Lindsey, do you know how much Herkimer diamonds are worth? This is one of the questions our readers ask a lot. Well, we´ve got you covered.
There are many kinds of diamonds and pseudo-diamonds available on the market and keeping track of them and their value can be tricky. Among the many stones you might want to keep track of, one unique one is the Herkimer diamond.
On average, a 4mm round faceted Herkimer diamond can be priced as high as $1600 dollars. Herkimer diamonds are only found in a specific area and are graded in quality on standards similar to regular diamonds and priced accordingly.
For a better idea of Herkimer’s diamond value, read on.
How Much Are Herkimer Diamonds Worth?
Herkimer diamonds are found in both a natural state and mined, with mined stones commanding a lower price than those which are found naturally shaped.
Prices for a naturally shaped Herkimer diamond can go as high as $50 to $100 per carat. Beyond that, Herkimers are priced according to the 4Cs associated with other diamonds: Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat Weight
Determining price can be somewhat difficult, but for comparison:
Amethyst is $7-15 per carat.
Clear regular quartz is $2 per carat, or $10 per gram.
Herkimer diamonds can be found between these two extremes, depending on the quality.
– Low grade Herkimer diamonds (cloudy, heavily included, and/or smoky colored) can be priced as low as $1 per carat.
Here’s some examples of pricing for various Herkimer diamonds:
|~ 5 carats||Clear||Small visible inclusions, black carbon flecks||??||$40.00||Inner Vision Crystals|
|~333 carats||Cloudy or milky||Heavily included, including carbon flecks||Yes||$50.00||Inner Vision Crystals|
|~11 carats||Mostly clear/white||Heavily included, bubbles and carbon flecks||Yes||$161||Astro Kapoor|
|~2.75 carats||white/clear||fairly clear||??||$33.73||Astro Kapoor|
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What Is a Herkimer Diamond?
Herkimer diamonds are stones – specifically double terminated crystals – found in certain areas of New York. They are valued for their rarity.
Herkimer diamonds aren’t tied to other rock formations like most other gemstones, nor are they mined in the traditional sense.
Herkimer diamonds are found in beds of clay and silt, or deposits of dolomite, and can be found in stream beds, or in fields with a high level of clay deposits.
Are Herkimer Diamonds Real Diamonds?
Herkimer diamonds are not actually diamonds. Mineralogically speaking, they are a unique form of quartz, which were misnamed diamonds by early traders.
They are generally composed of silicate.
They’re harder than regular quartz and considered more valuable than other stones of similar composition.
They are listed as gemstones, with a value roughly equivalent to amethyst.
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What Are The Characteristics of a Herkimer Diamond?
Herkimer diamonds have a number of unique characteristics. The characteristics they’re most known for include:
– Double Terminated: Both ends of Herkimer diamonds are naturally pointed, due to the unique method of their formation.
– Above Ground: Found in clay and dolomite, rather than rock formations, and do not require mining.
– Unique Inclusions: Herkimer diamonds can contain all of the following
- Decayed or fossilized plants
- Water bubbles (Enhydro crystals)
- Black, coal-like flecks (Anthraxolite)
- Skeletal formations and phantom crystals
– Unique Hardness: Herkimer diamonds register at a hardness of 7.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
- Regular quartz generally registers at a 7.0
- Actual diamonds register as a 10
What Determines the Worth Of a Herkimer Diamond?
The worth of a Herkimer diamond is determined by several factors, including the 4 Cs of diamond grading: Cut, Clarity, Carat Weight, and Color.
– Color: The closer a Herkimer is to colorless, the more valuable.
- Herkimers are usually clear or milky, but they can occasionally be found in smoky colors as well.
– Carat Weight: A larger stone is worth more.
- Herkimer diamonds are usually smaller, but not always.
– Clarity: The clearer a stone is, the more valuable. The best rating for a Herkimer diamond is ‘water clear’.
– Cut: The best Herkimer diamonds have a natural double termination and natural faceting.
– Natural or Shaped: A stone that comes from the ground naturally faceted and terminated is more valuable than one that is shaped after discovery.
- The most valued are those with double terminated ends and 18 natural facets.
Where Can Herkimer Diamonds Be Found?
While stones that fit the physical characteristics of Herkimer diamonds can be found in a few places, genuine Herkimer diamonds can only be found in Herkimer New York and the Mohawk River Valley.
Herkimer diamonds from other sources are still called Herkimer diamonds, but they aren’t considered ‘true’ Herkimer. Other locations to find this unique quartz formation include:
Anywhere there are high levels of clay or dolomite has the potential to produce these crystals, but these are the best known locations so far.
How and Where Are Herkimer Diamonds Formed?
Herkimer diamonds are found in large areas of clay, or in deposits of ‘vuggy’ dolomite.
They’re often found close to the surface, in stream beds or fields with heavy clay deposits.
Over several million years, pockets of air form in the clay and dolomite
– Water and minerals, usually silicate, seep into the air pockets.
– Pressure and heat cause the particles to compress
– Continued deposits of material, pressure, and heat result in crystals.
– The crystals grow until they’re brought to open air or shallow enough ground that the heat and pressure no longer cause crystal formation.
Herkimer diamonds often grow in clusters, which separate from each other once outside the pocket.
Many raw Herkimer diamonds have marks where the clusters have detached during formation or during removal from the ground.
How Are Herkimer Diamonds Mined?
Herkimer diamonds aren’t really mined in the traditional sense. There are a few ways that they can be found:
– Dug out of clay deposits
– Hammer to break open dolomite deposits.
– ‘Scavenger’ prospecting among rubble where dolomite or clay is found
– ‘Cavity’ prospecting, where air pockets are located and opened up to see what might be inside.
Areas of Herkimer County and the Mohawk River Valley are billed as natural sites to look for and ‘mine’ Herkimer diamonds.
What Is The History Behind Herkimer Diamonds?
Herkimer diamonds have something of a unique history. The stones themselves are often upwards of 5 million years old.
The North American Mohawk tribe, which was settled in New York in what later became the Herkimer County and the Mohawk River Valley, were the first to discover these stones.
– The stones were prized for their sparkle, and for their durability.
– Mohawk Indians used stones in both jewelry and tools.
– With European traders and the introduction of glass beads, Herkimer diamonds were used less, until they regained popularity in recent years.
What Are Herkimer Diamonds Used For?
Herkimer diamonds are often used in jewelry, particularly those of good clarity and color. They are known for having impressive brilliance.
They are also reported to have an impressive glow under UV, especially those with greater clarity and faceting.
Aside from jewelry, many new ages practitioners value them for their ‘vibrational’ qualities. They are often used for things like:
- Feng Shui
- Aiding in Positive Energy Flow
- Chakra Healing
- Magnifying Energy and Facilitating Communication
Quartz crystals are used for energy transmission, and Herkimer diamonds are considered to be some of the most conductive stones available.
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Herkimer diamonds are less valuable than real diamonds, but they’re some of the more valuable types of quartz.
Depending on the clarity, color, and size they can be more valuable than amethyst, priced at up to $50 or $100 per carat.
The most valuable Herkimer diamonds are those that are naturally formed with double terminations, 18 facets, labeled ‘water clear’, and colorless.
Whether you buy them as jewelry or raw stones or find them yourself at a mining site, there are plenty of different Herkimer diamonds out there, and you can find one for your budget, as well as whatever uses you have in mind.
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