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Made in Idaho: All that glitters

If you want to make it all about the “bling” this holiday season, there are quite a few options to find that perfect gift in our neck of the woods.

No wonder they call Idaho the Gem State!

Farr’s Jewelers in Idaho Falls has a collection of opal jewelry made with stones from Idaho’s mines.

“(That) makes it more special because it’s extremely local,” said Kevin Malcom, a jeweler at Farr’s.

Prices start at $73, so pretty pieces won’t have to cost a pretty penny.

“It’s affordable, even for the teenagers that may not have them for very long,” Malcom said.

The big ticket item will cost you.

A spectacular star garnet sells for $600, unmounted.

Idaho is the only U.S. state in which the rare stone can be found.

“That’s what we’re known for. That’s why we are the Gem State,” Malcom said.

If you’re looking for a different kind of “bling,” Bonnie Wuttunee-Wadsworth, of the Sho-Ban tribes, said she’s got you covered.

“Everything has to have a flash to it,” Wuttunee-Wadsworth said of items in her Donzia Gift Shop in Fort Hall. “Everybody likes bling.”

The gift shop, inside the Shoshone-Bannock Hotel and Event Center, features hand-made footwear and accessories by members of the Sho-Ban tribes.

“They think outside the box,” Wuttne-Wadsworth said. “So they create such an array of items that is so unique.”

Some of the colorful statement jewelry starts at less than $20.

The hand-beaded moccasins start at $65, but run up into the hundreds for the more intricate pairs.

Just like the recipient, a piece that’s been dreamed up — or dug up — in Idaho is sure to be like no other.

“Each one is unique and different,” Malcom said of the opals. “Which makes it as unique as the person who’s buying it.”

“(People are) blown away by the uniqueness and the beauty of the artwork here,” Wuttunee-Wadsworth said.

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