Log InRegister
Home PageAbout MindatThe Mindat ManualHistory of MindatCopyright StatusWho We AreContact UsAdvertise on Mindat
Donate to MindatCorporate SponsorshipSponsor a PageSponsored PagesMindat AdvertisersAdvertise on Mindat
Learning CenterWhat is a mineral?The most common minerals on earthInformation for Educators
Minerals by PropertiesMinerals by ChemistryAdvanced Locality SearchRandom MineralRandom LocalitySearch by minIDLocalities Near MeSearch ArticlesSearch GlossaryMore Search Options
Search For:
Mineral Name:
Locality Name:
The Mindat ManualAdd a New PhotoRate PhotosLocality Edit ReportCoordinate Completion ReportAdd Glossary Item
StatisticsThe ElementsUsersBooks & MagazinesMineral MuseumsMineral Shows & EventsThe Mindat DirectoryDevice Settings
Photo SearchPhoto GalleriesNew Photos TodayNew Photos YesterdayMembers' Photo GalleriesPast Photo of the Day Gallery

29. Herkimer Diamonds I - The Info

Last Updated: 7th Jul 2017

By Frank Festa

Post Date: July 8, 2017
Trip Date: Summer 2017

Herkimer Diamonds - The Info

Say you and I are outside in our backyards, weeding, watering the plants, maybe getting set-up for the evening backyard BBQ. We spot each other and offer a friendly wave of the hand. Walking over to the hedge row, we begin an everyday conversation concerning life’s little pleasures. Somewhere along the line one of us mentions the word “job”. At the speed of light, our brains immediately envision connotations of maybe: machinery, clients, snoring. Word associations affect all of us differently. Words can mean different things to different people. Say for instance you read the word “ocean”. Personally, I envision a long sandy beach with waves lapping the shore. What about “high school” or “college”, this should bring about a whole host of visions, good and bad. My point here being, what if I were to say the word “diamonds”? What just flashed in your mind? Hold that thought!

This article is intended to deal with the so called “diamonds” of Herkimer County, New York and the crystalline quartz structures of surrounding counties in the Mohawk River valley. Questions like: what are they, where do they come from, are they valuable and many other ponderables as we will see as the story progresses. Along the way, we will examine documented geological records, geographic locations, historical records, American Indian information and much more. The article will ask various questions and attempt to answer those questions. What this article is not: a professional paper, a geological report, the same ole stuff you find on the Internet. This is simply a “fun” article loaded with substantiated and documented facts with a shake of opinion thrown in.

First, just some fun facts…… there is a legally defined area in the state of Georgia where a particular variety of sweet onion is grown. This particular onion became Georgia’s official state vegetable in 1990 and was approved by the US Secretary of Agriculture. The town where these onions are grown is named Vidalia. The onions themselves have the prestigious name of Vidalia Onions. Only onions grown within the legal boundaries are legally allowed to be named as such. The very same variety of onion growing outside of Vidalia is not a Vidalia Onion.

Although champagne has become a generic term for sparkling wines, legally only sparkling wines made from the grapes grown in the Champagne region of France are permitted to be labeled as true Champagne. The wines must also be produced following the rules for production and manufacture.

Please keep these examples in mind, as it is quite important! Over the course of time words, names and/or phrases lose their singularity and are applied to other situations as well, i.e. generic drugs, generic foods, even Herkimer “diamonds”.

The above examples of the onion and wine, may have genuine legal connotations and it is possible there are specific legalities for naming Herkimer Diamonds, of which I am unaware. The phrase Herkimer Diamond like Champagne has certainly become generic. True Herkimer Diamonds should be the “water clear”, sometimes having double terminations, sometimes found attached to matrix, quartz crystals found within the legally defined boarders of Herkimer County, New York. All others should be referred to as “Herkimer Like” or “Herkimer Style” or some other widely accepted reference differentiating the location where the crystals were found. These water clear quartz crystals are found in other counties of New York, states other than New York and different locations around the world. They are not solely found in Herkimer County. Iceland spar is not solely found in Iceland, Swiss cheese is not found solely in Switzerland…and so on. Rock does not conform to man-made boundaries. Regardless of their point of origin, the crystals all appear quite similar if not exactly the same. Chemically they are identical, silicon dioxide. These crystals are also known as “Little Falls diamond” and “Middleville diamond” after their original discovery sites, but also by a variety of other names usually in relation to their point of origin.

Listed here are two great posts on Mindat:



We will move slowly forward with this story, as these crystals themselves were very slow growers and begin by talking about value. Are the crystals valuable? What is valuable for that matter? How does it apply to the “diamonds”? Valuable is a rather ambiguous word, similar to the old saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” which in fact was first written down by author Margaret Wolfe Hungerford in her book titled “Molly Bawn” dated 1878. What you find valuable or beautiful, another person may not agree with. It goes along with the idea of contradictory or conflicting qualities. You see trash, another sees opportunity. The bottom line being, Herkimer Diamonds only have value to one who wishes to purchase one. Which means finding one who is offering them for sale. Which is in itself is contradictory. The U.S. dollar bill in itself has no actual value, its composition is that of organic fibers and ink. Its value is derived by the word of the U.S. government stating that a dollar bill is “legal tender for all debts public or private” as printed on the bill. Years ago the U.S. government backed its “worthless” paper currency with gold or silver. At that time, a paper bill could be redeemed for a specific amount of gold or silver as stated on the bill. Now, like a “shake of the hand” the worthless paper currency is backed by the word of the government or the parties shaking hands. Herkimer Diamonds are priced for sale by their owners. That price is not regulated by any authority. The same basic type of pricing applies as if you owned a car and wanted to sale it. You make up a reasonable price and advertise the car in the local newspaper. Just for fun……….go to Ebay and price the “Herkimers” there for sale. Yes, this example may be an over simplification, but without methods of grading and rules for grading as in the grading methods in the true diamond trade, Herkimer Diamonds can not be evenly valued. The price setting has no base line on which value is determined. It is a situation where the value is based on what the market or buyer is willing to pay, as in so many other products.

Yes, there is a loose method to grade the crystals: clarity, color, size. But, it is the seller, not a trained professional, who sets the price. Trained professional Herkimer Diamond Price Setter….hum? How do I get that job?

True diamonds are a form of crystallized carbon. They formed after billions of years within the bowels of the Earth, possibly rising through the crust to the surface in a violent volcanic eruption. Found in volcanic kimberlite and lamproite pipes, these diamonds do command respectable value. Diamonds are diamonds regardless of their place of origin. True diamonds can be found in 35 countries around the world and in an array of colors ranging from, gray, blue, yellow, white, red, orange, green, pink, black, brown. It is the tiny, minute impurities and or defects in the crystal structure that causes this colorization. A wee bit of boron could help to form a blue diamond, nitrogen can aid in the formation of a yellow diamond, radiation from natural sources trap electrons and could create a green color, the pink or red shades could possibly be due to changes to the diamonds electron structure while rising to the surface. A pure, perfect diamond is completely transparent and void of any color.

Diamonds were being sought after, sold and traded centuries before the Common Era. Diamonds have names, i.e., The "Star of Africa I," or "Cullinan I," the largest-cut, fine-quality colorless diamond in the world comes in at 530 carats. The second largest, the "Star of Africa II" or "Cullinan II," is 317 carats. And, there are even the legendary “cursed diamonds”, i.e., the Hope Diamond weighing in at 45.52 carat. It is the world’s largest deep blue diamond with an estimated value of $350 million US dollars. Who is doing the estimating? This diamond has a particularly questionable history. A few years back, I was in Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian Museum of Natural Sciences had on display the Hope Diamond. And, yes, it was breath taking. Follow the link to the Hope Diamond:


Follow this link to cursed diamonds:

For a little more about diamonds, please view my #5 article: “Diamonds R Waiting 4U At the Crater of Diamonds State Park”, at:

The Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas, USA is the world’s 8th largest diamond reserve and the only “pay to dig” diamond bearing site in the world. Authentic diamonds are being found daily within the kimberlite of an ancient volcano. Though the volcano has eroded away, the treasures of the Earth are still there for one with a keen eye.

To view recent “finds” at the “crater” follow the link:

True diamonds are systematically graded by so called “experts” quite knowledgeable in the diamond trade. And, are well versed in the qualities of diamonds. This type of grading system far surpasses the more casual system used for “Herks”. Diamond, the graphite in your pencil, buckminsterfullerene and even ordinary coal are forms of carbon. Quartz on the other hand has no carbon in its chemical formula only silicon and oxygen. And there lies the unpleasant reality. Herkimer Diamonds do not chemically contain carbon, not a single molecule. Their chemical composition is silicon and oxygen. This could be unfortunate for the person who just spent a bundle on what they believed to be a “good investment”. Purchasing diamonds is not for the weak of heart. And, make no mistake, fraudulent so called diamonds are being sold. The crystals from the Mohawk River valley are quartz, not true diamonds. But, on the other hand, these naturally formed crystals are far more than just everyday quartz crystals!

What makes these quartz “diamonds” special? Clarity, form and terminations are their outstanding qualities. Also the diamonds are known for their inclusions adding to their collectability and the so called healing or therapeutic properties (which we will not discuss). Usually natural quartz crystals are found attached to the base rock or matrix and having but a single (1) termination, a single naturally faceted end. Why? Simply that is the way nature wanted them to be. They “grow”, meaning while in a fluid state, silicon and oxygen (in many cases along with impurities) under the "right conditions" combine to form a structure known as the silicon-oxygen tetrahedron. The tetrahedron has several options for formation, all dependent on ions and/or the sharing of the oxygen molecules. The resulting minerals can range from iron, magnesium, the pyroxene group, to the more complex framework silicates like quartz and feldspar. The silicate mineral group is a rock forming group making up 90% of the Earth’s crust. Incidentally quartz is grouped with the tectosilicates. This group alone comprises 75% of the Earth’s crust.

The clarity of Herkimers rivals that of a true diamond. Their clarity often referred to as “water clear” or “crystal clear”. Some things can not be truly described by words alone and in the case of beauty, this is one of those cases where the phrase “see it to believe it” would certainly apply. How does one describe beauty? But, not all Herkimers are crystal clear. Being removed from the same vug or pocket, crystals are all not alike in clarity. Retrieved from the same space, crystals can range from “water clear” to “milky white”. The crystals can be internally fractured, embedded in the vug walls, cloudy even fluid filled. Finding the “water clear “crystals would increase their value.

Form, shape, cut, faucet, faces all relate to the same thing. Herkimer’s are naturally formed crystals. There are no man made cuts,which is astounding when finding one in the field. Though these crystals have fooled many, they can be manipulated, cut, and shaped similar to diamonds, emeralds, rubies and other cut gem stones to take full advantage of their refractive power. In his book, “Mineralogy of New York” (1842) L. C. Beck displays Herkimer crystal drawings from the Little Falls – Middleville area. Very interesting reading. Herkimer’s are also found in skeletal and hopper form as well.

But you say, Herkimer Diamonds are defined as having double terminations. That is perfectly correct. Clearly this article cannot offer a full description of how scientists developed their theories. And certainly I am not even remotely qualified to begin a discussion on the formation of Herkimer Diamonds. But, this article can offer the generally accepted “generic scenario” as seem in many, many sources.

How can it be possible for a crystal to have (2) terminated ends? In general terms…for a crystal to form and grow the basic components for crystal formation must first form or be available, obviously. In the case of the Herkimer the components are silicon and oxygen. They must move toward or encroach on each other. But, more than that they must be oriented in the correct position and placement for them to adhere and form a crystal nucleus. Once the basic nucleus is established, crystal growth can accelerate as more and more components are added. The growth spreads outwards in a preordained 3 dimensional system. The crystal lattice, as it is called, is arranged in an orderly repeating pattern extending in all three spatial dimensions. Note: purely for explanation purposes, a loose example…let’s say for instance the Great Pyramid of Giza were a giant crystal. A satellite view can show the possibilities. The original builders began with a single block of rock, the nucleus. This single rock was the combination of the necessary components for growth. This block was the basic component. It was oriented and placed. Several more blocks were added abutting the first block in the correct orientation and position, the crystal nucleus thus growing. As time continued more and more blocks were attached in 3 spatial dimensions outwardly expanding pattern. You all have seen pictures and drawings for possible construction configurations for the pyramid and for crystals. It is basically block by block, row by row, higher and higher in a predetermined pattern to create a single termination. Remember the crystal nucleus and stone pyramid begin at the bottom. That first stone was laid atop something else, in the sand, bed rock or a mineral matrix. Quartz crystals grow atop a base of different minerals or other quartz. A crystal growing atop something else, in most cases, will result in a singly terminated crystal. To achieve a doubly terminated crystal, the crystal nucleus must begin its life as a “free floater” unattached, floating in a saturated solution of liquid fluid. Double terminations are also possible even if the crystal grew atop a matrix. Over the course of geologic time, if and when, the liquid solution evaporates or the water tables lowers, the void where the crystal began its life could be found to contain a doubly terminated crystal. The void could, at the same time a “free floater” was forming, also contain single terminated crystals attached to the void walls.

Follow the link to read about the “Cave of Crystals” (Cueva de los Cristales), when miners lowered the water table.

The overall generic story for the formation of the Herkimer Diamond can be found all across the Internet. The following is simply my version of an over told story. The story begins back 495 to 500 million years ago. We, as human beings living on the North American continent have an average life span of say 70 to 80 years. How could we possibly even attempt to conceive the Earth one thousand or ten thousand years ago? Time is merely an illusion relative to our lives, beyond that short period, time is completely unimaginable. The nature of the Earth as we know it today was an alien world millions of years ago. The North American continent certainly was not as we see it today. Science fiction movies are part of our everyday lives, they portray alien worlds, giant beasts, frozen worlds, flesh eating plants. If we find truth in the fossil record, scientific theories, ancient artifacts, and all that we are led to believe as to the nature of our own world from eons ago, then our very own Earth was and in some parts still, alien.

Long ago two huge masses of land were in the process of colliding with each other. The land masses of days gone by, like the land masses that exist today are slowly steadily in motion. Some creeping along at fractional inches every century, others moving inches per year. The land masses are in fact floating on something straight out of science fiction……molten rock. Since the time when the Earth cooled and the land formed, masses of the land were like islands floating on the liquid magma, moving toward or away from other land masses, colliding with other land masses, pulling apart and reforming, this process continues today. The movement of land masses is called plate tectonics or continental drift, if you believe the information being put forth. Land mass collisions are a mountain building process, such as the creation of the Appalachian Mountains for example. I mentioned the Crater Of Diamonds Park earlier. This area was once a volcano. How many years did it take to become a volcano, weather down, erode and finally disappear? This process takes millions of years. Here is a quick quiz……how many generations of people could develop if the average child bearing age was 20 years old in one million years? Remember the USA became an independent nation in 1776. How many generations ago was that? The first human foot to step on Earth’s moon was in 1969. Who even remembers that? I do.

Continuing with the generic explanation for the formation of Herkimer Diamonds……shallow seas and oceans covered much of the Earth geologic years ago, at one time or another. Millions of years ago New York state was near the equator and submerged under salty waters. As these waters ever so slowly, pooled and began to dry up and evaporate massive salt deposits would eventually develop in this state. Marine life thrived here, as the fossil record clearly shows, and as each living creature lived its life, reproduced and eventually died, their remains settled at the sea bottom. So much marine life over so much time created huge layers of calcium carbonate. How do we know this? Through the fossil record. Stromatolite fossils have been found in marble in the Northwest Adirondack Mountains, snails, trilobites, shelled and unshelled life, and all sorts of plant and organic life left fossil imprints to say “I was here once”.

The word “erosion” sends shivers up the spine of any land mass. Erosion and time go hand-in-hand. They are inseparable with nowhere to go and no hurry to get there. As landscapes form, erosion and natural forces immediately begin the process of tearing them down. An underwater volcano erupts with the force of an atomic blast. Ash and smoke is sent thousands of feet skyward, rocky debris, volcanic bombs, molten rock spews forth and slowly but surely an island forms. Immediately the forces of nature begin to rip apart this new land. Rain, wind, and waves slowly turn solidified magma,rock, to sediment which then is transported to the depths of the sea.

Erosion is a constant never resting landscape changer. Ancient mountains weathered down, winds, rains and floods carried the debris to the seas where the sediment was deposited. Dry land repeatedly sinks below the waves only to rise again a million years later. Earthquakes, volcanism, faulting, all the geologic forces occurred over this vast time frame. In the distant past dinosaurs roamed over New York State. In the region of New York state, the sedimentation contained huge amounts of calcium and magnesium carbonate which, over the course of geologic time, formed layers upon layers. Each successive dramatic natural event, flood, earthquake, what-have-you, erosion created sediments which were transported into the sea and deposited. As if screened in graded mesh, the larger heavier material would have fallen from the solution first and deposited nearer shore, while the lighter finest particles would have traveled farther and finally deposited themselves as fine mud. With continued erosion, the tremendous weight of layer after layer, sediments being piled higher and higher, these lower layers heated due to this buildup and compaction. Extreme pressures exerted in a downward force caused the layers to lithify and form the limestone layers, the black shale layers and the dolostone. Today remnants of those early layers can be found exposed in the Mohawk Valley.

Just when you thought nothing else could go wrong, the Earth turned cold. So cold as to freeze most of the northern hemisphere. The Ice Ages had arrived. Glaciers, massive ice sheets scraped and scoured the Earth. Glaciers, hundreds to thousands of feet thick, slide across the land and wore down thousands of feet of solid rock layers. And, like erosion, the glaciers carried this scraped and scoured material along with its movement. In the end the glaciers too deposited billions of cubic yards of sediment

If interested please view my article #16, Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania… Kame and Kettle Topography at:

This article deals with glacial sediment deposition and the formation of lakes from massive lobes of ice trapped in the local topography.

The layers of rock that were formed from sedimentation during the earlier times succumb to the inevitable. They wore down as the weight of ice sheets ground the layers into sediment. (Somewhere in here early man crossed the Bering Sea and entered North America.) What remained eventually developed cracks and fissures created by the ever changing landscape. Into these cracks water, salty seas, acidic fluids, fluids of all kinds would have poured. Water and various fluids, dissolved materials from run-off, ice melt, newly formed creeks, rivers. These liquids would have infiltrated the lowest layers of rock and would have formed cavities in the softer rock or susceptible rock. Dolostone, as it is called in the Herkimer region, is a rock made of dolomite and calcite was more susceptible to acidic fluids. Voids and/or cavities in the rock were created by these acidic fluids. Basically acting like “acid rain” on limestone rock. As sedimentation continued, fluid transfer into the faulted rock layers, cracks and fissures carried silicon rich fluids, organic material, silicon dioxide and pyrite (iron sulfide). The liquids traveled farther and farther down in the layers of the rock to the lowest levels, heated and evaporated creating super saturated solutions. As the temperatures rose, crystals began to form and grow in the cavities very slowly. Many of the crystals were “free floaters” not adhering to the walls of the cavity. It is speculated the organic material which seeped down into the rock layers could have been petroleum based. Anthraxolite, or as MinDat states “is a synonym for Pyrobitumen, which is a hydrocarbon mineraloid of variable composition”.

So states the generic explanation for the formation of Herkimer Diamonds. Personally the “one size fits all” generic description just wasn’t enough as it sounded much like the formation of any rock layer anywhere and still left several questions lingering in my mind. Researching various materials available online and listed in the bibliography, additional details emerged.

In his book, “Minerology of New York” (1842) L. C. Beck states that in Herkimer County uncommon, perfectly transparent crystals are found in various parts of the county especially in the Middleville, Fairfield, Little Falls, Salisbury and Newport areas. He continues to write that Mr. Vanuxem has stated “there is probably no locality in the world which produces more perfect or more beautiful quartz crystals than Middleville: and with an equal refractive power, they would rival the diamond”.
Beck goes on to state that a “black substance” believed to be anthracite accompany the crystals. “Some times these crystals have cavities, which are partly filled with some fluid. When these have been shivered by the cold, the cavities present a yellow resinous appearance, from which it may be inferred that the liquid is bituminous”. From the preceding text, Beck referring to “black substance” is most likely organic material known today as Anthraxolite or Pyrobitumen.

Beck also states, “It is proper to state, that the occurrence of quartz crystals in such abundance in this county was first made known to the public by Prof. J. Hadley, of the Geneva Medical College."

Let’s stop here for a minute, single out and examine just what Anthraxolite/Pyrobitumen is. This “black substance” is commonly found in the vugs of the Dolostone in the Mohawk Valley. The black material can take the form of the vug walls as if a coating. The vug itself may or may not contain a crystal. Upon a closer inspection the material is fairly soft, semi-shiny/lustrous and appears to be blocky cubes under magnification. Microscopic crystals of quartz can also be seen on the vug walls as druze.

Coleman A. P., in his article “Anthraxolite or Anthracitic Carbon” published in the Sixth Report of The Bureau of Mines, 1896. Coleman states “Complete analyses have been made in Dr. Ellis’ laboratory, and his report follows this; so that no further description will be necessary here. It is probably wiser to use the name anthraxolite, applied years ago by Professor Chapman to similar substances from eastern Ontario and other parts of Canada, than to name the substance anthracite, since the latter is found in beds associated with rocks containing carboniferous or later fossils, and is held by geologists to have been deposited as vegetable matter where it is now found ; but the mineral here discussed occupies a vein cutting very ancient slates, and must have reached its present position long after these rocks were formed”. Coleman continues to write a “Mr. G. R. Mickle, of the School of Science” determined the hardness of anthraxolite and anthracitic and found the latter to be softer. “The pure mineral is lustrous black, resembles anthracite or albertite in appearance, and forms small plates or irregular cubic blocks. At the Gordon Coal mine in Balfour Township using a diamond drill to a depth of 334 feet, upon the examination of samples, they drilled through 4 foot of anthraxolite. Apparently it was cold outside while this core sampling was being done as Coleman stated “While drilling we used principally anthraxolite for fuel in the furnace, and it gave very good results. After getting up a good fire it gave a brilliant blue flame and also great heat, but the waste was considerable. It took attention by the firemen to keep the ashes away, and I should judge that fully one-half was waste.”

What Coleman is stating here …….it is better to name this black substance Anthraxolite than to name it anthracite since anthracite is found in beds containing carboniferous material. During this time period the black material was thought of as a form of anthracite coal. In their bore holes the drill penetrated four foot of this mineral. Anthraxolite could and was used as a fuel source with a ratio of fuel to waste at 50%. This amount of waste was not cost effective to mine the mineral.

Coleman states, “Unless the percentage of ash proves less when the vein is sunk upon, the quantity of quartz mixed with the mineral will prove a serious drawback, particularly for metallurgical purposes”.

In an article by Ellis, W. E., titled “Chemical Composition of The Anthraxolite”, the article begins by stating, “In a paper read before the Canadian institute Mr. William Lawson and the writer have recorded the results of the analysis made in the chemical laboratory of the School of Practical Science, Toronto, of the coaly mineral from the neighborhood of Sudbury described by Professor Coleman as anthracitic carbon or anthraxolite.” Ellis lists ash to mineral data stating the ash percentage to be far too high to be commercially viable. “Professor E. J. Chapman, to whom the name anthraxolite is due, applies it an anthracitic mineral occurring in veins or filling small cracks in Silurian and older rocks”. Ellis continues to state current technology is unable to “our acquiring a knowledge of the ingredients which they contain”.
Ellis projects a graphic depiction (which reminded me of breakdown of uranium into its daughters). Ellis shows a breakdown of peat through a series of processes eventually ending up as graphite. Breaking down petroleum into various materials and eventually reaching a similar conclusion. All the while reasoning anthaxolite to be organic in nature.

From the above information, we know the black material inside a Herkimer vug was determined to be organic, appeared to be resembling anthracite coal, it was burned as a heat source, burned with a brilliant blue flame, “The pure mineral is lustrous black, resembles anthracite or albertite in appearance, and forms small plates or irregular cubic blocks”, it is not a viable mineral to mine due to the amount of waste ash.

Let’s continue…who found the first “diamonds”? Who documented the first “diamonds”? While reading through documented and published reports and/or articles concerning Herkimer Diamonds, though not being named as such in early reports, my research provided the earliest date of 1819. (Please remember quartz crystals of similar appearance may or may not have been located in countries other than the USA. This article is only dealing with the New York state, Mohawk Valley area.) Almost 200 years ago, in 1819, I located a documented reference to quartz crystals.

Just a little historical background info before we move on, just the see what was going on during this time period, 1819.

It was April 4, 1818 the Congress of the the United States officially adopted the flag with the configuration of thirteen alternating red and white stripes and having one star for each state in the union in a blue background. At its time of adoption, the flag had twenty stars.

1818…British were in control of most of India.

1819…..Spain ceded Florida to America.

The census of 1820 shows 9,638,453 people living in the United States which was a 33% increase over 1810. The most populated state was New York, with 1,372,812 people.

1820… Revolutionaries in England chose a strategy of killing government cabinet ministers. Hum! ! !

And who could forget the Earth shattering historical event which took place in 1820? None other than...Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson, in order to prove once and for all time, did stand in the public square, with witnesses present, in Salem, New Jersey, raised the common tomato to his lips and ate it. The crowd was aghast. Through sheer courage and the risk of his own life the Colonel proved the tomato was not poisonous. Unbelievable! Did his wife have life insurance on him?

Were there some early documented accounts of these so called “diamonds”? The earliest documented account I was able to locate was in the Journal of American Science dated 1819. The information I sought appears to be in the form of a letter written by Professor Dewey from Williams College to the editor of the American Journal of Science namely Benjamin Silliman. Though not called Herkimer Diamonds per se, read for yourself and decide the meaning of the following taken from the Journal of American Science dated 1819.

Professor Dewey in his letter states,”P.S. I have a part of a rock crystal, which contains, in a hollow, a liquid and a little air, and some black or brown particles, which sink in the liquid. It was found several years since at Diamond Hill in the Cattskill. This hill is only a small eminence on the bank of the creek at that place, composed of limestone, (if I have been correctly informed) between the strata of which, and on the side next to the creek, this and other rock crystals were found. I believe, Sir, you have one like the above, obtained from the same place. The crystal, which was generously given me by Mr. Van Loon, who found it, is only a part of two crystals connected at their bases”.

Let’s break this section down. In 1819, Dewey is writing to Silliman stating he was given a broken twin “rock crystal” with a partially filled liquid cavity which contains black or brown “free floating” particles. A number of crystals were found on the bank of a creek where limestone strata is obvious in a place named Diamond Hill. Silliman, himself, supposedly has “one like the above”.

I have located the area mentioned by Professor Dewey. But we must do a little detective work. Why would a hill come to be named “diamond”? There certainly must be a reasonable explanation. Could it have been because of crystalized minerals resembling diamonds were being found there? By who and when?

Dewey states the crystal contained black or brown particles. Was this organic material? Was this material Anthraxolite?

Dewey goes on to say, “The principal curiosity about it is the liquid. It has never been known to freeze. It was exposed to an atmosphere 4 and 5 degrees below zero. It became less fluid, for the bubble of air moved with less ease and rapidity. Still the liquid was fluid. Its colour, which is naturally white, had a slight tinge of yellow. The Rev. Mr. Schaeffer of New York supposes the black particles are bitumen”.

The liquid inside the crystal, an inclusion common in Herkimers, was most likely of salty content due to it not freezing. The yellow tinge most likely had organic origins possibly petroleum.

Dewey's own words "It was found several years since at Diamond Hill in the Cattskill." His letter is dated 1819, the hill has already been named Diamond Hill. This tells me the crystals have been collected here before 1819 if the hill was already named "diamond", for obvious reasons the hill was named for the sparkling stones found there before 1819.

I was fortunate enough to locate an additional reference by Benjamin Silliman regarding the quartz crystals. In his book “Tour of Quebec in the Autumn of 1819”. Silliman states, “The beautiful crystals of quartz, which all strangers obtained at Lake George, are got on the island in the lake; one about four miles from its head, (and called, of course, the diamond island,) has been principally famous for affording them; there is a solitary miserable cottage upon this island, from which we saw the smoke ascending; - a woman, who lives in it, is facetiously called “the lady of the lake”. He continues,” Crystals are now obtained from other islands, I believe, more than from this, and they are said to no longer to find the single loose crystals in abundance on the shores, but break up the rocks for this purpose. Poor people occupy themselves in procuring crystals, which they deposit at the public house for sale. The crystals of Lake George are hardly surpassed by any in the world, for transparency, and for perfection of form; they are, as usual, the six-sided pyramids. These last must, of course, be found loose, or at least, not adhering to any rock; those which are broken off have necessarily only one pyramid. I procured specimens of the rocky matrix, in which the crystals are formed it is of quartzoze nature, and contains cavities finely studded with crystals.”

Again, breaking it down…..“Tour of Quebec in the Autumn of 1819” was published in 1822, Silliman was touring through New York and Quebec. While at Lake George in New York. Silliman writes about the “diamond island” where people would go (in 1819) to collect beautiful quartz crystals which have eroded from the local rock.

If people were collecting the stones in 1819, for certain they were collecting them before that! Named Diamond Island most likely because of the diamond like crystals being gathered there. A woman uses an old shack on the island as her base where she collects crystals to sale, probably to tourists. How long has she been collecting? Crystals have been found on other islands in Lake George but the supply of eroded and loose stones is dwindling as more and more “poor people” (as Silliman referred to them as) are collecting and selling the crystals. Could Silliman’s reference to “poor people” be suggestive that rock and mineral collectors/dealers fall into this category? They have now resorted to breaking the local rock strata to procure the crystals.” And Silliman states “The crystals of Lake George are hardly surpassed by any in the world, for transparency, and for perfection of form”.

I located yet another documented report of historical significance mention of quartz crystals, though still not referred to as Herkimer, in an article dated 1823. In his article titled “Notice of Alum Slate, Sulphuret of Zinc, Anthracite and Limpid Quartz” by James Hadley, M. D. Professor of Chemistry and Materia Medica in the University of the State of New-York, published in the New York Medical and Physical Journal of 1823. Hadley states, “Sulphuret of Zinc is found on the farm of Judge Hurlbutt in the town of Salisbury, Herkimer County, about halfway between the West and East Canada Creeks. The vein, which also contains sulphuret of iron, was discovered a number of years ago, and was explored a few feet below the surface, with the expectation that it contained silver. The ore is situated in sand stone on the northeastern declivity of elevated ground, which terminates the secondary region in that direction. To the southwest is limestone containing organic remains, and on the other hand gneiss soon makes its appearance, which is the prevailing rock of the mountainous country towards Canada and Lake George... Anthracite in small veins is found, traversing the sandstone and also disseminated in the rock. Large imperfect crystals of quartz, frequently coloured with iron or enveloping anthracite, are met with between the strata or in fissures, and in geodes smaller but more perfect specimens occur: the same formation of sandstone, overlaid by limestone and resting upon gneiss, and accompanied with anthracite and limped quartz, appears also on the West Canada Creek and the Little Falls of the Mohawk. Hitherto but small quantities of anthracite have been found at either of the above places. The most elegant specimens of limped quartz are obtained on the West Canada Creek about seven miles from its junction the Mohawk River.”

Here again, Lake George is mentioned, Salisbury, Herkimer County, limestone, organic remains, as well as anthracite, and limped quartz, on the West Canada Creek and the Little Falls of the Mohawk where the most elegant specimens are obtained. Limped quartz is being used to describe the crystalline stones.

Having the documented reports: Dewey’s letter to Silliman dated 1819, Silliman’s “Tour of Quebec in the Autumn of 1819”, published 1822 and “Notice of Alum Slate, Sulphuret of Zinc, Anthracite and Limpid Quartz” by James Hadley, 1823, all reflect historical, undeniable significance for locating Herkimer Diamonds. But, even though this article has established an early date when Herkimers were being found, it still has not answered the question of who and when. The year 1819 is a rough date to be sure, for the herkimers were being found earlier than this. The so called “poor people of Lake George were collecting the stones before Silliman visited there. And, “the lady of the lake” may have been the same lady who was involved with King Arthur and his sword, Excalibur. Smile ! ! ! Also the “diamonds were supposedly first found in the Middleville New York area. Documentation of which, escapes me.

Farther readings of historical value include:

Index to the Miscellaneous Documents of the House of Representatives, First Session of the Forty Ninth Congress, 1885 – 1886, Washington: Government Printing Office, 1886 , pages 749 – 752. Here you will find descriptions of quartz and their locations including Herkimer.

Robinson, S., A Catalog of American Minerals, Boston, Pulished by Cummings, Hilliard & Co., 1825, Page 129, where it is written “Lampid Quartz, on the islands in lake George, in very beautiful, transparent crystals, which are generally 6 sided prisms, often with pyramidal terminations. These crystals, sometimes 5 inches long, occur loose, or in cavities in a quartzy gangue

And last but certainly not least, a true pioneer in every respect………Dana, J. D., A System of Minerology, New Haven, Published by Durrie & Peck and Herrick & Noyes, 1837, page 342.“At Middlefield, N. Y., on the banks of the West Canada Co., they occur in a calciferous sand rock, lying loose in large cavities, accompanied with a loose earth. Several hundred crystals are often obtained from a single cavity by prying open the rocks where fissured. The crystals are occasionally smoky, and often contain anthracite; rarely cavities occur filled with a fluid. They vary in size from the head of a pin to a length of four or six inches. Several parts of the adjoining country are strewed with crystals, which are turned up and exposed to view by the ploughman. Fine specimens of drusy quartz are obtained at the same locality. Gouverneur, N. Y., affords splendid dodecahedral crystals, similar to fig. 134, PI. II., associated with an iridescent crystallized specular iron. They vary from three quarters to two inches in length, and commonly present prismatic faces, but in general, not more than a twentieth or sixteenth of an inch long. Diamond Island, Lake George, is an old locality of quartz crystals.” Dana mentions Middleville in the year 1837, but Lake George was mentioned in several publications earlier than this date.

Let’s explore the early history of New York and Herkimer County. New York was one of the original 13 colonies. In 1683, New York had 10 counties. Herkimer County came into being in 1791 with the breakup of Montgomery County. Named in honor of General Nicholas Herkimer, who born in 1728, in the colony of New York to immigrants of German heritage. He served during the French and Indian War as a captain during the attack on German Flatts. During the American Revolution, on a forced march to Fort Stanwix in 1777, Herkimer was wounded but continued to direct his men. The field surgeon dressed Herkimer’s wound but it soon became infected. Gangrene set in, the leg was to be amputated but the field surgeon. The field surgeon himself was wounded and unable to perform the surgery. Days later an inexperienced surgeon performed the surgery. The amputation bleed profusely and Herkimer died of his injury in 1777. A county in New York was named in his honor in 1791. It follows the “diamonds” would have been named for their place of origin or in honor of the general.

The Mohawk River flows through Herkimer County and the Mohawk Valley to Little Falls and beyond. The East Canada Creek and the West Canada Creek empty into the Mohawk River near Herkimer. The Mohawk River flows into the Hudson River.

In the “History of Herkimer County”, author Hardin, G. A. discusses the geological features of Herkimer county. He states, “primary rocks —granite, gneiss, feldspar, and hornblende. The same formation outcrops also at Little Falls. Rising successively above the primary are the Trenton limestone, appearing in Norway and Russia, the Utica slate, appearing upon the summit of all the hills immediately north of the Mohawk ; the Frankfort slate appearing immediately south of the river; the Oneida conglomerate and Clinton group, extending in a belt through near the center of the south half of the county; the Onondaga salt group, waterlime, Onondaga and corniferous limestones, appearing in thin layers next south; and the Marcellus shales and limestones of the Helderberg range, covering the summits of the southern hills. These rocks yield an abundance of lime, waterlime, and building material, and are extensively quarried. Useful minerals are few in number, among them being beautiful crystals of quartz.”

Hardin states there are few useful minerals but the quartz crystals are beautiful. He gives us a quick view of the geology and rock structure.

What or where is the Mohawk Valley? The river valley is located in the U.S.A., on the eastern side of the state of New York. The area surrounds the Mohawk River and lies between the Adirondack Mountains and Catskill Mountains. It is currently composed of 6 counties, which are: Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego and Schenectady.

What does the Mohawk Valley have to do with Herkimer Diamonds? The name “Mohawk Valley” had its origins in the early 1600’s with the Dutch fur traders. The valley runs along the base of the foothills of the Adirondacks. To understand the Mohawk Valley we must first, summarize, the Native American peoples living in the area, their boundaries, politics and interactions and most important the European invasion. Native American peoples can be traced back ten thousand years in the New York area.

The year was 1524, the first European explorers entered what is now New York harbor. Led by Giovanni da Verrazzano, he named the area New Angouleme and dedicated it to the King of France. In 1609 Henry Hudson, sailing for the Dutch East India Company explored this area, located an island, and sailed up, what would later bear his name, the Hudson River, which now opened the door to Dutch colonization. That colonization began in 1613 by a Dutch explorer named Adriaen Block who with his crew erected a settlement on what was later named Manhattan Island. Using the Hudson River as a transportation system of travel, explorers, trappers, traders would have ventured farther and farther inland using the Hudson River, eventually entering and traveling on the Mohawk River.

“The Mohawk Valley its Legends and History” written by Reid, W.M. paints the historical picture. In 1600, the Delaware Indians occupied the Delaware River Valley from Cape Henlopen north to include the west side of the lower Hudson Valley in southern New York. From archaeological studies it appears the Delaware Indians were not migratory and occupied their homeland for thousands of years before Europeans arrived. At this time the Delaware may have numbered as many as 20,000. But, with the spread of Europeans, several wars and at least 14 separate epidemics, their population was reduced drastically, possibly to less than 4000.

In 1600, The Mohican Indians occupied the Hudson River Valley from the Catskill Mountains north to the southern end of Lake Champlain. Bounded by the Schoharie River in the west, it extended east to the crest of the Berkshire Mountains in western Massachusetts from northwest Connecticut north to the Green Mountains in southern Vermont. Their population could have been 35,000 souls. By 1672 this had fallen to around 1,000 and by 1796, 300 were living with the Oneida and Brotherton in upstate New York.

The Mohawk Indian were an indigenous people originally from the Mohawk Valley in upstate New York, southern Quebec and eastern Ontario. Their traditional homeland stretches southward of the Mohawk River, eastward to the Green Mountains of Vermont, westward to its border with the Onemore soida Nation’s traditional homeland territory, and northward to the St Lawrence River. The Mohawk guarded the Iroquois Confederation against invasion from an easterly direction.

This documentation confirms the American Indian occupied these lands before any European arrived.

Now, let me interject this bit of information, In Cudmore, B., Stories from the Mohawk Valley: The Painted Rocks, the Good Benedict Arnold, the long held belief was that the Indian word “Kanyenkehaka” referred to the Mohawk people as the “People of the Flint” But recently according to Paul Keesler, history has had it all wrong………”The word Mohawk is a European corruption of a rival tribe’s slur……..again, the commonly accepted knowledge was that “Kanyenkehaka” meant “People of the Flint”…Unfortunately, according to Keesler, no major source of flint has been found in the area. Keesler states “Kanyenkehaka” means “People of the Crystals”. So, just reason this out…….if indeed there is no or very little flint as Keesler states, why would the Mohawk be referred to as people of flint? On the other hand…the Mohawk Valley, as a matter of fact, certainly does contain crystals of quartz.

In researching this puzzling misnomer, I did located an article by a New York geologist, Arthur C. Parker. In his report concerning “the Great Algonkin Flint Mines at Coxsackie” dated 1925, Mr. Parker details the ancient flint mines. Would this flint at Coxsackie have been available to the Mohawk Indian? Using Google Maps…I checked to see how far it is from Little Falls to Coxsackie, using today’s highway system it is approx. 100 miles in distance. So is the translation correct or incorrect? Is it flint or crystal? I certainly do invite you to research this little bump in history. Is the long held belief of being refereed to as flint incorrect? And, if it is, this certainly would prove the Mohawk were well aware of the crystals. Possibly someone could research Indian lore or archaeological crystal finds?

Going back to the original question, what does the Mohawk Valley have to do with Herkimer Diamonds? The Mohawk Valley is currently rich in Herkimer Diamonds. In the 1600’s it was probably more so due to the fact no collectors or mineral dealers were recovering them by the bushel full. The eroded crystals would have been exposed and prevalent.

So, who first located the “diamonds”? Unfortunately, I was unable to locate any documentation earlier than 1819 to answer this question. But, it certainly is within the realm of possibility that certain Native American peoples or tribes living in this area were the first to find and collect these “sparkling wonders”. Possibly the early colonists, traders, trappers had access to the “diamonds”. There is just no documentation. At least none found through my research.

My personal thought is that the Native Americans had originally located the “diamonds”. If they were, is there archaeological evidence? The Native Americans were trading with the early Europeans. The early Europeans who, at first glance, would have thought these to be precious stones. Without having any sort of documentation we will never know.

Just for the sake of conversation, think about this. Several fur trappers have been out applying their trade for months. Far up the Hudson River they traveled, farther than any other had gone. They set up camp where the river narrowed and smaller streams entered. A group of Indians on horseback ride up to the trappers camp, nerves are tense, firearms are aimed. Unable to speak each others language they go through a series of gestures and finally both parties understand each wishes to do some trading. The trappers remove packets of tobacco from their pouches and make an offering. They pull several red fox and a large black bear pelt out for show. The Indians being interested remove a small deer skin pouch from their gear and sprinkle the contents onto the pelts. A handful of clear sparkling gem stones the likes of which the trappers have never seen. If you were one of the trappers what would run through your mind? Diamonds??? And this is how we began ! ! !

Additional documented reports concerning still unnamed Herkimers…………In 1918, Miller, W. J. published an article titled” Geology of the Schroon Lake Quadrangle” for the New York State Museum Bulletin, in there Miller states, “Calciferous was originally applied to the considerable thickness of dolomitic rocks which overlies the Potsdam sandstone in the Champlain and Mohawk valleys. Later on Clarke and Schuchert replaced this by the name Beekmantown, and to the rather unfossiliferous phase of the formation in the Mohawk valley gave the local name of Little Falls dolomite…Cavities containing very clear quartz crystals, so characteristic of certain horizons of the Little Falls dolomite of the Mohawk valley, were not observed at Schroon Lake”.

In 1905, Cushing, H. P.,published “Geology of The Vicinity of Little Falls, Herkimer County”, New York State Museum, Bulletin 7. Cushing states, “The oldest known rocks of the Adirondack region are of the sort deposited from water, and indicate that the region, probably in its entirety, was below sea level and receiving deposit on its surface. These deposits would seem to have been of the same, or very similar, sort as those now being deposited on shallow sea floors: sands, muds, calcareous muds and their intermediate gradations. These rocks were apparently deposited in great thickness, though we have no means at present of ascertaining what that thickness was. They must have accumulated on a floor of older rocks, but this older floor has not yet been certainly made out in the Adirondack region. It may or may not be present. Volcanic action seems to have been going on while these deposits were forming, or else occurred not long afterward. After these conditions had persisted for a long time, the district was raised up out of the water, probably to considerable height, accompanied by a certain amount of folding, fracturing and tilting of the rocks. The surface ceased to receive deposit, and instead was attacked by the weather, the surface deposits were disintegrated and decayed, this loosened material commenced to move down hill toward the sea, and the surface was thus pared away bit by bit and lowered. This action continued through long ages till many hundred, likely a few thousand, feet of rock had been thus patiently removed. The region also was early the scene of vigorous igneous action. Whether this preceded, accompanied and perhaps caused, or followed its uplifting above sea level is not known; but enormous masses of molten rock invaded the region from beneath in a great series of intrusions.” Cushing continues for several additional pages of detailed geological information. To truly “get a feel” of the “diamond” area further reading is certainly suggested.

Cushing continues, “It is also possible that the base of the Beekmantown, as exposed at Little Falls, may be of Cambrian age. This can only be determined by fossils, and as yet these have not been forthcoming in sufficient number and variety to settle the question. The Beekmantown rocks are best exposed about Little Falls, Middleville and Diamond hill, though presenting numerous outcrops elsewhere. In the main, they consist of a gray, more or less sandy dolomite. Occasional layers are very sandy and sometimes even pebbly, and such layers are not confined to the base but may appear at any horizon. Some sandy layers show bright, glittering cleavage faces when broken. Such layers are found in the formation all about the Adirondack region”. “Many of the beds of the formation, in the Little Falls district, are full of small, drusy cavities which are in general coated with minute dolomite crystals, sometimes with calcite as well. In these cavities are often one or more quartz crystals, generally small and water clear, though sometimes of quite large size, the latter usually full of inclusions. These crystals have long been known and have made the district a famous one to the mineralogist. They are locally known as diamonds and have given the name to Diamond hill, where they are very abundant, as they are also about Middleville. In addition, the cavities often contain much of a black, carbonaceous material, sometimes nearly filling the cavity, sometimes as films on which the dolomite crystals rest, sometimes running into cracks of the rock, and sometimes occurring as inclusions in the quartz crystals is a finely divided state. This material has heretofore been called anthracite, behaves precisely like that substance when heated and must have the same approximate chemical composition, though with somewhat different physical properties. From the standpoint of origin it would seem to be certainly an asphalt derivative. It was the first substance to form
in the drusy cavities and was followed by the dolomite crystallization,, though the two seem to have overlapped somewhat. Both the quartz and the calcite were formed after the dolomite. The writer observed no instance of a cavity in which quartz and calcite were both present; so that it can not be stated which of the two was formed first.”

I personally believe Cushing offers a great narrative to be one of, if not the best geological information located for this writing. His report contains all the components to quantify Herkimer Diamonds.

Let us move finally to some interesting information gathered while in pursuit of answers.

What is the largest Herkimer Diamond ever found? Well the answer to that question will require you to do your own research, I’ll provide the web address.


Bob Jones, a well-recognized figure in the rock and mineral collecting world, has an article on the Internet located at


And this very interesting article, it is a “must read”. According to the Mineralogical Record at


“Albert Bernard Crim, the earliest major dealer in "Herkimer diamond" quartz crystals, was born in Winfield, Herkimer County, New York in 1853.… He began collecting Herkimer quartz in 1876 (according to an ad in 1890 claiming 14 years collecting experience), and began selling specimens in 1878. Albert …in 1880, at the age of 27, he was employed as a schoolteacher in Newport, and by 1889 was Principal of the school in Middleville… By 1910, however, he was retired from teaching and making his living as a farmer.

Advertising under the name of A.B. Crim, his offers of Herkimer quartz crystals for sale first appeared in The Exchangers' Monthly in August 1887. He spent much of his life collecting Herkimer quartz and was an acknowledged local expert. By 1893 he had accumulated some 4,000 specimens including twinned crystals, crystals with carbon inclusions and liquid inclusions, smoky crystals, crystal clusters and matrix specimens, all of which he exhibited at the Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago--winning the highest award. According to Arthur Chamberlain (in an 1895 ad), over 30,000 Herkimer quartz crystals were sold at the Exposition. He had countless tiny crystals so small that 20,000 of them weighed only an ounce. Ultimately Crim sold his fabulous collection, as announced in the July 1895 issue of The Mineral Collector. However, he kept on collecting, and in 1901 exhibited another large collection of crystals at the Panamerican Exposition in Buffalo, and again was awarded the highest medal. He died February 3, 1916.”

“Exchangers Monthly” is loaded with information even seasoned rock hunters would find interesting. Find this work at……..


A. B. Crim and his Herkimer quartz crystal collection is again mentioned in the prestigious “Scientific American” dated Sept. 23, 1893, on page 198.


And finally, after reading such an informative and enlightening article, one may wish to “take a nip”,” wet your whistle”, “have a drink”……. however you say it …how about vodka on the rocks, literally on the “rocks”..... Herkimer rocks. Please see these websites. …….. “Nostrovia”……



This article like so many other Herkimer oriented articles found on the Internet did answer several outstanding questions concerning the crystals. However, unlike other articles, this article offered documented evidence whenever possible quoting names, dates and places. I am, however, disappointed as to not being able to answer the biggest questions pertaining to the earliest documented “who, when and where”. The answers to these questions are out there somewhere, in an old yellowed report, letter, message, within arm’s reach.

Thank you
Keep Digging for Knowledge

Beck, L.C., 1842, Minerology of New York, part II, class VI, order I, pp. 261, downloadable at:

Coleman, A. P., Anthraxolite or Anthracitic Carbon,Sixth Report of The Bureau of Mines, 1896, Printed by the Order of The Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Toronto, Warwick Bro’s & Rutter, Printers, section IV, pp 159. http://www.geologyontario.mndmf.gov.on.ca/mndmfiles/pub/data/imaging/ARV06/ARV06.pdf

Cudmore, B., Stories from the Mohawk Valley: The Painted Rocks, the Good Benedict Arnold. 2011
This next web address is a companion to “Stories of the Mohawk Valley”

Cushing, H. P., Geology of The Vicinity of Littl Falls, Herkimer County, New York State Museum, Bulletin 7, Geology 6, 1905. https://archive.org/details/geologyofvicinit00cushrich

Dana, J. D., A System of Minerology, New Haven, Published by Durrie & Peck and Herrick & Noyes, 1837

Ellis, W. E., Chemical Composition of The Anthraxolite, Sessional Papers, No. 33, Vol. XXXIX, Part VIII, Session 1897, Toronto, Printed for Lud. K. Cameron, section IV, pp162

Francis, J. W., Beck, J. B., editors, The New York Medical and Physical Journal, V II, 1823, PP 133, Bliss, E., White, E., publishers.

Foshag, W. F., Gem and Gem Minerals, part II, Smithsonian Scientific Series, Vol III, 1929, pp 225.

Hardin, G. A., editor, History of Herkimer County New York, Syracuse, N. Y., D. Mason & Co., Publisher, 1893

Index to the Miscellaneous Documents of the House of Representatives, First Session of the Forty Ninth Congress, 1885 – 1886, Washington: Government Printing Office, 1886 , pages 749 - 752

Isachsen, Y.W., E. Landing, J.M. Lauber, L.V. Rickard, and W.B. Rogers, editors, Geology of New York: A Simplified Account, 2nd edition, New York State Museum, New York State Museum/Geological Survey, The State Education Department, The University of the State of New York, Albany, NY 12230, 2000

Miller, W. J., Geology of the Schroon Lake Quadrangle, New York State Museum Bulletin, The University of the State of New York New York State Museum, Nos. 213, 214 ALBANY, N. Y. September-October, 1918, pp 67.

Reid, W.M. The Mohawk Valley its Legends and History, 1901, New York and London, G.P Putman’s Sons.

Moore, B. S., Herkimer Diamonds A Complete guide for the Prospector and Collector, 1989,

Parker, A C., the Great Algonkin Flint Mines at Coxsackie, New York state Archaeological Association, 1925. http://bookofmormongeography.org/wp-content/uploads/flint-mine.pdf

Robinson, S., A Catalog of American Minerals, Boston, Pulished by Cummings, Hilliard & Co., 1825, Page 129. https://books.google.com/books/about/A_catalogue_of_American_minerals_with_th.html?id=MDM4AAAAMAAJ

Scientific American, September 23, 1893, page 198

Silliman, B., Tour of Quebec in the Autumn of 1819, London, Printed for Sir, Richard Phillips and Co., Bride- Court, 1822, pp 52.

Smith, C. H., Let’s Hunt For Herkimer Diamonds, Post Office Box 291, Geneva, New York, 2nd edition, 1950. http://www.quartzillustrated.com/?p=76

The American Journal of Science, conducted by Benjamin Silliman, M.D., Vol I, Second Edition, 1819, pp 345

Addition websites also contributed to this article:



Google Maps

Thank you all for a piece of the pie.

Article has been viewed at least 1208 times.


In order to leave comments to this article, you must be registered
Mineral and/or Locality  
Mindat.org is an outreach project of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
Copyright © mindat.org and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy 1993-2018, except where stated. Mindat.org relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters.
Privacy Policy - Terms & Conditions - Contact Us Current server date and time: June 19, 2018 02:06:30
View slideshow - Go to top of page