Herkimer, NY

  • Phone: 315-717-0175 / weekends & evenings 315-891-7355
  • Web site: http://www.herkimerdiamond.com/
  • Length of Vacation: Day or more
  • Cost: $11 for ages 13 and up / $9 kids 5-12
  • Open: Seasonal (April – Oct)
  • Type of Prospecting: Quartz Crystals – “Herkimer Diamonds”
  • Equipment: Bring your own
  • Instruction: 7-minute video provided
  • Lodging: KOA Campgrounds and hotels nearby
  • Meals: Restaurant on site and nearby

From their web site:

Herkimer Diamonds are beautiful double-terminated quartz crystals which are found mainly in Herkimer County, New York.  Incredibly, these phenomenal gemstones are believed to be close to five hundred million years old.  The crystals are magnificent works of nature found in the rock, appearing to have been precision cut by man and having a diamond-like geometrical shape; thus, the name “Herkimer Diamonds”.

Many collectors believe the Herkimer Diamond should rival a true diamond.  Their reasoning for this is a true diamond found in the “rough” is exactly that, a rough appearing glass-like stone.  The diamond must be painstakingly cut by man to give it smooth faces and a geometrical shape.

In fact, Herkimer Diamonds are not diamonds.  A true diamond is one of the hardest elements known to man, scoring a ten on a one to ten hardness scale.  Herkimer Diamonds are harder than all quartz crystals.  They fall at about 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, giving the real diamond a close race.  For comparative purposes, many man-made steels barely score a seven on the hardness scale.

The majority of the Herkimer Diamonds have eighteen faces.  Six triangular faces form the termination points on each end of the crystal.  These are separated by a group of six square or rectangular faces.  This conglomeration often results in a diamond shape.  Variance in the plane of a face surface on a Herkimer Diamond has been measured at less than two thousandths of an inch.  Even with today’s technology, man has a tough time duplicating the precision nature has performed on the Herkimer Diamond.

The Travel Channel’s – Cash & Treasures Program