Mined in America: Herkimer Diamonds

about herkimer diamonds

Sure, we all know what a diamond is: It’s forever, it’s a girl’s best friend, it’s a lump of coal buried deep beneath the earth and formed over millions of years of exposure to high temperatures then…. WAIT. Is it? The Herkimer diamond is something a little more unique. Like the native New-Yorker, this unique New York diamond is perfectly shaped by its environment and it can’t be found anywhere else in the world.  

The Herkimer diamond has a naturally formed hexagonal shape, a bit like it’s spiritual little sister quartz. However, unlike it’s more common sibling, the Herkimer is what’s known as doubly terminated. To you and I that basically means it’s. . . erm. . . double ended? Or to put it better the naturally formed hexagonal shape isn’t restricted to just one side, so it doesn’t have a flat edge. Because it forms without really touching its host rock it develops in to a more complete and symmetrical shape. This is one of the big differences between Herkimer and it’s flirtier sibling the diamond. The diamond may have all the cocky swag but it’s hard as nails (harder actually). It has to be painstakingly cut and hammered into something that you want to wear on your finger. The Herkimer doesn’t. It’s just born that way. The environment it forms in makes it naturally beautiful. 

Fans of the Herkimer diamond include the Japanese First Lady. Indeed, the Herkimer are becoming more and more coveted around the world with celebs and royalty catching on to their appeal. They aren’t intended to be a replacement for the diamond, they are magnificent in their own right. The Herkimer has been slowly forming in the dolostone rock around 500 million years which, you have to admit, is some kinda beauty sleep. They were first discovered by the Mohawk Indians and were held in great esteem by early settlers who were dazzled by their natural shape and beauty. 

The Herkimer diamond is named such after Herkimer County, New York, where you can even go and mine your own diamond. This activity is popular with hobbyist miners returning to the area year after year. For those of us who would rather leave diamond mining to the experts, and concentrate on blinging out in one of nature’s more impeccable offerings (Well you can’t actually wear the Great Barrier Reef) Herkimers are an elegant addition to your jewelry collection and look pretty darn suave on any occasion. 

Sara Roxburgh
Sara Roxburgh


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