One of the delights of travel is making new discoveries such as Koehoe’s Agate Shop in Bigfork, Montana. Koehoe’s has a well respected reputation for offering quality gem stones from around the world including agates, jade, opals and many other prized and precious gems.
Many of Koehoe’s gems find their place in high-end, custom-made jewelry comparable to what one would find in prestigious jewelry stores around the world including rings, bracelets, necklaces, ear rings, broaches and assorted pins.
The shop also is home to an assorted collection of rocks and minerals fashioned into a variety of art objects, some of which are in the shape of large rectangular slabs cut and polished to reveal images of various sea creatures including fish, stingrays and the chambered nautilus. These slabs make beautiful accent pieces or perhaps could be used as counter or table tops.
Particularly impressive is a variety of fossilized chambered nautilus shells. Josh Covill and Muir Van Rinsum, two of the shop employees, explained that when the creature inhabiting the shell dies, the shell sinks to the ocean floor where it eventually becomes covered and buried in mineral rich sediment. The fossilization process preserves the design and shape of the shell in extraordinary detail and beautiful colors. The colors, often seen as iridescent greens, reds, yellows and blues are indicative of the particular minerals in the sediments.
The shop is such a rare and enjoyable place in which to browse, I could not resist making a small purchase. Remembering I had in my pocket an old money clip still used but which no longer bore the original scrimshaw inlay; Muir helped me find the perfect piece of jade to replace the lost scrimshaw.
You will find Koehoe’s Agate Shop at 1020 Holt Drive, Bigfork, Montana. Phone: 406-837-4467.