambia. We arrived in Zambia on January 24th for a three days long visit at the Kagem mine. For once I was not to be the expedition leader: Flavie was the boss and I became for few days her assistant and personal photographer. This blog and the following photos will then simply reflect that fact. Of course as official photographer of the expedition I took many photos where Flavie was not part of the landscape, but we have decided to keep these photos for the future publications. Soon you will be able to read our first report in "Gem News International" of the next issue of "Gems and Gemology" and later (probably around August 2011) you will find a more extensive and illustrated report on the following websites:,, and


(Geologist Robert Gessner explaining to Flavie Isatelle the mining at the Kagem Gemfields main emerald mining pit.)
Photo: V. Pardieu / GIA Laboratory Bangkok, 2010)

We were welcomed at the Kagem / Gemfields mine by geologist Robert Gessner. Robert took us around for the following days from the main mining pit to the fascinating underground mining operation he is managing and also to the washing plant and the sorting house, where we could see some interesting emerald samples and meet with several local gemologists. The visit was very interesting particularly as it is very rare to encounter such high level of organization in the colored gemstone mining operation.


(Underground at the Kagem Gemfields mine in Zambia geologist Robert Gessner explains to Flavie Isatelle the local geological setting. Photo: V. Pardieu / GIA Laboratory Bangkok, 2010)

Visiting the mine with Robert Gessner was a real pleasure as Robert, besides being a very knowledgeable geologist (and a great tour guide), is also sharing with us a passion for gemology (Robert is currently studying gemology at GIA using the GIA distance education program) and photography as you can discover on "RoGe ImaGes" .

(Robert Gessner explaining to Flavie Isatelle how the emeralds are getting manually sorted at the Kagem Gemfields emerald mine in Zambia. As most emeralds are still attached to some matrix, manual and visual sorting was prefered to techniques using gravity or optics.
Photo: V. Pardieu / GIA Laboratory Bangkok, 2010)


Most of the young gemologist/geologists interested in gemstones who regularly contact the author for advice using the Internet might found Robert background interesting: After studying geology in South Africa, he graduated in 2004. Robert started then working as geologist at the Tanzanite One mine in Merelani, Tanzania. There he got some serious experience about the specificities of underground gem mining. In Jan 2009 he moved to emerald mining in Zambia to work on a very interesting and challenging project: Pioneering underground mining at the Kagem Gemfields emerald mine, a mine which is traditionally and historically an opencast mine. The main difficulty for most young geologist/gemologist is to find a first job as most companies prefer to hire people with experience... So my advice is the following: Be smart and work hard to get the right skills/profile. Then do your best to get the right first job, the one that will enable you to get the experience you need in order to be lucky later receiving a proposal to become what you have all your life dreamed to become.

Hard work is much more efficient if you work smartly.


(Finally one photo without Flavie and Robert... Zambian gemologist Jackson Mtonga working as superintendant at the Kagem Gemfields sorting house is presenting one of the emeralds from the company master set. Photo: V. Pardieu / GIA Laboratory Bangkok, 2010)


The visit at the Kagem Gemfields mine was very interesting as there are very few colored gemstone mining operations where gems are mined in such a way using modern geological and mining techniques. It was a great opportunity for me to visit that mine and meet there many interesting characters: Geologists, gemologists, miners, security officers and managers.


Very special thanks to Flavie Isatelle to have given me the opportunity to travel with her to Zambia. Flavie is currently searching for some job as mining engineer in a colored gemstone mine and is searching some ways to finance her PHD. For more information about Flavie and her profile, please visit her website:

I want also to thanks all the people from Gemfields for their invitation and their welcome in Zambia. It was truly a real pleasure to visit the mine and have the opportunity to share some knowledge with each other. I hope that I will soon have the possibility to return to the mine in Zambia and work on some projects together.


All the best,

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.