Maybe you missed the viral buzz, but don’t worry -- we will fill you in! The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, recently gave her Herkimer Diamond-seal of approval, and, ever since then, Herkimer Diamond sales have skyrocketed, at least with respect to New York Makers’ exclusive “New YorkHer Necklace”!
Allow us to provide the details on what Herkimer Diamonds are, where they are found, and how you can find some yourself!
“Herkimer Diamonds” are found only in the state of New York in Herkimer County as well as the Mohawk River Valley. These beauties are not technically diamonds but rather double-terminated quartz crystals. Similar to regular quartz, they have the typical hexagonal form but have very little contact with their host rock which allows them to have a point on either end. This double point is what makes the Herkimer Diamond a special gem.
Unearthing Herkimer Diamonds at Herkimer Diamond Mines in Herkimer, NY. Photo: Herkimer Diamond Mines
Double-terminated quartz crystals, aka Herkimer Diamonds, are found in vugs (cavities in rocks) within a sedimentary rock called dolostone. Comparable double-pointed quartz crystals can be found throughout the world, but they cannot be rightfully called “Herkimers”. Herkimer Diamonds are found specifically in the Cambrian-age Little Falls Dolostone which was deposited about 500 million years ago in the Adirondack region of New York. Herkimer Diamonds were discovered a long time ago by The Mohawk People, who knew about this crystal and held them with high regard as amulets, as well as used them for tools and for trade.
If you would like to try and unearth some Herkimer Diamonds yourself, you can visit any of several mines that reopen in spring: Ace of Diamonds Mine, Herkimer Diamond Mines, and Crystal Grove Diamond Mine. All of these mines have their own lodging or campgrounds available to stay in as well. So why not plan a quick trip this year and make a weekend out of it?
Cabins at Crystal Grove Diamond Mine in St. Johnsville, NY. Photo: Crystal Gove Diamond MineIn the meantime, if you are already looking for that perfect Valentine’s gift that sparkles and says, “you’re special,” New York Makers’ exclusive Joan Hornig-made “New YorkHer Necklace” (with portion of your purchase going to the charity of your choice), could be ideal!