Gems, Jewelry & Badass Nevada Bling
Everyone loves gifts that come in little boxes. Luckily, as one of the mining capitals of the entire planet, Nevada is spoiled with things that sparkle. Our many handmade jewelry masters offer incredible choices, from Silver State stones on Nevada-mined silver to all varieties of turquoise, and everything in between. If you’re looking to serve up some memories on the rocks, whisk them off on a rockhounding expedition, where visitors can “mine” for garnets, quartz, and even Virgin Valley black fire opals, Nevada’s official state gem. (Some experiences are seasonal and may not be available at a given moment, but it never hurts to think—and gift— ahead.)
Jewelers & Gem Shops
Jason’s Art Gallery
Next time you’re cruising the Loneliest Road in America, pull over for a pit stop in Austin at Jason’s Art Gallery, also known as Little Bluebird Turquoise. With turquoise mined from the surrounding area, an incredibly impassioned local jewelry maker, and shockingly affordable pricing, you’ll have no trouble finding an authentic Nevada souvenir.
Erick Begay Native American Jewelry
Featuring the finest in Native American art, you’ll find bolo ties, belt buckles, watches, sandpaintings, and a wide range of jewelry, including pieces crafted by master silversmith and goldsmith Erick Begay.
Honey & Goldies
Drawing inspiration from western design, you can shop floral wreath bands, turquoise rings, sterling silver cuffs, and gemstone baubles, or craft custom necklaces, engagement rings, and stacking bands—sourced from right here in Nevada, whenever possible, by a proprietor whose personal pastime is perusing old abandoned mines with her partner.
Linen and Lace
Polymer clay earrings decked out with charms, stones, and chains are handcrafted outta a sunny Las Vegas studio. If you’re a fellow clay maker, you can shop 3D-printed cutter collections, too.
Put some cheer in your ear with a pair of glittery saguaro cacti, smoky crescent moons, dangly rainbows, or even sparkly hot dog earrings made by hand in Laughlin.
Rockhounding Adventures Anyone Can Really Dig
Otteson Brothers Turquoise Mine Tours
Sink your pickaxe into massive tailing piles at the Otteson Brothers Turquoise Mine Tours in Tonopah. With gems spanning a color spectrum including robin’s egg blue, cerulian, indigo, teals and beyond, all you’ve gotta do is pick your hue, load up your dig bucket, and Otteson’s will cut and polish some of your best finds for you to take home.
Local and visiting geologists and rockhounds head to Garnet Hill for sizable garnets that can be found laying right on top of the ground, lodged in matrix, or buried in large deposits beneath the ground.
Virgin Valley Black Fire Opals
Some of the best rockhounding in northern Nevada await around Denio, in northwestern Nevada near the Oregon Border. Rockhounders from around the world head here to hunt opalized wood, in one of the only places in the world this very rare process occurred, forming the Virgin Valley black fire opal, Nevada’s official state gemstone. Some of the best opal mines in Nevada can be found in this region—just take your pick.
Royal Peacock Opal Mines
In his buckaroo days, owner Harry Wilson would uncover mysterious glimmering stones and trade them for a shot of whiskey here or there. Eventually, he and his wife purchased this mine and opened a pay-to-dig operation to the public, producing extremely rare and beautiful specimens. Visitors can choose from bank digging, hand-tooling away for sizable opals, or opt to rake through existing tailings in search of previously undiscovered bounties. May 15 – October 15.
Bonanza Opal Mines
At Bonanza, you can dig for opals amidst the rugged beauty of the Virgin Valley in northern Nevada. The mine is surrounded by fantastic high-desert landscape and wildlife, with plenty to do and explore nearby. As featured on the Travel Channel’s “Cash & Treasures” program, the mine is open for tailings digging from Memorial Day through September.
Rainbow Ridge Opal Mine
Since 1949, the Hodson family has offered avid rockhounders the option to comb through tailings or go big on reservation-required Virgin Ground Loads, allowing visitors to dig into giant loader scoops, pulled fresh from the bank that morning, with special tools that work through clay more gingerly than traditional pickaxes and shovels. May through September.