For Dean Larson, the gold rush never ended.
Dean and his wife, Lori,
have spent their vacations over the past several years on trips to the
Upper Peninsula of Michigan as well as well as tours of several western
states, panning rivers and scanning the rocks for gold and other
precious metals or gem stones.
For Dean Larson, the gold rush never ended. Dean and his wife, Lori, have spent their vacations over the past several years on trips to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan as well as well as tours of several western states, panning rivers and scanning the rocks for gold and other precious metals or gem stones.
“I’ve always been fascinated with rocks and minerals, the lure of gold and silver––lost treasures and things like that,” Larson explained.
Pictured: Dean Larson with merchandise in his new store, Outlander Gems and Gifts. (Photo by Luke Reiter)
Dean’s prior work experience was as eclectic as his hobbies; he describes himself as having done “a little of everything.”
“I did a lot of woodworking, construction, remodeling, you name it,” Larson said.
But the Larsons’ latest venture, as owners of Outlander Gems and Gifts in Isanti, allows Dean to share his passion and his treasures with the world. Dean admits the store, which is located in the Shops on the Rum strip mall on Hwy. 65 next to the John Deere dealership, is hard for even him to summarize.
True to its name, the shop features a variety of precious stones, particularly colored stones, which are Dean’s favorite. Dean strives to sell these items below typical jewelry store prices, which, he says, “isn’t hard to do,” because of his connections in the industry and his commitment to honest trading.
Dean also makes a point of featuring the work of local craftsmen in his store as much as possible. He sells blown glass made by an East Bethel artist, wood carvings produced in Isanti and bead work from a woman in Zimmerman, as well as stained glass and soup mixes produced in the area.
Dean insists the store offers enough variety to please everyone, and husbands who have been dragged into Outlander left the store pleasantly surprised, particularly by the array of Old West memorabilia.
“It’s a little higher-end place––not just a knick-knack craft shop,” Dean said.
Although the time commitment of the store has forced the Larsons to take a break from their treasure hunting expeditions, Dean draws inspiration from the many artifacts he’s already discovered––petrified wood, parts of old wagons, a portion of a dinosaur bone, a lump of silver.
“It pays for part of the metal detector, each time you find something like that,” Larson said. “And so I’m always looking for that gold nugget.”
For more information on Outlander Gems and Gifts, call 763-444-5534 or stop by. The store is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.