PLEASE NOTE! The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has determined that everyone wishing to dig in the Bank must wear safety equipment as follows:

  • Shoes with rigid (steel, alloy, composite) toe protectors
  • Hard hats
  • Safety glasses

For those arriving unaware and/or unprepared, we will have LIMITED quantities of safety gear for rent:

New Safety Gear Required -- Limited Number of Rentals Available
Hard toe shoe covers$5.00/day
Hard hats$5.00/day
Safety glasses$5.00/day

Please bring your own if you can, as supplies are limited!

 

 

A note from Noel and Teresa Pacheco, archaeologists with Ancient Journeys of Taos, NM:

In 2005 we were at the mine and found a huge peacock opal, about 232 cts. Joy and her husband saw it and told us how to treat it. Three years ago we had it cut, and here it is:

Anasazi Fire Opal :: Before CuttingAnasazi Fire Opal :: After Cutting
Anasazi Fire Opal before and after cutting
(Click either view to enlarge)

It has been featured in a book by Lithographie and was in an auction with Bonhams and Butterfield two years ago. It did not sell because of the economy. Anyway.... here is the photo of the cut stone: 23 carats and a retail value of $54,000. We hope you can use this in your website. The opal has been declared stable by the world-class cutter who cut it in Scottsdale, Az.

Julie Wilson in Gift ShopPictured: Julie Wilson and a spectacular collection of arrowheads collected by her ancestors Harry L and Mabel Wilson in the late 19th and early 20th century (today, arrowhead collecting is illegal!).

The Royal Peacock is the only opal mine in the Virgin Valley offering a full-service gift shop. In addition to cool drinks, snacks, and sundries, we sell tools, firewood, and other basic supplies. The shop also offers a wide assortment of opals, jewelry, and other collectibles.

The shop also serves as the office; please check in here first if you wish to mine for opals, set up camp, or rent an RV space or cabin. The Gift Shop is open daily, in season, from 7:30AM to 4:30PM.

Outdoor attractions at the Royal Peacock MineMany visitors take advantage of our location to explore the adjacent Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge and other area attractions. Whether you enjoy hiking, fishing, wildlife photography, or just watching the sunset, the Royal Peacock Opal Mine makes a great basecamp.

Royal Peacock R.V. Park and Tent Camping

The Royal Peacock Opal Mine operates a 17-space RV park with full hook-ups. Anyone is welcome, whether or not you intend to mine for opals! Reservations are recommended; please call (775) 941-0374.

What a find! :: These guys each walked away with half of a large opalized log!The Royal Peacock Opal Mine offers guests a chance to mine their own opals. All you find are yours to keep!

Digging is allowed May 15 through Oct. 15, WEATHER PERMITTING. No reservations are needed; however, PLEASE SIGN IN at the Gift Shop before starting to mine!

If you have never mined for opals before, or even if you have, we will be happy to show you the basics and get you started. Staff are on-site throughout the day to answer questions and offer advice as needed.

When signing in at the Gift Shop office, you will choose from several different types of mining, as follows.

Harry Wilson and daughter JulieThe Royal Peacock Mine offers visitors a chance to find opals of their own. All you find are yours to keep! Read more about: Mining for opals

The Royal Peacock is located in the Virgin Valley, about 35 miles from Denio, Nevada. It produces precious black opal (Nevada's state precious gemstone), as well as crystal, white, lemon opals, conk wood opal, fire opal, etc.  Most of the mine's opal is thought to be produced by a process called "partial wood replacement." Read more about: Virgin Valley Geology

The Royal Peacock Opal Mine is a family-run business. First developed in 1912, it has been run by the Wilsons since 1944.

In 2006, after running the business for many years, my mother Joy Wilson had a stroke.  Although she is not actively able to assist, she still is at the Royal Peacock Opal Mine during its operating season. And Harry W. Wilson, my father (pictured at left with me) at the age of 82, is still active in the mining operation.  Read more about: Wilson Family history

Jake, Julie, and Harry

Thank you very much for visiting our website. If we can assist you with directions to the mine, or book an RV space, tent/camper space, or cabin/trailer for you, please do not hesitate to write or call: (775) 941-0374

Best wishes,

-Julie Wilson

This year, we will once again open our famous "Northern Lights" area. This is the part of the Royal Peacock Opal Mine that was featured in The Travel Channel's "Cash and Treasures" program, with Kirsten Gum. It has yielded some truly impressive opals!

Furnished Cabin The Royal Peacock has one small cabin (sleeps 3) and one small trailer (sleeps 2). Each costs $75/night. Reservations are required! Please call (775) 941-0374. Sorry, but we cannot accept reservations/cancellations via email!

  • Check in time: 3:00pm
  • Check out time: 10:00am

Joy and Harry Wilson

Originally published in the Herald and News paper, of Klammath Falls, Ore. Reprinted with permission.

VIRGIN VALLEY, Nev -- In the late 1800s and early 1900s, cowboys and sheepherders collected those sparkling stones, later known as black and fire opals, from Virgin Valley fields.

Walt Wilson and the Gingko Log
Pictured: Walt Wilson and the 130-pound "Gingko Log," one of the largest opals ever found

More than a quarter of a million carats of precious fire opals have been extracted from the Royal Peacock mines in the past twenty five years. Some of the better-known stones are listed below.

Conk Wood Opal -- photo (c) Brad Horn
Conk Wood Opal -- photo (c) Brad Horn

It took fourteen million years for Mother Nature to make a Virgin Valley opal.

It was well worth the wait.

Tools needed for opal miningTools are available for purchase or rental in the Opal Shop. However, most people prefer to bring their own. Here is a list of what you might need: