How To Clean Herkimer Diamonds? (Crystal + More)

How To Clean Herkimer Diamonds

Do you know how to clean Herkimer diamonds? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.

If you’re investing in a beautiful gemstone of any kind, you will want to know how you can keep them as clean and shiny as possible.

Clear and pristine stones like Herkimer diamonds can require some slightly specialist care, so how do you actually clean them?

There are a few different tips and tricks for keeping the shine on your Herkimer diamond, and they are pretty straightforward to follow. Read ahead to discover everything you could possibly want to know!

What Are They?

Before we get into all of the details about how to care for them, we should understand a little bit about what a Herkimer diamond actually is.

Despite the name, Herkimer diamonds aren’t actual diamonds – they just have a very diamond-like appearance. These clear gemstones are a form of quartz, specifically one that develops under very particular conditions, making them quite unique when compared to other quartz crystals.

They are also named after the region of New York where they are found – Herkimer County. If a similar quartz crystal comes from elsewhere in the world, then it cannot be given the official Herkimer Diamond name.

Read also >> How to Tell If a Herkimer Diamond Is Real? (Do This!)

Read also >> Are Herkimer Diamonds Rare? (Helpful Guide)

How Do You Care For Herkimer Diamonds?

If you do want to pick up some Herkimer diamond jewelry for yourself, or are simply adding the gemstones to your collection, then you need to know how to care for them.

First and foremost, you want to avoid wear and tear as much as possible. While true diamonds are incredibly hard and durable, Herkimer diamonds are a little more prone to scratches or chips.

They are not exactly fragile, but they should be treated with care to avoid external flaws that can’t be cleaned away.

They are a lot cheaper to replace than genuine diamonds, but you should still be careful about how you store them and when and where you choose to wear them.

Cleaning Herkimer Diamonds

Cleaning your gemstones and jewelry is always important for maintaining the glamour that your pieces started life with, but individual stones can often need a special kind of care and attention.

Fortunately, cleaning Herkimer diamonds is relatively straightforward.

There are two main cleaning methods that you will want to use: one for when they just need a gently freshening up, and one for a more serious deep cleaning.

Read also >> How to Clean Diamond Ring With Toothpaste (Step By Step Guide)

Simple Cleanse

  1. Fill a bowl with warm water.
  2. Place your Herkimer diamonds inside and allow them to soak.
  3. Agitate the diamonds by swirling them around.
  4. Remove them and allow them to dry on a clean towel.

This method is very gentle. If your gemstones are set into jewelry, however, then you should always make sure that the metal and other stones are also safe to be treated in the same way.

Deeper Cleanse

  1. Fill a bowl with warm water and add two drops of dishwashing liquid.
  2. Place your Herkimer diamonds inside and allow them to soak for 15 minutes.
  3. Use a small, gentle brush (like a toothbrush) to scrub the stone.
  4. Rinse the stones with clean water.
  5. Place them on a towel to dry.

Most of the time, this will bring back the brightness of your stones, and it is a very easy job to do.

It is best to avoid strong chemicals, powerful soaps, or harsh brushes as these can cause damage to the faces of the stone and reduce their clarity and shine. Don’t brush too vigorously, or you may leave scratches behind.

Cleaning Herkimer ‘Diamonds’ with Iron Out >> Check out the video below:

What Do Herkimer Diamonds Look Like?

The main reason why Herkimer diamonds are so sought-after is the beautiful natural shape that they form into, which resulted in them being given the “diamond” moniker.

Most quartz crystals will have quite a distinctive geometric shape, with naturally flat facets and some kind of pointed protrusion on one end. What sets Herkimer diamonds apart is that they actually have two pointed ends and a full 18 faces overall.

They are made up of two pyramidal shapes (each with six faces) around a central six-sided column.

The specific shape of a Herkimer diamond is also known as a “double-terminated” crystal, and quartz crystals shaped this way do appear in other locations as well as in Herkimer County, like Norway, Afghanistan, Ukraine, China, and Arizona.

Even with very minimal cutting or polishing, these remarkable crystals look like quintessential gemstones and have the very distinct shape of an old-fashioned diamond.

They are also clear, bright, and highly reflective, making them sparkle and shine as a traditional diamond would.

How Do Herkimer Diamonds Form?

Quartz crystals are very common across the globe, but a double-termination is quite a special and attractive variation. To develop in this way, the crystals need to form under some rather specific conditions.

Most quartz crystals grow while directly attached to their host rock in some way, which is why they have a single point at one end and a base at the other.

Herkimer diamonds form inside “vugs”, or cavities within the dolomite bedrock of the region, with little to no contact with the rock at all. This allows them to develop two distinctive points at either end of the crystal.

The mineral conditions under which they form also means that these gemstones are particularly clear with very few inclusions, so you definitely want to keep them looking polished and clean to make the most of that clarity.

Can Herkimer Diamonds Be Used In Jewelry?

Because of their natural shape and exquisite clarity, Herkimer diamonds are a popular gemstone for use in jewelry.

It is very important, however, that retailers and collectors are clear about the distinction between these stones and genuine diamonds, because they can look surprisingly similar to the untrained eye.

They make wonderful pieces at a fraction of the cost of a true diamond, and can be set in practically any jewelry that you can think of, including:

  • Earrings
  • Rings
  • Necklaces
  • Pendants
  • Bracelets

They are also much more accessible to hobbyists and amateur jewelry makers than actual diamonds, so there are a wide variety of unique and creative pieces that you will find on the market using these stones.

Are Herkimer Diamonds Expensive?

While traditional diamonds are among the most expensive gemstones that you may ever purchase in your lifetime, Herkimer diamonds are actually very reasonable to get your hands on.

Although the conditions under which they form are quite rare, they do appear in great abundance within quite a few mines across Herkimer County. They are so common at these locations that quite a few mines offer prospecting tours that will allow you to take home any of the “diamonds” that you find.

Read also >> How Much Are Herkimer Diamonds Worth? (Value + More)

To understand how much they are worth individually, we can take a look at some of the prices you tend to pay for quality examples from the Herkimer Diamonds Mines E-store.

TypeMinimum Price
Single Grade B Diamonds$6
Herkimer Diamond Matrix$80
Small Clusters$75
2” Clusters$200
Large Clusters$360
Extra Large Clusters$2000

You can also find quite a large number of double-terminated quartz crystals from other locations that may not be official “Herkimer Diamonds”, but they are the same in terms of their appearance and characteristics.

If you’re looking for Herkimer diamond jewelry, prices around the web are incredibly reasonable, including from independent sellers and hand-crafters from places like Etsy.


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So, how do you clean Herkimer diamonds? Well, it’s a relatively easy process as long as you are gentle with the stones.

You can simply soak them in clean, warm water for a while then agitate them before letting them dry. For a deeper clean, you can add a couple of drops of dishwasher liquid to the water and give them a soft brush as well.

These remarkable crystals are a highly affordable alternative to other clear and beautifully faceted gemstones and looking after them is surprisingly simple as well.



Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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