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How Can You Tell a Herkimer Diamond From Clear Quartz?

Updated March 23, 2017

Herkimimer diamonds are not diamonds at all; they are quartz crystals that are set apart from other stones by a set of parameters that apply solely to Herkimer crystals. At a glance, it can be extremely difficult to tell a Herkimer crystal from an ordinary quartz crystal, but careful examination and familiarity with the qualities of a Herkimer diamond will make identification crystal-clear.

Familiarise yourself with the origin of Herkimer diamonds to avoid confusion with ordinary quartz crystals. The Herkimer quartz stones were originally mined in Herkimer County of New York. True Herkimer diamonds come only from this region, but crystals with similar compositions have been mined in Arizona, Argentina, the Ukraine, China and Norway. A reliable vendor can tell you the origin of your stone. If you are trying to purchase an authentic Herkimer diamond, only purchase crystals that were mined in New York state.

Examine the ends of your stone and look for two distinct points of termination. Herkimer Diamonds naturally terminate at both ends of the stone, forming a diamond-shaped stone with an average of eighteen facets and two end points. Whereas a diamond or an ordinary quartz stone must be cut and polished into shape, most Herkimer stones need minimal effort to bring their brilliance to full light.

Observe any metaphysical strength that may emanate from your Herkimer Diamond. Those who believe in the healing energy of stones assert that Herkimer crystals are the strongest of quartz crystals and can induce everything from heightened extrasensory perception to clearer chakras. While by no means a foolproof test, see if your Herkimer crystal is stronger in any rituals or meditations than an ordinary crystal. Ask a friend to place each stone in a small pouch so you can blind-test your crystal's force.

Tip

When in doubt, consult a professional jeweller or gemologist to determine whether or not your stone is a Herkimer diamond.

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About the Author

Hailing from California, Ann Mazzaferro is a professional writer who has written for "The Pacifican," "Calliope Literary Magazine" and presented at the National Undergraduate Literature Conference. Mazzaferro graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of the Pacific.