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

how to tell if a herkimer diamond is real

Herkimer diamonds are not real diamonds in the sense that they have the same composition. Herkimer diamonds are real gemstones that look like diamonds.

Herkimer diamonds are crystal quartz. They are real to the extent that they are real quartz. They’re called diamonds because they look much like diamonds when they’re clear. Most Herkimer diamonds are clear. They grow with points on both ends and have 18 natural facets.

This is a discussion about the Herkimer diamond and all it has to offer. We’ll look at where they come from, along with their value and how they stack up to true diamonds and other gems.

Read on to get the lowdown on these special stones.

What Is a Herkimer Diamond?

A Herkimer diamond is actually quartz. It’s a special kind of quartz that grows crystals with termination points on two ends rather than just one.

The name Herkimer diamond is one that stuck when these crystals were discovered in Herkimer County, New York. Though they are not diamonds, the name remains within the gemstone industry.

Herkimer-like diamonds have been found in different parts of the world and are believed to have healing powers by many cultures.

Authentic Herkimer diamonds only come from Herkimer County in New York.

How Can I Tell If a Herkimer Diamond Is Real?

Herkimer diamonds are typically colorless or have a hint of a smoky grey color. They always have termination points on opposite ends, and they all naturally grow with 18 facets.

A Herkimer diamond is usually clear of inclusions. There are some exceptions to this norm, though.

Some Herkimer diamonds have little black dots that are coal deposits which got trapped inside upon development.

There are also some that have rainbow colors resulting from the introduction of different elements during the growing stage. You may see air bubbles trapped inside the stones.

Generally, Herkimer diamonds are around an inch, and they’re found growing in clay. They don’t rely on an attachment to an anchor rock to grow.

Read also >> Do Diamonds Shine In The Dark? (Real, Fake, VVS + More)

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How Much Do Herkimer Diamonds Cost?

Herkimer diamonds range in price just like true diamonds do because there are various qualities of stones. Some stones have high clarity with no color.

They sparkle much like a brilliant cut diamond, thus they cost more.

By nature, though, Herkimer diamonds are not nearly as expensive as true diamonds. Natural true diamonds take billions of years to form. Herkimer diamonds take less time and are easier to mine. 

The value is determined in much the same way as true diamonds. Gemologists grade Herkimer diamonds on the 4 Cs. They still look at the cut, color, clarity, and carat of each stone.

Most Herkimer diamonds sell for about $50 to $100 per carat.

Read also >> How Much Is a 1 Carat Uncut Diamond Worth?    

What’s the Biggest Difference Between a Herkimer Diamond and a True Diamond?

The biggest difference is the hardness. The Herkimer diamonds are lower on the Mohs hardness scale. They fall at a 7.5. True diamonds have a hardness level of 10. 

While they’re still durable enough to wear sometimes, Herkimer diamonds may not be the best option for every day wear. They will scratch easier than a true diamond will.

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How Do I Care for a Herkimer Diamond?

You can care for a Herkimer diamond in much the same way as you would true diamonds and other gemstones. You can soak them in a solution of warm water and mild dish soap to clean them. 

If you’re going to use any type of brush or cloth to clean them with, make sure it’s soft-bristled or soft material. Use gentle motions to clean your Herkimer diamond. 

Always make sure you rinse any soap or cleaner off the stone thoroughly. You also want to dry the stone completely after cleaning.

Are Herkimer Diamonds Good Stones for Engagement Rings?

In one sense, Herkimer diamonds are good for engagement rings because they often sparkle a lot like true diamonds.

They are stunning and usually clear or have unique inclusions that give them a special kind of look. 

In another sense, they’re not as good for engagement rings because they’re not as hard as true diamonds.

That means they’re not as durable and are more susceptible to scratches and other types of damage.

Are Herkimer Diamonds Really Quartz?

Though they grow a little different than other traditional types of quartz, Herkimer diamonds truly are quartz. The minerals they’re made of are identical to all the other kinds of quartz. 

Herkimer diamonds are special, though, because they have the double-termination points and they generally grow in the same shape.

They always have 18 facets and don’t rely on an anchor rock for stability as they grow.

Price Chart Comparing Different Gemstones

Herkimer Diamond$75

As you can see, prices range all over the place. It’s important to understand, though, that these may not be the prices you see when you’re shopping.

Gemstones vary greatly when it comes to quality. High quality stones will always come with a higher price tag.

When Were Herkimer Diamonds Discovered?

Herkimer diamonds were found in the late 1700s in the Mohawk River Valley. There was dolomite there and when workmen started digging into it for a project, they discovered the Herkimer crystals. 

The workmen ended up unearthing large quantities of the diamonds. The area was eventually deemed the Herkimer diamond mine.

Do Herkimer Diamonds Have Meanings?

The Herkimer diamond is also known as “The Stone of Attunement,” meaning it brings emotions and energy into alignment. It instills balance.

Attunement encompasses empathy but in a much deeper way. It means that, not only will you understand one another, you will become unified to experience what the other is.

Herkimer diamonds have been on Earth for millions of years. Throughout history, they’ve been believed to have healing powers.

They were used to treat motion sickness and migraines. The stone has a high frequency that helps the body find balance.

Emotionally the stones are used to instill clarity and rid people of their negative thoughts. Herkimer diamonds spread positive energy into space and help dispel toxicity.

Many cultures believe in the Herkimer diamond’s metaphysical properties too. It’s thought to be an enhancer of the zodiac traits and works to promote balance in all the chakras.

Herkimer diamonds hold spiritual power.

How Can I Use a Herkimer Diamond for Its Power?

Just having powerful crystals in the same space as you will grant you some of the benefits. However, the best way to receive what the crystals have to offer is to make jewelry out of them and wear them.

When you wear Herkimer diamonds, the stones are always close to or touch your skin. That contact allows the energy to affect you to a greater degree.

You can wear bracelets, necklaces, earrings, or rings to keep your crystals close.

Where Can I Buy Herkimer Diamonds?

There are some jewelry shops that sell Herkimer diamonds. You won’t find them at all jewelers, though. 

Amazon and Etsy both have sellers on their websites offering Herkimer diamond jewelry. Be vigilant to find a reputable seller to purchase from. 

You can also go to the Herkimer Diamond Mines and pay for the experience of finding your own crystals. They have an online shop to purchase from, as well.


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Final Thoughts

Herkimer diamonds are not true diamonds. They’re actually unique quartz crystals that are referred to as “water clear” when they aren’t clouded with something foreign.

Many Herkimer diamonds are extremely clear and sparkly. 

Herkimer diamonds are much cheaper than true diamonds and look just as stunning. They aren’t quite as hard as diamonds but the savings you get from choosing a Herkimer diamond over a true diamond may be worth the sacrifice in durability.



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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