Background on My Second Rock&Gem Article

In mid-February 2016 I visited the once roaring town of Goldfield, Nevada. An old set of gem claims had come under new ownership and new direction. I was eager to find out what that meant for rockhounds.

You can read about what I found by getting the May, 2016 issue of Rock&Gem magazine. (external link) It’s available at Barnes&Noble as well as larger bookstores. You can also download the Rock&Gem app for your mobile device to purchase an e-version of the article.

Here is the beginning of the article:

A venerable Nevada collecting site has changed ownership and is now open under new management. The current operators wish to say you are welcome to visit. Very welcome, indeed.

Sharon Artlip and Nadiah Beekum now own and run the Goldfield Gemfield Gem claims outside of Goldfield, Nevada. The site is about 25 miles south of Tonopah and 190 miles north of Las Vegas. Only four miles from Highway 95, the site is accessible without four-wheel drive or a high clearance vehicle. Collecting is on the honor system, with rocks going for a dollar a pound.

Five non-patented lode claims make up the site. Chalcedony (Cal-said-a-knee) is the main draw, in many forms. Dendritic agate, bulls eye agate, and rainbow agate, all chalcedony variations, have been collected at Gemfield over the years. Many times the chalcedony can’t be broken out into a category. It appears simply as rocks with tints of red, pink, yellow, and lavender, often with bands and swirls of color. . . .

And here are a few photographs and captions that were not included in the print magazine.

10/ 30/2016 update: I visited Goldfield, Sharon Artlip, Byran Smalley, and the claims this week and all are doing well. The road to the claims has had further work and is still passable by most vehicles.

6/7/2015 update: The issue in hardcopy sold out almost immediately.

4/27/2016 update: Rock&Gem has not yet updated their website to reflect the May issue. I am sure they will soon.


About 25 miles south of Tonopah, Nevada sits Goldfield in Esmeralda County. The Gemfield Gem claims are a few miles out of town.

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Chalcedony is the draw here; agate in many forms. Cut as a slab and then polished, this stone would appear quite dramatic.

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A Gully at the site, showing typical terrain.

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Chalcedony boulder, a confusion of swirls and bulls eyes.

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A Closeup of a typical rock. Imagine a pair of highly polished bookends made from this material.

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Hidden Treasures Trading Post in Goldfield. Make sure to stop by Bryan Smalley’s shop. 489 S. Bellevue Ave Goldfield, NV (775) 485-3761. His Facebook page is at this link: https://www.facebook.com/HiddenTreasuresTradingPost/

HiddenTreasuresStoresmall2


Look for this storefront right on Highway 95. It’s Sharon Artlip’s store, Goldfield Art & Business Services. She’s one of the claim owners. (775) 485-3789.

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About thomasfarley01

Freelance writer who specializes in history, technology, and human interest stories.
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