All About The Herkimer Diamond
Despite the name, Herkimer diamonds are not diamonds. They are actually double terminated (pointed at both ends) quartz crystals. They’ve been named “diamonds” because they naturally have 18 facets creating that brilliant sparkling effect we see in diamonds. They are also unique because crystals rarely form with a double terminate.
At over 500 million years old, these gems were found originally in Herkimer County, New York. Found in a dolomite rock, they were located inside its cavities. While we know the Mohawks knew of these crystals, they fell out of popularity with the arrival of glass gems in England. By the 1900s, reappearances of Herkimer diamonds generated a renewed interest. In Herkimer County, it wasn’t uncommon for those crystals to appear in fields or roads. Unofficial prospecting began in the mid-1900s through a mailbox system. Locals would leave a “digging fee” in the mailbox of the property owner whose land was known for having these crystals. It wasn’t until many years later that it was purchased by a group of investors and officially became a mine.
Herkimer diamonds score a 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, meaning they can scratch glass. They’re hard enough that you can safely wear these gems and not worry about them scratching easily. Most Herkimers have inclusions appearing as bubbles or black spots. The more valuable Herkimers will appear clear and free of these inclusions. They are shaped hexagonally with 18 natural facets. Their length and width will vary depending on the quality of the crystal.
These quartz crystals are clear and brilliant with high vibrational energy making them a powerful healing stone. With the double terminates, these crystals both send and receive energy which is why other gemstones are often paired with them to amplify their power. Herkimers help achieve clarity, which is why they’re considered an attunement stone.
Herkimer diamonds are popular for a good reason. While not as valuable as diamonds, these crystals are still worth purchasing for their unique properties and appearance. Their beautiful and clear appearance paired with their positive energy makes them an excellent choice for gifting too!