Hydrocarbons, Oil, Follow: The “holes” in the dolomite rock are covered, sometimes filled, with oil.
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It is estimated that more than 60% of the world’s oil reserves (as of 2106 - not including fracking) is found to be hosted within holes in carbonate rock. The Herkimer district can be viewed as a “fossilized” oil deposit within a carbonate rock. The oil is not flowing anymore but all the signs are left behind to tell us that it was at one time liquid. See the hydrocarbon page for this evidence.
The significance of this oil, for the formation of Herkimer diamonds, is that this oil was being introduced into the rock along with, and episodic with, solutions containing the ingredients needed to make Herkimer diamonds. This quartz - oil interaction has been the focus of our field investigations since 2014, and new findings are expected in 2016. To see the preserved evidence of oil and the quartz solutions interaction see the following page:
The presence of hydrocarbons in the birth place of Herkimer diamonds is probably the single most influential factor contributing to their “diamond like” form and brilliance.
Although we are still studying the evidence left behind this mixing of oil and quartz bearing fluids in the Herkimer Mining District, we can say with fairly high confidence the following:When Herkimer diamonds are found within cavities that have a strong presence of black hydrocarbon they have a high chance of being both clear and brilliant.This is something Herkimer diamond miners and collectors have known for decades and yet there has not been a geologic theory put forth to explain this feature that is almost universal across the entire district. Not only that, some of the most exciting Herkimer diamond finds have been these types of black “pockets” (larger cavities in the rock where crystals can be found). They have been given the name “jewelry boxes” because of the high brilliance shown by the Herkimer diamonds that are dug out of the black mass within.
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