Are New York’s Herkimer Diamonds Actually Worth Anything?
Upstate New York is home to Herkimer Diamonds which are highly sought after by collectors and jewelry makers, but are they really diamonds and are they actually worth anything?
Herkimer diamonds are found exclusively in Herkimer County, New York which is located just north of Cooperstown. Herkimer diamonds are believed to have formed over 500 million years ago in pockets within dolomite rock formations.
Despite their name, Herkimer diamonds are not actually diamonds, but rather a quartz crystal formed in sedimentary rock. However, what makes Herkimer diamonds unique is their double-terminated shape. This means that they have points on both ends which is a rare characteristic for quartz crystals and in turn, makes Herkimer diamonds highly sought after by collectors.
Herkimer diamond crystals also generally have a high level of transparency which makes them ideal for use in jewelry making as they can be cut and polished to create beautiful and sparkling gemstones.
Many people wonder whether or not Herkimer diamonds are valuable and the answer is that they are - depending on a few things.
One of the main things that determines the value of a Herkimer diamond is its size. Larger crystals are generally more valuable than smaller ones, with some of the largest crystals worth thousands of dollars. The clarity and color of the crystal can also affect its value, with clear and colorless crystals being the most valuable.
Another factor that affects the value of a Herkimer diamond is its shape. Double-terminated crystals with points on both ends are the most desirable and valuable. Crystals with a more irregular shape or fewer points may be less valuable.
Today, Herkimer diamonds are a popular tourist attraction in Herkimer County, and visitors can go on guided tours of the mines and purchase crystals from local shops.