50 years ago I found an inch square apophyllite in the basalt roadbed used to pave the road in front of my house (courtesy of the Patterson, NJ trap rock quarry). Soon after a neighbor kid inherited a box of agates, turquoise, and lapidary equipment from a relative out West. I’ve been involved with gems and minerals ever since.
35 years ago I moved West, and 20 years ago settled in the Sierras. I’ve been collecting and cutting all along. From the fire agates of the Southern California deserts to the wild assemblage of minerals in the San Benito Mountains, I’ve been there with my pick and pick-up. I’ve an extensive collection of the fine quartz varieties found in the Petersen Mountains on the Nevada-California border. I’ve had some amazing luck in the Owens Valley over the years. Many places are closed to collecting today, but I’ve got the goods!

I cut stones professionally to put myself through college. Over the years I’ve taken classes in lapidary, faceting and jade carving. Today I cut cabochons and carve gem material here in my shop overlooking Reno, Nevada.

From my site you can see that I have a range of geological interests. I offer finished pieces of jewelry, cut and tumbled stones for jewelry makers and beaders, mineral specimens from the West and around the world, along with educational specimens (minerals & fossils) for the classroom.

Please browse the site, enjoy the photos, and feel free to contact me at: RknRhino@yahoo.com

Pete Fendelander
Sierra Nevada Gems & Minerals