GIA Bangkok to Highlight Pearls

GIA Bangkok to Highlight Pearls

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) will host its monthly Gemstone Gathering in Bangkok on August 31 with a focus on the colorful history of Australia’s natural south sea pearls. Kenneth Scarratt, a leading authority on natural pearls, both saltwater and freshwater, will provide an overview of these popular, organic gems.

Natural pearls have been fished in the waters off the west and northwestern coasts of Australia for more than 100 years. The pearls, from Pinctada maxima, are found at a variety of depths and extraordinary gems have been discovered over the years. Scarratt’s presentation will review the history of Australian pearling and describe a recent expedition to an 80-mile beach where wild shell is still fished.

Scarratt, GIA’s managing director of Southeast Asia and director of the GIA Laboratory in Bangkok, is considered one of the top gemologists in the world. He has extensive experience in the identification of a broad range of gem materials and detection of treatments. His expertise on saltwater and freshwater natural pearls includes the rare Melo pearl. He has authored or co-authored articles in many gemological journals worldwide, and has co-authored two books: “The Crown Jewels” and “The Pearl & the Dragon.”

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