Sapphire Panning & Soda FountainA unique experience on route to Yellowstone National Park
OPEN MON-THUR, 11-5:30
Find your very own Montana treasure!
What is Fancy's?
Fancy’s is Montana’s finest indoor sapphire panning experience. We combine panning in a cool, relaxed environment with delicious hand-crafted soda & ice cream treats.
It’s unique, fun & rewarding!
The Fancy’s experience is a treasure hunt for ages 5 – 95. We invite you to pan for your own sapphire jewels, relax in a clean, cool atmosphere, enjoy handcrafted sodas and ice cream and shop for beautiful Montana-made jewelry!
Start with gravel, leave with gems.
At Fancy’s, we make Sapphire panning easy and fun for the whole family. With friendly staff to assist you and perfect indoor lighting for finding sapphires, you can relax and dig in!
Handcrafted Soda and Ice Cream
We are proud to offer Wilcoxson’s Ice Cream and a wide selection of Monin soda syrups. Our soda fountain creations really hit the spot while you pan for Montana Sapphires in a clean and friendly atmosphere.
Soda Fountain / Ice Cream:
Frequently Asked Questions
When is Fancy’s open?
Fancy’s is open Mon-Fri from 9am-5pm during the summer. Contact us by phone or email to book special events or for winter hours.
What can I expect?
At Fancy’s you’ll find the cleanest sapphire gravel from two different placer mines in Montana. After a quick rinse of your gravel in our fountain, you’ll sit down at a well- lit countertop with a sorting pick and tray to collect your sapphires. You’ll also have a well trained staff to answer all your questions, comfortable seating, and gourmet refreshments to enjoy while you are panning.
Is panning fun?
YES! Panning at Fancy’s is light hearted, calm, and relaxing. It’s like mental yoga! Most of our clients leave panning refreshed, with a heightened sense of joy. It’s hard not to have fun when you are hunting for your own special Montana keepsake!
How much time should I allot for panning at Fancy’s?
Depending on the amount of gravel one pans, 45min-1hour.
What ages are appropriate for panning at Fancy’s?
5 and older.
What should we wear to pan at Fancy’s?
We recommend you wear comfortable clothes.
Can we make reservations?
Yes, we recommend making reservations for groups of 10 or more. We also take group reservations for after hours and Sunday afternoon panning.
I found sapphires in the gravel I took home from my visit, what do I do next?
The beautiful natural untreated sapphires you have found, have more beauty to reveal; heat treating makes the natural colors more vibrant and faceting your sapphires makes them sparkle! Heat treating and faceting start at $75.
Simply ship your stones in a padded envelope to Fancy’s, 104 Centennial Drive, Livingston, MT 59047. Enclose your name, phone number, email and shipping address so we can make sure your stones get home.
Call us with more questions! 406-333-2890
How is it different than other panning experiences I may have had?
We mine our gravel down to the cleanest level so you don’t have to wear work clothes to pan, because you won’t be getting dirty. We make sure you have plenty of light, the right tools, comfortable seating, and refreshments. You also have the greatest chance of big stones because we don’t cherry pick our gravel before selling it to you.
I purchased gravel from Fancy’s to take home. What are the steps I should follow to pan at home?
You’ve picked the cleanest, richest bag of Sapphire gravel for your home panning experience. So grab a bowl, turn on a light, pour a refreshing drink, and enjoy! We can’t wait to hear what you find!
To find your sapphires follow these simple steps:
- Place up to 1 cup of gravel in a fine sieve or colander.
- Rinse gravel under water to wash away dirt and brighten the stones.
- Place rinsed gravel on paper towel, small tray or shallow bowl.
- Choose a brightly lit area to begin your sapphire search.
- Use the enclosed pick to move the gravel and uncover sapphires.
- Repeat with your remaining gravel.
If I find sapphires while panning, what are my options for taking them home?
- Put them into a customizable souvenir: jewelry locket, glass jar, treasure box, or
- Send them away to have them transformed into faceted gems.
Can you make jewelry out of my Sapphires?
Yes! Depending on the size of stones you find, our staff can assist you in determining which are best for heat treating and faceting for use in a piece of jewelry. We share a space with Elichai Fine Jewelry, one of the most talented custom jewelry teams in the country.
From what mines do you source Fancy’s panning gravel?
The two mines we offer are Gem Mountain (standard) & El Dorado Bar Mine (upgraded).
How are the two mines different?
The Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine is located in the heart of Southwest Montana. It is one of the largest, oldest, and best Sapphire Mines in the World. The Gem Mountain gems are typically smaller, rounder and bolder in color.
The El Dorado Bar Mine is located along the Missouri River near Helena Montana. El Dorado gems are typically larger, flatter and more pastel in color.
Montana is the Treasure state because it is rich in precious metals and gems.
Our two favorite gems are the Montana Sapphire and the Yogo Sapphire. The Montana Sapphire is found in the primarily in southwestern Montana, while the Yogo Sapphire is found in north central Montana.
Fun Sapphire Facts
- Sapphires are one of the four crown jewels of the world, along side diamonds, emeralds and rubies.
- Sapphires are durable enough to wear everyday in all forms of jewelry settings
- Yogo Sapphires come in hues of violet and blue
- Montana Sapphires come in every color of the rainbow, with the rarest colors being the “Fancy” Sapphires in hues of pink, orange and yellow.
- Several sapphires appear in the British Crown Jewels and Montana Sapphires from the Rock Creek deposit are featured in the “Conceit Montana Sapphire Butterfly” at the Smithsonian Institution’s Natural Gem Collection.
Find your treasure at Fancy’s
Located between Bozeman & Billings, on your way to Yellowstone National Park.
Address: 104 Centennial Drive
Livingston, Montana 59047
Directions: 1 block south of I-90, near McDonalds and Subway in Livingston.
Seasonal Hours: June 5-Sept 29
Open Mon-Thur, 11-5:30
Call for winter hours.