Herkimer diamonds are very unique quartz crystals with two naturally occurring ‘faces’ on both ends, known as double-terminated. This structure means that the crystals have 18 faces in total, with six each on both ends and six occupying the center. As the name suggests, they originate from Herkimer County in New York where we source the Herkimers for our jewelry.
Aside from their unusually hexagonal appearance, Herkimer diamonds are highly prized for their brilliant often transparent purity, truly embodying the phrase ‘crystal clear’. Whilst known as ‘diamonds’ to us in the English-speaking world, Herkimer diamonds are actually a quartz crystal, though their observable clarity gives them that classical diamond appearance we have come to recognize.
Herkimer Diamonds Meaning Historically
Herkimer diamonds were popular with the Mohawk people of the eastern United States who recognized their value and would fashion amulets and jewelry from them as well as using them to trade until their popularity waned with the introduction of European glass.
Similarly, the Mayans held Herkimer diamonds in high regard, calling them "TLAQUAUACTECPATI" – which means: "Light of the goddess and the heavenly god".
The Ancient Romans are said to also have used Herkimer diamonds to honor Angerona, the goddess of silence and keeper of secrets, who was depicted with a sealed mouth and one finger held to her lips.
Meghan Markle famously wore Herkimer diamond necklace, earrings and bracelet to the wedding of Princess Eugenie, a granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II in 2018.
How Herkimer Diamonds Formed
Herkimer Diamond Mines
Herkimer diamonds are alternatively known as "Little Falls diamond" or "Middleville diamond", named after Little Falls city and Middleville village, both situated within Herkimer County in New York, USA where deposits were found in very large quantities during the latter part of the 1700s. Deposits can also be found elsewhere outside of Herkimer County for example in Pakistan, China, France, Italy and more. These would not exactly be 'Herkimer' although their structure would be the same as the ones located within Herkimer County.
To get your own unique piece of jewelry made from this gemstone, shop our made to order Herkimer quartz jewelry here.