Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Herkimer Diamonds

Herkimer Diamonds are one of the mineral world’s wonders.  They are clear crystals that unlike typical quartz have double terminations (points at both ends) and are faceted with 6 sides so that each crystal has 16 naturally occurring surfaces.
Herkimer Diamonds are highly lustrous and known for their clarity (water clear). They can also be found with inclusions of air, organic material, or more rarely water.
They are durable with a Moh’s hardness of 7-7.5/10.    These beautiful stones get their name from the upstate New York region where they were first discovered in the late 1700’s.   Herkimer County, New York, USA has exposed outcrops of Dolostone rock from the Cambrian Age (approximately 500 million years ago.  Herkimer Diamonds are found in cavities in the Dolostone.
There are two mines on route 28 in Middleville, New York where the public may search for their own diamonds.  The Herkimer Diamond Mine and the Ace of Diamond Mine welcome prospectors of all ages.  You may rent the equipment that you need for your exploration. Wear comfortable clothes and prepare to get dirty, its hard work.  It helps to seek the advice of the knowledgeable staff and if your efforts are not successful both mines offer gems in their gift shops.
Herkimer diamonds were highly prized by the Mohawk Indians and early settlers of the region who found them in stream beds and newly plowed fields.
Metaphysical Properties:
Herkimer Diamonds are the crystal of attunement.   They promote harmony, awareness, and spontaneity as well as stimulate clairvoyance and telepathic communication.
Herks are highly prized by mineral collectors and are beautiful when wrapped for use in jewelry.

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