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Nevada State Nickname:

Nevada quarter - click to see all bicentennial quarters
Nevada became the 36th state in 1864 (see STATEHOOD ORDER). Nevada's
commemorative quarter features wild mustangs, mountains, a rising sun,
sagebrush, and the state's nickname: "The Silver State" (public domain image
on Wikipedia). See All 50 state quarters - All State Nicknames.

The Silver State

The nickname for Nevada is The Silver State, dating from the Nevada silver rush days of the mid 1800's. At that time silver was literally shovelled off the ground in Nevada. Heavy gray crusts of silver had formed on the surface of the desert over millions of years and were polished by dust and wind to the dull luster of a cow horn (called "horn silver").

Nevada USA - click to see all state nicknames
Nevada, USA. See All State Nicknames.

A big silver bed could be tens of meters wide and more than a kilometer long (worth $27,000 a ton in 1860's dollars). The territory of Nevada and surrounding states were picked clean of silver within a few decades.

These "surface bonanzas" lasted only a few seasons, long enough to put up saloons and little else. The rough, violent life of many western movies reached its purest state in the Nevada silver camps.

Source:
Geology - Keep Watching the Ground: About.com
Links:
All State Nicknames

    

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Nevada Symbols & Icons:

bird - animal
fish - reptile
flower - grass
fossil - rock
tree 1 - tree 2
gemstone 1 - 2

name - nickname
flag - seal - motto
song - march
colors - tartan
artifact - quarter
metal - soil
 

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Nevada Gifts - Gifts by State