Herkimer quartz : Middleville, Town of Newport, Herkimer Co., New York, USA. Géry Parent.

Mohawk Valley and the Herkimer Diamond

We love living here in the Mohawk Valley. There is a certain kind of “feel good” quality to being here. Collectively the Mohawk Valley offers much to feel good about, but it’s kind of hard to describe where this “feel good feeling” comes from. Sometimes I think it may be something that is part of the very ground we walk on, and perhaps it is.

The Mohawk Valley is home to the very unique Herkimer Diamond. In fact, this unique location, is the only place in the world where these gems can be found. If you’re a rock hound and like getting your hands dirty to find your own Herkimer Diamonds, then the Mohawk Valley is the place to be.

What is a Herkimer Diamond?

The Herkimer Diamonds are in fact not real diamonds. Instead they are double-terminated quartz crystals found in the Mohawk Valley Region of New York State. Part of the reason for calling these gems diamonds, is down to their clarity and natural faceting. When you pull one of these ancient crystals out of the ground it looks like a finished, fully faceted diamond.

Where can Herkimer Diamonds be found?

Herkimer Diamonds on display at the Little Falls Historical Society MuseumThe Herkimer Diamonds can be found in a roughly 10-mile wide and 50-mile long swath of Little Falls dolostone in and around Herkimer County. The first discoveries of these gems was in Middleville and Little Falls, New York. The layer of rock where these crystals were formed over 500 million years ago is called Little Falls dolostone which was “originally sediment laid down in the pre-Cambrian Little Falls Sea that covered much of central, northern and eastern New York State.” (Little Falls Historical Society)

So when you find one, or break open a piece of Little Falls dolostone for the first time to discover a pocket of Herkimer Diamonds, these gems have not been touched by any other human hands and haven’t seen the light of day for a very, very long time!

How can you mine your own Herkimer Diamonds?

Here in the Mohawk Valley there are four locations you can visit to discover, collect, and take home with you, your very own Herkimer diamonds.

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