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

Posted by Jeremy Zolan  
Jeremy Zolan July 30, 2006 02:22AM
This is one heck of a sleezy marketing ploy! I feel sorry for the people who get tricked into buying stuff like this and thinking it's better because the cheapskate dealer says it's 'Tibetan'- what a load.
Alan Plante July 30, 2006 03:09AM
One has to wonder why we don't have a locality for double-terminated quartz xls in Tibet listed here at Mindat? - I should think that if the monks have been mining such a site it would be known...

But, basically, I'm with you: FRAUD! Pure and simple...

Paul L. Boyer July 30, 2006 03:47PM
Somehow, the "crystal vibration" people think Tibet is more sacred than the rest of the world. So, put "tibetan" in front of anything you have, add some fine sounding, high spirited babble about chakras and energies, and bingo!!! Increased sales. It may be crap, but from a business point of view, it sells.
Jeff Beckert July 30, 2006 04:52PM
"Tibetan Quartz has a very high vibrational spiritual energy!!"
Sebastian Grosse July 30, 2006 05:53PM
and my head already begins to walk in circles across the surface of the moon ...
I wonder what has to be going on in someone's head who believes this /)"=§)(§")$/%
alfredo July 30, 2006 07:13PM
Ditto for "Tibetan tektites".
Jolyon & Katya Ralph July 30, 2006 07:55PM
Chinese Quartz just doesn't sound as good, does it? :)
Alan Plante July 31, 2006 02:13AM
Oh - I KNOW why they do it. But it is still fraud; and if the wrong person(s) get stung by this sort of baloney it could result in prison time for the perpetrator. I mean, there is a legal difference between "marketing" and "fraud" - and this definitely crosses the line!


Chris Stefano July 31, 2006 03:05AM
This of course assumes you could prove that those things aren't from Tibet. Quartz being everywhere, good luck (I do of course agree that this is absurd).
Alfredo Petrov July 31, 2006 05:18AM
I share Alan's sentiment, but unfortunately legal action against this type of fraud is unlikely to succeed; consumer education is the only defense. (The Budweiser brewery in Budweis, Bohemia, thinks that labelling a beer made in the USA "Budweiser" is a fraud, but I heard their legal actions got nowhere.)
Alan Plante July 31, 2006 02:24PM
Hi Alfredo

I'll let you in on one of my "deep dark secrets": I watch the judge shows on TV now and then. (Probably more than is good for me... :~} ) To date, I have seen several eBay sellers brought in by unhappy customers for various reasons. And to date I have yet to see an eBay vendor win against the complaintent...

That's just small claims level stuff - but it works if you can locate the perp and drag them into court. Judges are harder to scam than us jaded rockhounds! :~}

Alas, I fear you are right when it comes to criminal level prosecution. The prosecutors can't be bothered with such small potatoes. - It'd take a class-action civil suit with a high scandal profile to get the criminal system off its duff and doing something about it. Maybe they'd take on eBay - but not any of its vendors...



Jesse Fisher July 31, 2006 03:37PM
Hello Alfredo;

Concerning Budweiser, the two breweries continue to duke it out in courts around the world. Some countries such as Germany have given preference to the Czech version, some such as the UK allow both, while others such as our home country have sided with the american brewer, forcing the real Budweiser to market its product under a different name.

The name Budweiser referes to a geographical location in the Czech Republic where the beer style originated, similar to the Champagne region of France, known for the creation of fizzy wine. Similar also to Herkimer New York, which produces transparent, doubly terminatred quartz crystals known as "Herkimer Diamonds". I am sure that transparent doubly terminated quartz crystals are found elsewhere, perhaps even in Tibet. Is it appropriate, however, to use the name "Herkimer" to describe specimens that did not originate from Herkimer New York? Personally, I don't think so. Is it worth pursuing the issue of possible misrepresentation or false advertising with e-bay? Depends on how much time one has to waste trying to make a point.
Alfredo Petrov July 31, 2006 07:56PM
Hi Jesse,

Thanks for the update on the Budweiser wars!

Unfortunately, I fear the term "Herkimer diamond" has slowly become a generic term for that style of crystal, and will be as impossible to eradicate as the misuse of the name "aspirin". So many of the ones on sale around the world aren't from Herkimer and, of course, were never diamonds in the first place, so we have a doubly misleading name (so the original Herkimer people hardly have a right to complain!).

Claus Hedegaard August 01, 2006 09:01PM
Hello guys! You try to argue a Tibetan Herkimer DIAMOND is 'fake' because it is not from Tibet or maybe it is, but then it certainly isn't the muy sacred Herkimer. As long as it is accepted to use the term Diamond for Quartz 'for traditional reasons' and 'because we all know', I would not go to small-claims court for it not being Tibetan!

An additional beer note: The 'Budweiser' question hinges on it being a geographic designation (like Herkimer) and all Budweiser should (say those who believe so) be produced in Budweis (Czech Republic). This follows suit on the (long) European discussion about regional products: Champagne must be produce in Champagne/France (others are sparkling wines), port must be produced in Portugal, feta must be produced in Greece (Danish dairies got in trouble for that), etc. Logically 'Budweiser' must be produced in 'Budweis' (old German name). That one just might stick in the European Union - otherwise champagne, port, feta, ... will fall too.
It gets tricky when we look at pilsner, which is used as a generic term for non-descript, industrial beer in Europe. However, some people - say brewers of Pilsner Urquell (owned by South African Breweries, no less!) - argue that pilsner should be brewed in Pilsen. If Budweiser (Czech) wins, we may soon loose the accepted term for 75% of the world's beer. But, hey, if we have been calling Quartz 'Diamond' for so long time, we deserve no better than being told to mend our way.


Claus Hedegaard
Google me to find me!
Jesse Fisher August 01, 2006 09:32PM
Well, I suppose we could take the somewhat cynical attitude that the phrase "truth in advertising" is an oxymoron. But then, I'm sure you recall the "pink emeralds" that were heavily marketed at Tucson a few years ago. Just the tip of the iceberg in stretching the truth, I'm afraid. In the end, the only real defense against misrepresentations like this is a good education.

At least the Germans have the courtesy to alter the name somewhat to "Pils". But we're splitting hairs. I think the only really important names for beer are "good" and "bad".

Anonymous User August 21, 2006 01:30AM
Jeremy Zolan Wrote:
> This is one heck of a sleezy marketing ploy! I
> feel sorry for the people who get tricked into
> buying stuff like this and thinking it's better
> because the cheapskate dealer says it's 'Tibetan'-
> what a load.
> -Quartz-Crystal-Bracelet_W0QQitemZ290012962147QQih
> Z019QQcategoryZ102500QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZ
> ViewItem#ebayphotohosting

I find this funny because one of my favorite sellers on eBay ( sometimes lists Herkimer Diamonds. But I think she said they come from somewhere in the eastern US?? She has some listed on her website now also.

It makes me wonder if someone buys their beads from "" on eBay, do they think all the beads come from Tibet? And then just embellish and embellish to make their stuff sound more important? I sell lots of jewelry at the Anchorage (AK) Saturday market, some of it clearly labeled "Peru" or "Navajo" and I still get people asking if I made it...
Jeremy Zolan August 21, 2006 02:10AM
Well, I did some research and there actually is a new deposit of Herkimer-like quartz found in Szechuan Province, China,but it would be incorrect to call the specimens Herks although the geology is very much the same (Some crystals even had hydrocarbon inclusions).
Aymeric Longi August 21, 2006 11:51AM
Alan Plante Wrote:
> One has to wonder why we don't have a locality for
> double-terminated quartz xls in Tibet listed here
> at Mindat? - I should think that if the monks have
> been mining such a site it would be known...

Why not, the Mindat database is very very far from being complete and years old extraction areas/mines are still not listed here.
Uwe Kolitsch August 21, 2006 04:44PM
Jeremy: do you have a ref. for this Chinese deposit?
Jeremy Zolan August 21, 2006 11:25PM
No I don't, otherwise I would have added it. I forget the name of the dealer, I saw them at the Springfield Show but if I see more of these crystals, I will ask about them and add the locality.
Chester S. Lemanski, Jr. August 21, 2006 11:41PM

Sorry that I missed you at the Springfield show. The wife and I were only there on Saturday. I grabbed up my rarities and ran!

Jeremy Zolan August 22, 2006 01:00AM
My dad said he thought he saw you, but he wasn't sure. Too bad he told me that after the show or else I would have stopped and chatted. I'll see you in Franklin!
Justin Zzyzx August 22, 2006 08:28AM
Those Chinese Quartz crystals have been coming out for several years now. Three years ago I had the pleasure of bagging several hundred pounds of them into 1 pound bags. They look a lot like Quartz from Herkimer New York, but they are not as glassy, IMHO.

The deposit in New York is so freakin big, I'm guessing that's exactly what the Chinese deposit is like too. In New York the Quartz containing area is like...60km by 30km...Maybe that's why we never get a better description of the Chinese deposit...

On another note, the largest ones I've seen from China are no larger than 2 inches. Has anyone else seen any larger ones? When you get 10-15 feet down in New York you start getting the really large Quartz crystals...5, 6, 7, 8 inches in size. I haven't seen any from China that size.
Jeremy Zolan August 22, 2006 07:02PM
All of them were quite small while the New York stuff gets quite big.. I wish I could go back to Herkimer for a second time (It was too wet earlier this summer), I have the Rockhounding bug REAL bad. I wonder if any minerals not found in Herkimer ar found with the Chinese "diamonds". I've been wishing to find something like an association of Herks, Dolomite and Pyrite with Sphalerite, Maybe some euhedral calcite. That would be quite a beautiful specimen in my opinion. I think if more exploration is done in Herkimer, maybe such specimens could be found. There is lots of barren land to be explored up there!
Aymeric Longi August 23, 2006 06:35PM
So, how should Herkimer-like quartz should be called ?
I have a bunch of them, coming from Balutchistan. In Pakistan it's called "Diamond Quartz", is it an accepted denomination ?
Jeremy Zolan August 23, 2006 07:20PM
Just plain Doubl-Terminated Quartz would work, unless they have some sort of local name I am unaware of.
Alan Plante August 24, 2006 02:53AM
I agree with Jeremy on this. Please remember that "Herkimer Diamond" is simply a nickname - and a local one at that - for double-terminated quartz crystals from a particular area. The *technical* term for these is "double-terminated quartz crystals" - NOT "Herkimer Diamonds."


Aymeric Longi August 24, 2006 10:13AM
ok, then I'll stick to the local appelation of ** Baluchi "Diamond Quartz" **
Alan Plante August 24, 2006 02:54PM
I think that would be best, Aymeric. Like "Herkimer Diamond" it gives people information about the origins of the specimens. (Yet I cringe at the use of the word "diamond" as being deceptive - whether for specimens from the Herkimer County area in New York, or for specimens from over in your neck of the woods! :~} )


Jacob Sawyer August 28, 2006 01:59PM
I've been buying lovely'herkimer-like' crystals from an Afghani contact, using them for jewelry the last few years. Largest sizes are maybe 60mm in length. Many of them are also 'in hydro' with awesome little water pockets. I believe they are being dug along the eastern frontier of Afghanastan. They are pretty sparkly but maybe not quite as brilliant on average as the NY variety.
The syndicated price of of the overrated NY Herkimers is crazy. Yeah, they're beautiful but hardly worth paying 20 times as much for them. But hey, that's just my opinion.

Justin Zzyzx August 29, 2006 03:19AM
You pay more for Herkimers not because they are of any better quality (They are though), but because an American dug them out. Obviously, the labor rates in Afghanistan and Pakistan are much higher than in New York State!

Quartz is quartz is quartz is quartz. No way around it. It's Quartz!
Don Saathoff August 29, 2006 04:17AM
quartz is quartz IS quartz!!!!....Justin, I'm glad someone agrees!!!
Don Saathoff August 29, 2006 04:23AM
"Faden" quartz, "elestial" quartz, "gwindel" quartz, "morian", etc., etc., where and when will it end???!!!..."prasiolite amethyst", "green amethyst" , , , , , ,
Harjo Neutkens August 29, 2006 08:17AM

Fadenquarz and Gwindel are names that were allready in use with the Strahler (Strahler is the name for someone who looks for crystals in the Alps, the name originated in Switzerland though nowadays the name is in use throughout the Alpine region, the proper Austrian name for those Strahlers actaully being "Stoasuacha", the French used to call them "Cristalier").
About the strange name "elestial Quartz", to me they are Fensterquarz, also an old Strahler name.
Morion is an old name for very dark smoky Quarz.
These names given to these crystals are not names of Quartz varieties (like Citrine, Amethyst, smoky, Prase etc) but apply to the way of growth, specific habit or twinning.
I know there are a lot of freaky names being given to crystals nowadays, but the names I just mentioned are not a joke, they're names that have been in use ever sinds the first people got out into the mountains to look for crystals.



p.s. a Herkimer-diamond should come from New-York, a Mirabeau-diamant should come from that specific region in France, a Schaumburger-Diamant should come from that region of Germany, they're all the same kind of thing, very clear and lustrus double-terminated Quartz crystals i.e. these names are not generic ones, they are of a geographic nature, so they should be used as such, an "a-diamond" should come from "a", a "b-diamond" should come from "b", a "c-diamond" from "c" etc......
Chris Mavris August 29, 2006 09:02AM
ok, a quick analysis:
the quartzes are dfinitely not italian.
why i can say that?simple!a bracelet with italian herkimers would cost at least 200$ :D
Jaelene Morris June 02, 2012 09:22PM
Am bidding on a listed Tibetan Herkimer diamond quartz crystal. How can I be sure this one is from Tibet and not from New York? Please email me at in the next 30 minutes if you can. Sorry for the short notice but I just found this site. Thanks for all who may be of some help. Jaelene
steven garza June 02, 2012 11:12PM
Sorry to have just seen your msg., just a LOT late; but, the best way to tell REAL Herks from ALL other "Herks" is to check if they have striations. No striations; they're from NY. Tibetan, Chinese, Mexican, French, German.... they ALL have striations. Only some of the calcite embedded Herks from Fonda have some WEAK striations. If you want to know more, send me an E-ml at

Your friend, Steve
Alfredo Petrov June 02, 2012 11:43PM
Labelling something "Tibetan" seems to help it sell better to the mystically inclined, but most things labelled "Tibetan" are really from somewhere else.
Volkmar Stingl June 02, 2012 11:45PM
Uwe Kolitsch Wrote:
> Jeremy: do you have a ref. for this Chinese
> deposit?

Hello Uwe,

the location is already listed on mindat: Jinkouhe, Leshan Pref., Sichuan, China


wow! I just recognized, how late I am with my comment! I should have had a look at the date....

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/02/2012 11:48PM by Volkmar Stingl.
Owen Lewis (2) June 04, 2012 04:47PM
steven garza Wrote:
> Sorry to have just seen your msg., just a LOT
> late; but, the best way to tell REAL Herks from
> ALL other "Herks" is to check if they have
> striations. No striations; they're from NY.
> Tibetan, Chinese, Mexican, French, German.... they
> ALL have striations. Only some of the calcite
> embedded Herks from Fonda have some WEAK
> striations. If you want to know more, send me an
> E-ml at
> Your friend, Steve

Are you sure?

I have four pyramidally bi-terminated small Rock Crystals in my personal collection, none of which was bought at the inflated price of 'Herkimer from Herkimer' and two of which (both hydrocarbon included) are from Baluchistan.

Only two are mildly striated, one from Baluchistan and one other. I believe that the one other is probably of synthetic origin (bought retail for GBP 3 for study). I made that tentative attribution not simply on the basis of the rock-bottom retail price in a local store but on the present of striations normal to the C axis (rapidly alternating crystal forms during growth) and also the detection of a just a few microscopic bubbles (not negative crystals) within the specimen, both being features that have been reported as sometimes occurring during synthesis. This specimen, unlike any of the other three, is also clean of any other inclusions at up to x65 magnification.

If you have evidence of Herkimer County being the only source of unstriated double-terminated Rock Crystals (and that it also yields some specimens with bi- and tri-phasic hydroocarbon inclusions, I should be grateful to know about it.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/04/2012 07:27PM by Owen Lewis (2).
Wayne Corwin June 04, 2012 07:50PM
If these folks don't mind stealing the name "Herkimer Diamond"
I don't think they mind stealing the location name "Tiebet" ;-)
Jennifer Shipley June 04, 2012 09:21PM
"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.
steven garza June 05, 2012 10:55PM
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
Alfredo Petrov June 05, 2012 11:58PM
"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.
Jennifer Shipley June 13, 2012 12:40AM
Alfredo, please explain what is wrong with the Himalayan geology for dt's?
Alfredo Petrov June 13, 2012 01:50AM
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.
Jennifer Shipley June 14, 2012 01:20AM
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 09:34AM by Jennifer Shipley.
open | download - tibetandtquartz1.jpg (721.4 KB)
Dean Allum June 15, 2012 12:20AM
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
Alfredo Petrov June 15, 2012 01:24AM
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.
Andy Stucki (2) June 15, 2012 09:04AM
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).
Jennifer Shipley June 15, 2012 10:54AM
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. :)
Alan Barnes (2) June 15, 2012 12:00PM
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.

Jennifer Shipley June 16, 2012 12:16AM
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. :-(

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.
Stephanie Martin June 16, 2012 03:50AM
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 :-)
John Stolz June 16, 2012 04:14PM
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.

Jennifer Shipley June 17, 2012 12:33AM
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. :-) 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. :)
Jennifer Shipley June 17, 2012 03:09AM
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."
Stephanie Martin June 17, 2012 04:02AM

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 :-)
John Stolz June 17, 2012 07:08AM

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
Tom Tucker June 18, 2012 06:41PM
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".
Alfredo Petrov June 18, 2012 07:53PM
Thank you, Tom, very interesting! Are these similar to the crystals depicted on Mindat for the "Saltville" locality? The Saltville quartz pictures on Mindat look a bit like herkimers, although a couple hundred miles from the area you're talking about. It would be nice to get some pictures on Mindat of Virginia "herks" from the Strasburg/Front Royal area too - there don't seem to be any yet.

I'm ignorant of the geology of that part of the country, so I hope someone with more knowledge than I steps in to describe it, but I suspect that from a geological perspective those rocks might be part of the "Appalachian Basin" rather than the true Appalachian "mountains", but I'm merely quibbling... Closer to the actual ancient continental collision front, things got quite strongly metamorphosed.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/18/2012 08:01PM by Alfredo Petrov.
Amanda Hawkins June 18, 2012 09:23PM

There are also similar small double terminated quartz crystals from Afghanistan with yellow petroleum inclusions as well as carbon particles. They often have floating bubbles (and carbon bits) - amazing under an eye glass :-)

open | download - SN 2252 G.JPG (19.4 KB)
Alfredo Petrov June 18, 2012 09:32PM
Amanda, Your crystal looks like the ones coming from Khuzdar district, in Baluchistan, Pakistan. Try looking at it under an ultraviolet light - The fluorescence of the oil inclusions is amazing!
Tom Tucker June 19, 2012 12:40AM
Alfredo, Saltville is over 200 miles to the southwest, but the rocks are similar early Paleozoic age. The pictures here of the Saltville crystals look good - I've seen similar crystals from the nearby Marion area that were rather milky.
Yes, all these localities are in the sedimentary Appalachian Basin, in carbonate rocks of Cambrian to Silurian age. Crystalline rocks of the "Appalachian Mountains" are represented by the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains in the southern areas, and by most of New England in the north. The Blue Ridge has been thrust to the west up to 150 miles in the last of the Appalachian orogenies, stopping less than a mile from overriding the quartz crystals at Front Royal. They have the power!
Amanda Hawkins June 20, 2012 04:38PM
Thanks Alfredo, I will do!

Anonymous User August 26, 2012 03:16AM
hi , double terminated quartz came from numerous locality. i own more than 80 specimens of quartz with this diamond shape all from a different locality and in all possible colour . i have red one from spain .blue with indicolite from bresil . green with epidote from madagascar , orange with amphibole inclusions from madagascar ,pink hematoidal from kazakhstan .amethyst from russia. opaque black with bitumen from italy and many other locality . silver colour with stibnite from brasil . orange one with a cactus like shape from mexico (call pecos diamond) and ect and ect .all my specimens came with a full mining label . why buy a double terminated quartz if your not sure of the exact locality . the world is full of well documented localities for quartz in this shape . like if not enough some unscrupulous dealers polish quartz points to make them bi-terminated or they made them from glass .if all this place in the world find their own name like pakimer or herkimer+locality .we will never seen the end.bye
Owen Lewis (2) August 26, 2012 01:44PM

Only a beginner would fail to distinguish correctly a cut and polished specimen from a natural under just x10 mag - or even none.

There is a place for the polishing/part polishing of specimens where the interest is, either or both, to examine microscopically the interior features of a crystal or observe or measure accurately some of its optical characteristics - or even simply its colour.

Such treatment of crystals is not only a commonplace in research but is also a frequent precursor to offering some items fro sale (e.g. Jadeite boulders before auction).

If dealers' labels are a be all and end all for some, so be it. It's a very human trait - as a several thousand year record of trading in and exhibition of Saints' relics and similar shows. Chaqu'un à son gôut. For others, it is more important to understand, in detail, what they have in their hand than to have a (his)story as to where it came from. Of course, to know all and with 100% certainty of accuracy would be very nice - but that is a goal (IMHO) not commonly achieved.

Spencer Ivan Mather August 26, 2012 02:03PM
I found a couple of good clear doubly terminated quartz crystals at the Tankerville mine in Shropshire, but I don't claim that they are "Herkimer Diamonds", this is just a fraud..!
Owen Lewis (2) August 26, 2012 07:07PM
Would you say that Cheddar cheese may come only from Cheddar or that Frankfurter sausages may only come from Frankfurt ('am Main' or 'an der Oder' )?

Is it not more generally useful to label an item according to its properties rather than strictly by it's place of origin? When a place name should be used as a type label is debatable but, whatever, it occasionally happens and labels, once applied, tend to stick.

IMHO there is much less reason for shout 'fraud!' because a double-terminated Rock Crystal from any place in the world is called 'Herkimer' than that a similar stone dug up in Herkimer NY USA is named as a Diamond! Mote, beam, eye, plucking ;-) Better still, lets have another beer....
Anonymous User August 28, 2012 06:38PM
hi Owen. i think than the polish double terminated quartz point or just made of glass are made the more often designed for the new age market.they think than a quartz a double ending have a bigger power or something like that. i have not really sympathy for this kind of persons but i feel a little bit sad for this customers buying a thing than it's not what they want . if quartz for them have a kind of power they will probaly angry to know than what they buy it's glass.,bye
Owen Lewis (2) August 28, 2012 10:42PM
Hi Yanick,

Yes, I agree that 'New Age' is the bulk market. This does not appeal to you (nor to me) but others who no longer can believe in God but feel the need to believe in *something* are often attracted to this quackery. So be it let them pass in peace.

Of course, when they buy glass it *might* truly be Quartz also. Pure SiO2 that has been vitrified on cooling rather than possessing a crystalline lattice structure? ;-)

I have two cut and polished specimens. The first I bought as such because it was relatively cheap and allowed me to examine with great clarity the several acicular Rutile inclusions that it contained. The other was a small Indicolite specimen with a 'closed C' that was one of the first stones I bought. I sent this away to have the bronen end cut and polished to match the natural pinacoidal termination at the opposite end and also to have a flat cut and polished on one of the trigonal sides, exactly parallel to the C axis. This enables me to demonstrate some interesting anomalies in the optic character of this biaxial stone. It has also (and quite unexpectedly) slowly changed its colour following this treatment (a year ago) and is now almost black. The reason for this I am still researching. It's interesting stuff, Tourmaline.

I expect, occasionally, to have other stones cut in future for the purpose of extending my learning, as do some others. It may not be a 'nice' thing to do but it's hard to experience the anatomy of a body without dissecting some corpses.
Anonymous User August 29, 2012 05:20AM
hi , i have a large collection of included quartz . i agree with you about necessity of polishing quartz to exposed the inclusions . included quartz are easy to identify too when they are polished . recently i seen false included quartz on the market . some tiny pieces of metal wire been added to glass to try to make them look as kind of multi-color rutile inclusions and polish in quartz shape. they are mislabel as rutile quartz from vietnam and i dont even talk about the golden-strawberry glass recently appeared on the market and labeled as pink hematoidal quartz with golden limonite inclusions. nothing is never enough for this persons and their avidity for the money of ignorants persons .we often say to newcomers than a good way to indentify quartz is to look for inclusions inside the crystal. this kind of persons know this advice and use it at their advantage .i often tell to sellers than what they offer was in fact glass but they dont believe and tell me than its impossible showing the inclusions
Pinchpotter April 07, 2015 01:57AM
The problem with polished crystals is that they are not necessarily polished crystals. They can be massive quartz cut in the shape of a crystal. The ONLY way you can be sure that a stone is a naturally formed quartz is by horizontal growth marks on each of six sides. And, they come to a point that has 6 sides. See the attached photo.

People are calling crystals that are the shape of Herkimer diamonds "herkimers" partly because that is the only name that describes that particular shape. Some geologists do it. The stones that are being called Pakimers are from Asia, and I feel that it is an ethical attempt to identify the stones. However, there are many people use the word "herkimer" as an unethical marketing tool.

I'm a rock hound who has had some training in mineralogy - I've been tripping over quartz crystals all my life (literally!) Because of the way I find them people decided I know all about the "woo woo" of stones and started pleading with me to teach crystal classes. I can read the books and I could recite that stuff but didn't want to. I finally decided to have a group work with three quartz crystals: clear, smoky, and amethyst. I did a guided meditation then had them hold the stones and write down whatever came to mind. To my complete and utter astonishment most of the people in the group said similar things about each crystal. I was dumb-founded! I didn't believe in any of it. I've continued to facilitate classes the same way with the same results and have learned to google the symbols people come up with. They usually have similar meanings. I still call it "woo woo".

The first time I deliberately went to a mine to find quartz crystals, it turned out that it had been mined for crystals for the crystal radios used during WW2. The radios didn't work without the crystals.

I think that the whole "Lemurian" crystal thing is marketing.
Ranger Dave April 07, 2015 04:38AM
I had a box of a few dozen quartz crystals from an inch to 3 inches. Nothing really spectacular. I took them to a rock show and dealers offered me $10 for the whole box. I declined. A month later they had a "psychic fair" in the same building. (I wondered if they didn't advertise, would anyone show up?) I sold all the crystals there for $10, or more, each.
John Oostenryk April 07, 2015 11:39PM
Howdy Pinchpotter-
Yes- The Lemurian "backstory for quartz habits" thing is ridiculous! There is NO "Lemuria"~ it was a fictional place popularized by Blavatsky in late 1800's.

Total hogwash and thus smacks of serious (self)deception and I DO find THAT disconcerting. Basing anything on a Lie is baddd news. In that case belief does not = reality!

Smoothing my annoyance//Flip side of coin to ME, though:
I suppose if people want to create a "new" religion/belief system and it IS peaceful, I have little issue with that.
Certainly have no need to impose my facts on their feelings unbidden.
I am polite in my refutation of "not being into that" if queried. I have never had someone 'jump' me for NOT being into it. Can't fault that!
Conduct otherwise starts at improper and rapidly approaches being an a&&%ole.
Before I stray too far- thus the reason for separation of gov and religion... Gov being imposition and religion intended as voluntary.

As to the metaphys 'names' for quartz habits, I find their naming tangentially 'useful'. I can't stop it or change it, but at least the terms encourage accurate communication. When encountered I go home and look up the proper terms. So a positive learning impetus is good:)-

Have to ask, this seemed glaring from your description-maybe your description wasn't complete? The group has similar responses because they have similar beliefs prior? Take a group of completely unconnected people. (no prior topic interest or reading on subject) See what THEY say. Could even be some control group issues even from the simple societal factors of color or maybe dif size of pieces? big small dark light = good bad powerful etc. Just curious- interesting stuff.

Best regards,
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