Monday, February 06, 2012

Herkimer Diamonds

My ears perked up recently. I was in the Bottle Tree Gallery, buyoutsidethebox's retail gallery on Main Street in historic Heber Springs. A good customer was in the gallery talking with one of our artists, Dawn Peters who makes wonderful wire wrapped jewelry. Dawn and her husband David travel around the country mining interesting gemstones and gold for Dawn to make into her extraordinary adornments.

They were talking about "Herkimer Diamonds," which of course aren't actually diamonds at all, but double-terminated quartz found in the Herkimer County region of New York state. I had never heard of this and so joined the conversation.

Herkimer diamonds were first discovered by workmen while cutting into the Mohawk River Valley dolostone in the late 18th century. While they are not "real" diamonds, these beautiful gemstones from New York State are often known for their extreme clarity.

(c) 2009 - Ruth Mitchell - all rights reserved

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