Herkimer Diamonds are totally natural formations of sparkling double-terminated, exceptionally hard, quartz crystals which are found in Herkimer County, New York. These gemstones formed about five hundred million years ago. Herkimer crystals are the magnificent artistic results of Mother Nature’s work. They are found in vugs or pockets in the host limestone rock (often called dolorock or dolomite). They rival any stone that has been precision cut by man. Since they naturally have a diamond-like geometrical shape, they were given the name “Herkimer Diamonds”
A void which contains a single Herkimer diamond is referred to as a vug. If multiple diamonds are found in the void it is called a pocket. A black coal like lining of Anthraxolite often occurs inside the vugs and pockets where Herkimer Diamonds are formed, giving the vugs or pockets a solid black appearance. Some crystals are found with black inclusions. The locality of the Anthraxolite both inside and outside of the crystal, suggests it was present before, during, and after the crystals were forming. There are many versions and legends of how these majestic gemstones formed.
The double terminated Herkimer Diamond silica crystals are very rare in nature and it is suggested that these crystals were able to form without having been attached to the host rock matrix during the critical growth period. This occurred because silica has no attraction to the dolomite rock and avoids attachment to it. The majority of quartz crystals form in rock rich in silica and this usually results in the quartz forming with at least one end of it attached to the host rock.
The perfect Herkimer Diamonds have eighteen faces. Six triangular faces form the termination points on each end of the crystal with six square or rectangular center faces connecting the ends. This results in a diamond shape. Deviation in the face plane on a Herkimer Diamond has been measured at less than two thousandths of an inch. Man has to work with great precision to even come close to Mother Nature’s perfect formation of the Herkimer Diamond.
Mining these diamonds is no easy task. The Dolomite matrix rock is very solid and hard. It must be split and broken with sledge hammers and chisels. This is a very labor intensive process. Kristen Gum did an episode of Cash & Treasures in December of 2007 called Herkimer Diamonds, NY. That episode shows the hammer and chisel work required to find these treasures. We are providing this Youtube link of that episode that was posted by Terry Goff
The DVD of Cash & Treasures: Collection 1 is still currently available with this episode and more.
from the DVD Jacket... "Do you love the idea of striking it rich, but don't know where to look? Anyone can grab a shovel and make some cold hard cash if they know where the treasures are, how to get them and how to cash them in! Kirsten Gumm guides us across the nation as she embarks on an exciting journey uncovering lost relics, buried gems and other riches. You won't believe the wealth of materials out there...possibly just footsteps from your front door!
Episodes: Herkimer Diamonds, NY; Morel Mushrooms, MI; Turquoise, NV; Emeralds, NC; Gold, AK; Agates, MI; Tourmaline, CA; Copper, MI; Petrified Wood, OR; Dinos, SD; Star Garnets, ID; Ginseng, WV; Fire Agates, CA; Jade, CA. While the gold rush may be a thing of the past, plenty of the precious metal is still out there--you just have to know where to look. The Travel Channel series CASH & TREASURES scours hills and valleys to find this long-coveted buried treasure, as well as other exciting underground gems."
If you are going "walkabout" on a vacation or rock hunting trip you can actually visit the Herkimer Diamond Mines/KOA located in Herkimer County, New York. You can dig out your very own Herkimer Diamonds!
Item # HD09135854
1960's Collection Piece Two Herkimer Diamonds in Matrix with Anthraxite lined Vugs
Old Stock Specimen; Two Herkimer Diamonds in Matrix with Anthraxite lined Vugs
1960's Collection Piece! We found this XL matrix specimen at a rock show in North Carolina. It is a large cabinet display with two Herkimer Diamonds, one each in two vugs that are lined with anthraxite (hydrocarbon). The larger diamond is loose and free floating and has a couple minor chips from being free while piece was moved. It is about 1 inch long and is very clear. The 2nd diamond is held in place by anthraxite lips and the diamond is about 7/8 inch. This specimen was in dry storage for the past 30 years. This is a very nice and Rare find!
weighs 41.5 oz or 2.59 lbs (1177g) and measures 8.7 x 4.1 x 2.6 inches (22.1 x 10.6 x 6.7cm)
Item # HD1206006
Two Herkimer Diamonds in Drusy Vug Matrix
Two Herkimer Diamonds (Quartz) in Drusy Vug Matrix
Nice Herkimer Diamonds (Quartz) in a very complimentary vug display matrix. This specimen has 2 Quartz Diamond formations, the largest being just over .4" ( 10 mm ) and the smaller being @ .2" (5 mm) This piece is flat cut on the bottom for display showing.
This Specimen weighs 116 g (4.1 0z) and measures 3.3 x 1.3 x 1.1 inches (8.5 x 3.4 x 2.8 cm)
Item # HD12060570
Four Herkimer Diamonds on Drusy Matrix
Four Herkimer Diamonds (Quartz) on Drusy Matrix
Nice Herkimer Diamonds (Quartz) on matrix. This specimen has 4 Quartz Diamond formations, a triple with a side single, the largest being just over .4" ( 10 mm ) and the smallest being @ .2" (5 mm) There is some damage to the points on 2 of the crystals, but still a very nice Multiple Crystal Piece. From Herkimer, NY.
This Specimen weighs 31 g ( 1 0z ) and measures 1.5 x 0.9 x 1.3 inches ( 3.9 x 2.2 x 3.3 cm )