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Tibetan Herkimer Diamonds?!?!?! Sounds like a Fat LIE!!

Posted by Jeremy Zolan  
Re: Tibetan Herkimer Diamonds?!?!?! Sounds like a Fat LIE!!
June 04, 2012 08:50PM
If these folks don't mind stealing the name "Herkimer Diamond"
I don't think they mind stealing the location name "Tiebet" winking smiley
avatar Re: Tibetan Herkimer Diamonds?!?!?! Sounds like a Fat LIE!!
June 04, 2012 10:21PM
"Herkimer Diamond" has become a commonly used name to DESCRIBE shorter double-terminated quartz crystals and a lot of people search using that term on google and they are not necessarily looking for crystals mined in Herkimer. There are also a good number of folks searching "Tibetan Herkimers" so if you want your product to be found by folks who are searching for your product, you use the terminology in your header that they are most likely to use. OTHERWISE THEY CAN'T FIND YOU.

It is all about generating traffic to your site. If you have "Tibetan" in the title, then most likely those looking for quartz mined in Herkimer will not bother clicking. If you just use "Tibetan Diamonds" then you get people who are looking for diamonds and a very high bounce rate. "Tibetan Double Terminated Quartz Crystal" is too long (40 Characters) for SEO which focuses on the first 30 Characters. "Tibetan Herkimer Diamond" is 24 character, therefore a great title. Then you can put in things like "Black Phantom" or "Double Terminated Quartz Crystal" or "Himalayan"... which people can see a good portion in their google search results.

Mindat is an awesome database, but it is not complete. It is not rational to assume that if it's not on mindat, that it doesn't exist. The Himilayan Mountains are an enormous virgin area still unviolated by heavy machinery and for all we know is rich with mineral specimens. It is not even remotely sane to assume that there are no double terminated quartz specimens coming from there. They are found all over the world, including areas in China.

And do you think that the sherpas and monks and the average people in Tibet spend a lot of time on the internet???? That is absurd. It is a third world country. People live a simpler, purer way (better if you ask me) - they don't spend all their time tweaking their myspace profiles, tweeting, updating their fb status and perusing internet forums, so it is logical to assume that there are a lot of mineral specimens found in the Himalayas that us internet junkies don't know about.
Re: Tibetan Herkimer Diamonds?!?!?! Sounds like a Fat LIE!!
June 05, 2012 11:55PM
Dear Owen;

The better question, is, have YOU any other localities that report not having striation? As this is nearly a universal attribute to quartz xls (except those that are beta), that would be something that would QUICKLY be reported. I don't say that there aren't some localities that RARELY produce a striationless quartz xl or 2; but, producing more than a handful is something else. From Middleville, eastward on over to about Lasalleville, this is the normal situation for the Herks, large or small; that's QUITE a large area of occurrance to display such an unusual property. That also makes it a pretty definative one for location ID.

Another property, which I LOVE to show people, is, though the xls look SO UTTERLY CLEAR, they will cast a darker shadow than other clear quartzes, of the same thickness; everyone is always amazed by this.

Your friend, Steve
Re: Tibetan Herkimer Diamonds?!?!?! Sounds like a Fat LIE!!
June 06, 2012 12:58AM
"Herkimer-type" quartz - ie. very transparent, biterminated crystals, frequently with hydrocarbon inclusions, and lacking striations - are characteristic of some dolomitic sedimentary rocks and can be found in Argentina, Baluchistan, China and other places, as well as New York. Locality experts may be able to pin down the larger specimens, but for small crystals it could be very hard to distinguish the localities. One area where herks are not likely to be found in is the Himalayas - wrong geology. So I will assume that any "Tibetan herkimers" are a scam to take advantage of the mystically minded folks' attraction to all things tibetan.
avatar Re: Tibetan Herkimer Diamonds?!?!?! Sounds like a Fat LIE!!
June 13, 2012 01:40AM
Alfredo, please explain what is wrong with the Himalayan geology for dt's?
Re: Tibetan Herkimer Diamonds?!?!?! Sounds like a Fat LIE!!
June 13, 2012 02:50AM
Jennifer, there are plenty of double-terminated quartzes in the Himalayas, but mostly of the "alpine vein type", not the "herkimer type". The Himalayas are folded mountain ranges, with lots of metamorphic rocks, created by continental collision, like the Alps, the Urals and the Appalachians - a good environment for Alpine-type veins and their large assortment of different habits of quartz crystals, but not the "Herkimer-type", which you don't find in the Alps or Appalachians either.
avatar Re: Tibetan Herkimer Diamonds?!?!?! Sounds like a Fat LIE!!
June 14, 2012 02:20AM
Ahh. Alfredo, thank you. I've been reading and ugh I'm overwhelmed. The more I learn, the more I don't know. Yes. Now I understand "folded mountain." I found a man who mines Himalayan quartz in India. Nothing on his site look like the "Tibetan Herkimers" I have purchased. I have 2 books with photos that look like my stones, but I'm questioning now whether the authors are correct.

HOWEVER, most stones I've purchased look a have fine lines, black spots and are a little longer. Can you give me some sort of idea of how much longer alpine-type are? I'd like to know if I have been duped. Do you know of a collection of photos of Tibetan dt's? And how possible are stubbier Tibetan dt's??? Any info is helpful. I've done so much research in the last day I've gotten a headache. :(

Thank you.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/14/2012 10:34AM by Jennifer Shipley.
open | download - tibetandtquartz1.jpg (721.4 KB)
avatar Re: Tibetan Herkimer Diamonds?!?!?! Sounds like a Fat LIE!!
June 15, 2012 01:20AM
On this site we say that beauty and value are in the eye of the beholder.

So no, you have not been 'duped'.... that is, unless you spent more than $12 on the doubly terminated quartz shown in the picture. You could obtain these for that amount at any rock show.

Dean Allum
Re: Tibetan Herkimer Diamonds?!?!?! Sounds like a Fat LIE!!
June 15, 2012 02:24AM
Jennifer, Your crystals look a lot like the ones that have been coming in abundance from Jinkouhe in Sichuan province, which is not part of the current Tibet Autonomous Region of China, nor was it ever part of the independent Tibet prior to being conquered by China, as far as I can tell. With some exaggeration one could say it lies at the "far eastern edge of Tibetan cultural influence" and justify calling it "Tibetan quartz" that way, but that's a bit of a stretch, although I suppose it's good marketing for the aficionados of all things mystical.
Re: Tibetan Herkimer Diamonds?!?!?! Sounds like a Fat LIE!!
June 15, 2012 10:04AM
Hello everyone
I know this is about minerals and not culture/religion, yet: The Jinkouhe area is well within the "Eastern Tibetan" cultural area. Culturally, the Tibetans here follow a different branch of Buddhism called "Bon" (some call it pre-Buddhist, some look at it as being one of two types of Tibetan Buddhism) so it's correct to call this region "Tibetan". Therefore, calling these quartzes "Tibetan" is - besides being VERY, VERY marketable - not all wrong.
From what I know, formation of these quartzes is very much like that of the Herkimers, only the host rock is younger (late Permian, I think).
avatar Re: Tibetan Herkimer Diamonds?!?!?! Sounds like a Fat LIE!!
June 15, 2012 11:54AM
Very cool. I got a good deal. Thank you everyone for your very informative info. Yes, Alfredo. They do look a lot like this: I also found some darker ones online that look like another "Tibetan" lot I have.

Andy, I see now how Sichuan boarders Tibet Autonomous Region, though whether Jinkhouhe could be considered Tibet???? I wouldn't. However, I just read that Tibet is the 2nd largest Province in China (over 460,000 sq miles). Not only are the Himalayas in the South, but there are many mountain ranges, including Kunlun, Tanggula, Gangdise, Hengduan and Nyainqentanglha Ranges.

Now I'm really curious to know if any of Tibet's other mountains have the right conditions to produce "Herk" shaped quartz. Please share your thoughts. :)
Re: Tibetan Herkimer Diamonds?!?!?! Sounds like a Fat LIE!!
June 15, 2012 01:00PM
Isn't using the term 'diamonds' fraudulent anyway, regardless of whether they are 'herkimer diamonds' and regardless of where they are from? ibet or not.

avatar Re: Tibetan Herkimer Diamonds?!?!?! Sounds like a Fat LIE!!
June 16, 2012 01:16AM
Hi Alan. If the dealer is trying to trick the buyer into thinking it is a real diamond, then definitely yes. But if "quartz" is clearly stated to the customer, then no. "Herkimer Diamond" is simply the name used by shoppers. I sell some pendants using the term "Tibetan Herkimer Diamonds". I have that in the Title and the Item Description, but I also have "double terminated quartz crystal" littered throughout the listing and I explain clearly what it is in the Item Description. Someone searching "diamonds" only isn't even going to find me at the bottom of the millions of listings.

I use this title because people who are looking specifically for what I sell are using these terms when searching google or etsy. The way to get traffic is to use the search terms that people use. Whether they are technically correct terms or not is something we cannot control. For example, it is legal to sell heat-treated amethyst as "citrine" even though it is NOT citrine. There are countless items online listed as "natural citrine" and they are clearly NOT "natural" or "citrine". Sellers in the US are supposed to disclose that it is "treated" and when they don't, THAT is fraud (and often they don't.) But (sadly) most "citrine" sold is not actually citrine and that is perfectly legal. sad smiley

I am more concerned with whether they are actually Tibetan. For anybody using that search term, (potentially my customers) this is important to them, therefore it is important to me. Does anybody have information on any dt quartz coming from other locations (besides the Himalayas) in Tibet? Even just providing mining locations so I can research them is helpful.
avatar Re: Tibetan Herkimer Diamonds?!?!?! Sounds like a Fat LIE!!
June 16, 2012 04:50AM
It's sedimentary my dear Watson... er.. Jennifer.

A very over-simplistic short answer:
The environment and host rock in which the Herkimer crystals grew are sedimentary in nature and pockets that formed allowed for the eventual slow uninhibited growth of crystals from solution. This would be unlikely in metamorphic environments such as mountains.

Hope this helps.
stephanie smiling smiley
avatar Re: Tibetan Herkimer Diamonds?!?!?! Sounds like a Fat LIE!!
June 16, 2012 05:14PM
I've been following along quietly, but I suppose I have a different opinion on the issues.

Just because a customer base uses the wrong terminology doesn't mean that the vendor should. The vendor is often seen, whether correctly or not, as an authority of sorts, or at least as one who can be relied on to provide factual, if limited information. So to say something like "whether potential customers using are technically correct terms or not is something we cannot control" is a bit of a cop out in my eyes. We most certainly can control what we issue forth onto the world around us, and in fact it is a matter of personal integrity to many whether or not we do so.

However, we also have our livelihoods to consider, and for vendors this is a function of customers considering the vendor a go-to source for their needs. Perhaps the decision to use technically correct terms in describing wares in the face of losing an customer who does not know enough to for what they want represents a very high form of control.

avatar Re: Tibetan Herkimer Diamonds?!?!?! Sounds like a Fat LIE!!
June 17, 2012 01:33AM
Hi John. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. "Double-Terminated Quartz Crystals" and "Tibetan Herkimer Diamonds" are among the search phrases that my customers use. It would be unwise for anyone trying to make a living online to not strategically place the tags in their listings that their customers use to search for their item, despite the fact that some people consider them technically incorrect terms. This is commonly used lingo, and there are many people who don't find it incorrect. We are arguing semantics. Using that as a tag is just smart SEO. It's not misleading if listings are honest and descriptive. It's not my job to correct people. I am an artist. I make pendants with crystals that some people call "Tibetan Herkimers" and I need to make it as easy as possible for those most likey to be interest in my work to find me in a google search. I'm certainly not going to alienate them because of their choice of lingo.

Let me illustrate this further: If somebody goes into a stone shop or mineral expo, they've already walked in the door. Items don't need search terms and detailed listings. They can SEE the items and TALK to the dealer. It's a completely different situation when you are selling online, requiring a different strategy. You have to get people to walk in your INVISIBLE door. You have to use the words that they are most likely to use, in order to make your door visible to them. Then you can explain to them in the listing, everything they would want to know about the item. I hope this makes more sense to you, John. smiling smiley If you would like to see an example of how I have placed these tags in my listing, go to: Please feel free to share your thoughts.

And on a really annoying side note, for some reason google products doesn't find me when searching "Tibetan Double Terminated Quartz Pendant", even though this is littered throughout my listings and at the beginning of my titles, but "Tibetan Herkimer Diamond" (only found at the end of my title and once in the listings) puts me right at the top. ??? Oh hey, but if you add Phantom to the former, I'm the only one. :)
avatar Re: Tibetan Herkimer Diamonds?!?!?! Sounds like a Fat LIE!!
June 17, 2012 04:09AM
Thank you, Stephanie, for pointing this out to me. I did some research and found out a few interesting facts. There are a lot of sedimentary basins in Tibet, especially if you include Tibet in it's entirety, which includes most of Qinghai and somewhere around half or more of Sichuan. Here's a map to vaguely illustrate the provinces: Tibetan Provinces Map Andy was correct. Jinkouhe, Leshan is surrounded by Tibetan land.

Only about 1/3 of Tibetans live in what China's government has given the name, Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR), and what our maps call "Tibet." The Tibetan people, however, see things differently. TAR is only half of what is traditionally Tibetan land, an enormous expanse of land that actually comprises about 1/4 of China's entire land mass. Be sure to also read the fine print underneath the map. Most of this is uninhabited, unexplored, undeveloped, and un-mined. Degree of exploration map.

Here is what we do know about this vast expanse: We know there are sedimentary basins. Here's a map to illustrate:

China Sedementary Map
This is the article accompanying the map: Scroll down to figure 3 for the basin names.

Now these maps show sedimentary basins along the Himalayan Range: Himalayan Sedimentary Basins, and More Himalayan Sedimentary Rock

The edges of India and Tibet were originally coastal so many fossils and sedimentary rock can be found in the Himalayas. This link is to an extensive study on a small area in the Himalayas. Though it is long, there are some great graphs that show what types of rocks were in what area and what fossils can be found. There is even some dolomite.

This map shows dolomite as well: Himalayan Rock

And this is just really interesting. A fellow snapped some photos of the Qaidam Basin, one of which he refers to "Quartz-like material." He says, "The whole area is full of shiny mineral all over the ground." It's also worth your time to browse his whole gallery, just for kicks.

Also in the Qaidam Basin are supposedly some strange "metal pipes" that supposedly were analyzed by Chinese scientists (who apparently aren't very good at math. ) Hmmm. Let's see: 30% ferric oxide + a large amount of silicon dioxide and calcium oxide + 80% unidentifiable material = A whole lot of BS. But the photo is cool anyway.

So back to the topic at hand, can Herk shaped dt's be found in Tibet? Even when we only look at TAR, aren't there certainly enough sedimentary landscapes and uncharted land for dt's to be highly possible? Even along the outskirts of the Himalayas there is a lot of sediment and even dolomite. But when you ponder what the people consider to comprise Tibet, like:

Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture,
Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture,
Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture,
Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture,
Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture,
Dêqên Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture...

...then now I say, "Yes."
avatar Re: Tibetan Herkimer Diamonds?!?!?! Sounds like a Fat LIE!!
June 17, 2012 05:02AM

I don't know the geology of the area intimately, so this is a generalization.

I do not doubt there are sedimentary basins in the expanded idea of "cultural" Tibet, which includes the Jinkouhe area in your analysis.
Metamorphism would change the rock and recrystalization would result, so if the basins are outside the metamorphic zones it is much more possible to have double terminated quartz. The key is that the crystals must have had uninhibited growth opportunity in order to form double terminations, and this is unlikely in the conditions of metamorphism.

If you are going to include "cultural" Tibetan areas in your definition of what constitutes Tibet to serve your purpose, then you have reasoned yourself into the justification to call these Tibetan, although to me it is still a big stretch.

Good luck with your artistic endeavors.
stephanie smiling smiley
avatar Re: Tibetan Herkimer Diamonds?!?!?! Sounds like a Fat LIE!!
June 17, 2012 08:08AM

Your response simply reinforces the last point I made in my point--what you state in your descriptions is very much in your control. I'm afraid that your argument can only be categorized in my mind as "the appeal to ignorance" type, meaning that whatever has not been proved false must perforce be true, and vice versa. This is the argument that took you down what must have been a lengthy digressionary search into the possibility for sedimentary formations in Tibet so that you could argue that a herkimer-type quartz could form there, even if it hasn't been found yet.

I also note that you use another tactic commonly known as "arguing from authority". That is to say that scientific terms and explanations interspersed in your sales literature sets you up as an authority on a subject that then tends to validate other non-scientific statements relating to things like crystal cleansing and healing.

What I can say in support is that your jewelry is attractive, and I think you're a good artist.

Regards, John
Re: Tibetan Herkimer Diamonds?!?!?! Sounds like a Fat LIE!!
June 18, 2012 07:41PM
Alfredo, you note, "but not the "Herkimer-type", which you don't find in the Alps or Appalachians either." But near Strasburg, Virginia, from the Ordovician age Edinburg Limestone, and near Front Royal, Virginia, from the Edinburg and Rockdale Run formations, we find "Herkimer diamonds", with no striations, in residual soil and in situ in the limestone, which is vertical to overturned in places. I think we are in the center of the Appalachians. The quartz crystals occasionally contain movable bubbles, organic residue, and phantoms of "dolomite" crystals, and perhaps fluorite. And these crystals - they "have the power".

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