The Herkimer diamond is amongst the most unique members of the quartz family because of their resemblance to true diamonds, and yet they are totally quartzite in everything else. The Herkimer Diamond is so named because it was first found in Herkimer County, New York State, but they have since been uncovered in Mexico, Spain, and Tanzania. In USA, Herkimer Diamonds are found not only in Herkimer, but also in Fulton and Montgomery counties.
In appearance, the Herkimer Diamond is actually a stout double terminated quartz crystal, but for the untrained eye, they could be mistaken for diamonds. Herkimer Diamonds are believed to be several hundred million years old, making them one of the oldest quartz variants around.
Herkimer Diamonds developed slowly under the sea, millions of years ago, and that’s why they often have liquid inclusions within them, which have been found to be sea water with gas bubbles trapped within. One of the theories concerning the formation of Herkimer Diamonds is that microbes that secreted silica were responsible for creating Herkimer Diamonds, trapped as they were in marine deposits, although it would have taken a long time to accumulate enough silica to actually form a good sized Herkimer Diamond.
This theory may make some sense in the regard that Herkimer Diamonds are found as free standing crystals embedded in dolomite rock, unlike normal quartz crystals, which mostly are formed in clusters or geodes.
Herkimer Diamonds often contain inclusions besides water or gas; they may contain rutile, goethite, or anthraxolite. There are also Amethyst Herkimer Diamonds, which are pretty rare indeed; so far as is known, the Amethyst version is found only in Mexico and Tanzania.
Herkimer Diamond hunting has become a pastime for some people in the areas where they are known to be found, and it’s always a thrill to uncover a good quality Herkimer Diamond from the rough. Unlike normal diamonds which need to be cut and polished, Herkimer Diamonds are well formed as raw specimens. This is due to their being quartz crystals in the first place!
As far as metaphysical work is concerned, Herkimer Diamonds are good for attunement, and if you need help adjusting to a new environment, than the Herkimer diamond may be just what you need. Herkimer Diamonds have been used to fine tune the body’s toxin removal systems, and its good attunement or alignment qualities make it suitable for releasing stress and nervous tension.
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