Dr. C’s Blog about Exploring the Herkimer Mining District
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Every year something new is discovered within the Herkimer Mining District. You can find these under New Discoveries
The information, and photography, on this website is copyright protected by W. David Hoisington, Ph. D. unless another author/photographer is cited.
Welcome to the New Herkimer Diamond Story!
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The blog entries are aimed at presenting non technical discussions of the collaborative work being done on expanding the story of how Herkimer diamonds were made. At the start of each year the blog page will begin fresh and the previous year’s blog entries put on a separate archive webpage.
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Thanks to the mine owner I have been able to photograph some crystal frost from Alaska - seems apropos (frost from Alaska). This is a new location, just announced here for the first time. I was going to wait till the July talk in Herkimer to announce this, but the crystal is so remarkable that it is now the lead in photo on the crystal frost page. The photo shows the two main forms of crystal frost - the arch form and the flat form. These two forms have also been photographed by this author in connection to “Pakidiamonds” - Herkimer diamond like crystals from Pakistan. I will show these comparisons at the July talk in Herkimer (in addition to results from the spheres research).
NEW!! “Alaska Diamonds” very similar to Herkimer Diamonds - January, 2017
The photo on the crystal frost page also shows the base contact point with the crystal frost which presumably was once on matrix - marked C on the photo on the crystal frost page. Note the tiny groves at the crystal tip. From these groves, extending upward into the crystal, you can see stacked crystal frost arches - faint, but visible. The Herkimer diamond like crystal grew with its tip touching the matrix and over the top of the crystal frost. I think that the evidence connecting the crystal frost to the origin of Herkimer diamonds will continue to accumulate. It will show us this is an important part of how Herkimer diamonds grew - tips facing the matrix.
The “Alaska Diamonds” mentioned below is but one of the many locations world wide which contain Herkimer diamond like crystals. Another famous location is in Payson Arizona. I had the opportunity recently to visit there after attending the wedding of Jeff Scovil (mineral photographer). At some point in the future this website will have individual web pages for each mine - including the Payson location. The forest service closed down the location, so that made any detailed geology work impossible. I was fortunate to find a local rock shop where they had 50 loose singles, from which I selected 7. Photo on the left is me feeling happy to have the scientific specimens protected in a small white box.Very preliminary investigations suggest that most of the “Payson diamonds” grow laying down, not tip to matrix like shown with the Alaska diamonds. In addition the Payson diamonds are found in rounded, irregular, nodules in sedimentary rock with calcite - when you can actually see them in matrix. Most are loose on the surface. There is no reported hydrocarbon, or dolomite or quartz druze (except in geodes in a different location nearby that do not contain the Herkimer diamond like crystals). More to come on this location and the Pakidiamonds, with plans to briefly cover this at the July Herkimer Festival talk “Spheres, Curves and Other New Discoveries in the Herkimer District”. This trip to Payson helped me to formulate a list of mine comparative features, but this will not be done by July.