next next previous previous
Old Theories about How Herkimer Diamonds Were Made - Were they formed at the same time the host rock was made or after?
Best Website for Herkimer Diamond Information - Made Possible by Collector Donations
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!
Return often and follow this developing story. Refresh your browser (right click) to see new updates
You may have heard lots of different explanations for the origin of Herkimer diamonds. It almost seems like everyone has there own story. Some are on the Internet, and in some publications. The central story seeks to connect the making of Herkimer diamonds with the making of the rock in which they are found - claiming that they were made at the same time (strata bound).  This story is in conflict with the one presented on The old story describes the making of Herkimer diamonds as having occurred during the consolidation of the host rock. There are some problems with this story and they are as follows: 1:  How does this explain the variations from one mine to another across the district? 2. How does this explain vertical structures with mineralization in the district? 3. If it is strata bound (tied to the making of the host rock), then where are all the other strata bound Herkimer diamond deposits around the world? Is there something special; about this strata? Are all Herkimer diamond mines found within this special strata? 4. How does the strata bound story explain the massive amount of “petrified hydrocarbon” (inaccurately labeled anthraxolite) occurring across the mining district? 5. How does the strata bound theory explain the presence of variations in the quartz structure as it comes into contact with hydrocarbon? (see research on curved features). The story that is presented here on can answer each of these questions, and supply supportive photo evidence - pictures with discussions throughout this website. The old story has not done so thus far.
Strata bound versus strata influenced: If you have mined for Herkimer diamonds you will have run into very hard rock.  The guys who use drills will wear out drill bits fairly quickly. It is most often around vugs and pockets which contain Herkimer diamonds.  Our initial field and lab work suggest that this rock has been silica enhanced.  This can be seen as contact zones directly around the pocket, and also as tiny veins of silica in the host rock.  This evidence fits the the story about Herkimer diamonds presented on this website which calls for the host rock to act as an influencer, but this is not the same as being a strata bound mineral deposit.
Closed System versus Open: One of the main differences between the strata bound story and the strata influenced one is the idea of a closed Herkimer making environment versus a Herkimer diamonds birthing place where some, and probably most, of the material influencing the growth of Herkimer diamonds, are being introduced from outside the pocket (see hydrothermal photo evidence).  If the story you like is the strata bound one then the closed system applies AND this is quite important.  At what point during the making of the host rock does the system become a sealed system, what size is this sealed chamber and what ingredients are within at the start?
Updated - 03/09/2019
Contribute to Herkimer Diamond research and have your name below!
Thank you Shannon Haley Wilbur for the donation of 30 samples from the Fonda region.1/05/2019 and 3/2/2019 Check out her Facebook.
Photo Request!
In Place Pocket Photos