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912 Live Oak Park Rd South
Fallbrook, CA, 92028
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Pala International has consistently earned its reputation as the direct source for the finest colored stones.

Melo Pearls 2016 11

Melo Pearls from Burma

This month we feature a collection of melo pearls from Burma.

From the bailer or Melo melo sea snail, this calcareous concretion pearl variety is only found naturally and is not cultured. It is one of the uber rare pearl varieties that is still found serendipitously by fisherman and ocean goers on the hunt for marine treasures. Mainly found in the South China Sea around Burma and Vietnam, this pearl remains very illusive. 

Melo pearls from Burma.  Top: 13.19 ct (Inv.  #17700 ), 38.05 ct ( #23007 ), and 9.30 ct ( #21659 ). And a pair, 5.10 tcw (Inv.  #17316 ). (Photo: Mia Dixon)

Melo pearls from Burma. Top: 13.19 ct (Inv. #17700), 38.05 ct (#23007), and 9.30 ct (#21659). And a pair, 5.10 tcw (Inv. #17316). (Photo: Mia Dixon)

Pala only handles a handful of these rare gems every year, since there really aren't many procured around the South China Sea. Pala's collection stands with 3 nice-sized round pieces and a smaller matched pair. Like most pearls, quality is based on roundness, color, and clarity on the surface. Unlike most pearls, another factor adds great value as well: flame or "dragon's breath" is an internal structure that creates chatoyance and flowing patterns throughout the surface of the pearl.

For more on melo pearls, see "Melo Pearls from Myanmar" and "Melo Pearls from Southern Vietnam" on