After attending quite a few gem shows, you sort of get familiar with the dealers and begin to recognize the cream of the crop. I would most definitely put Pala International into this category; I sensed it right away actually! Their booth at AGTA in Tucson is always highly curated with some of the most coveted gems, nicest cuts, highest quality and unique finds you won’t spot anywhere else. Bill Larson started Pala International 50 years ago — he is well known in the gem world, a super star in fact, and his son is following in his footsteps. (You can read more about Bill here.) Whether you’re a jewelry designer, gem collector or store owner, you must have Pala International in your rolodex.
In this interview, Carl Larson answers my riveting questions and shares his most prized possession. Hope you enjoy and don’t forget to follow them on Instagram –> @palainternational
We are always cutting new material from the rough, whether it be new gemstones or new carvings out of Idar-Oberstein. I’m always excited to see what our cutters can bring to life, whether it be a traditional cuts or fancy cuts. We have been cutting many sphenes and many new tourmalines.
I was born into the industry, as my father is well known gem and mineral connoisseur Bill Larson. I have been going to the Tucson and Munich shows since I was just a baby, but after college I really developed my own personal passion for gemstones. This led me to attend the Gemological Institute of America in 2012, and from there I really dove in to learning everything I can about gemstones. After GIA, I spent time studying the collection at the Museum national d’Histoire naturelle in Paris, then came back to the family company Pala International and have been selling fine gemstones there since 2013.
I am very proud to say that Pala International is celebrating our 50th year in business this year. My father started the company in 1969 and from his humble roots of doing mining for tourmaline in San Diego, he has grown a world renowned gem and mineral business. As I am now the Director of Gems for Pala International, we are constantly scouring the earth for the best gemstones we can offer. We are passionate in finding exactly what our customers desire, and constantly improving our inventory to stick with trends in color and gems, as well as offer the best of the classics. We work hard to remain relevant in an industry that always changes.
My dream is to have Pala International continue to offer the finest gems and minerals for another 50 years. I also hope we can find new pegmatites in Southern California for us to mine. My main goal in life is to help bring top quality colored gems the respect and recognition that they deserve.
While this question would seem too hard to answer a couple years ago, its easy now. My favorite gem is my 40 ct + Rhodochrosite, “The Alma Princess” cut and named by Brett Kosnar.