Best Unique and Unusual Gifts in Whitehorse, Yukon: Murdoch's Gem Shop
No trip to the Yukon, or any splendidly scenic area is complete without a visit to at least one amazing gift shop. Murdoch's Gem Shop is just the place for genuinely unique and beautiful gifts and jewelry.
Well known in the Yukon as a purveyor of beautiful and unique gift-ware, Murdoch's is the shop for virgin gold nugget jewelry. Many jewelers carry gold nugget jewelry, gold reclaimed from other pieces of jewelry that is remelted into nugget form, and then set into rings, pendants, earrings, brooches, and all manner of pieces. Murdoch's goldsmiths, however, working on the premises, create their gold nugget jewelry from virgin gold nuggets, raw gold that has never been refined.
This old prospector has long been "panning for gold" in Murdoch's Gem shop, long enough for the native yellow spruce from which he is carved to begin to split in the dry climate.
Created especially for the store by M. Harvey, this magnificent example of chain-saw art now graces their business cards and gift-enclosure tags as their official logo. Yes! This intricate and astonishing detail was accomplished using only a chain-saw.
Murdoch's is chock-a-block with beautiful and unique gift-ware, from hand-dipped candles and imported glassware, to locally produced leather-work.
In addition, the walls are decorated with curious artifacts - trophy-size Moose antlers, Mastodon horns, walrus tusks, a Narwhal's single tusk, and this pair of antique rifles.
Used for hunting in the Dease Lake area of British Columbia, these circa 1875, beautifully preserved flintlocks (muskets), were donated to Murdoch's by Mr. Gene Simmons of Carcross, YT. Mr. Simmons was given them by Harper Reed, former Indian Agent in Atlin BC. The powder-horn mounted below the antlers is from the same era as the muskets.
The lovely stained glass pendant fixtures shown in the photo, one fuchsia, one yellow, are only two of the many colors and styles on offer. Some are delicate, mouth-blown glass, while others are splendid examples of stained-glass artistry.
Over the main counter hangs a Narwhal tusk - once thought to be the horn of a Unicorn, the curly, twisted marvel is almost as magical as the myth to which it gave rise.
On the log wall, directly behind the narwhal tusk, hangs another example of Mastodon ivory. The huge, fossilized tusk curls around an artist's rendition of one of the magnificent Ice-Age mammals that once roamed the earth.
Among the many treasures in Murdoch's, you will find the work of local artists and artisans.
Hanging next to an antique scoop from the gold rush era hangs an exquisitely crafted Elk-hide vest sporting beaded fringes.
The workmanship and detailing elevate this one-of-a-kind item from a serviceable article of clothing into a piece of wearable art.
Always popular with tourists and locals, hand-painted gold pans, no two alike, adorn the walls.
The gold pans are actual pans used in panning for gold, their design unchanged from the original pans used by prospectors during the heady days of the Klondike Gold Rush.
One of the marvels of Murdoch's is a single gold nugget. Mined at Squaw Creek on the Haines Road, somewhere in the 70's or 80's, this lump of solid gold measures almost 5 inches across, and weighs in at 368.86 grams, or an impressive 11.47 ounces.
All the ivory used in Murdoch's jewelry is fossil ivory, from creatures long-dead, so one can enjoy wearing their pieces, secure in the knowledge that no animals were needlessly killed to provide your adornments.
The earrings on the right are fossil ivory, carved into the shape of the Yukon Forget-Me-Not, and set with gold nuggets,
Their gold nugget jewelry is created from virgin gold. As they explain:
The virgin nuggets used in [our] jewelry have been hand-mined in the gold fields of the Klondike and Atlin districts. Bonanza, Eldorado, Hunker, and Gold Bottom are some of the better known areas of theTrail of '98.
These nuggets are in their natural state, each an individual shape. the color does vary from different creeks, as does the purity, which will average 85%.
The jewelry has been hand-crafted, each nugget individually fitted and soldered into place. natural wear on these nuggets will burnish and brighten them, showing their natural beauty.
These virgin nuggets are then crafted on the premises into gold nuggets earrings, sluice-box rings, and beautiful, one of a kind, pendants. Often precious gems are set among the gold nuggets, making each piece even more beautiful and totally unique.
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Murdoch's also offers beautiful silver serving cutlery - carving knives, meat forks, vegetable scoops, berry spoons and pie lifters - the handles of each piece has been set with a gold nugget. Unique to Murdoch's, these beautiful pieces make wonderful wedding or anniversary gifts, and are sure to become a treasured family heirloom.
The splendid scenery of Canada's Yukon Territory is unrivaled in the world for mountain vistas, high-arctic flora and wildlife, and amazing displays of the aurora borealis (northern lights). There is no better place to find souvenirs and gifts as unique as the northern splendors they will always represent to you - treasured reminders of your trip to one of Canada's arctic wild places - than Murdoch's Gem Shop in Whitehorse, YT.
Murdoch's Gem Shop
207 Main Street, Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2B2
Phone: 1.867.667.7403 Fax: 1.867.667.7716
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site: www.murdochs.ca
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