This site was last updated on July, 2010
Quartz Crystal Habits within Herkimer Diamond Deposits
Definitions and Scope:
The best website on "Herkimer Diamonds"
Larger photos of the thumbnails presented on the main "Crystal Form" page. Included is location information (with photo source link embedded). In some instances additional information and comments are provided for each photo. There may be some differences in the form that groups take across different Herkimer diamond sites - for example when comparing Fonda (DA) to Middleville (HDM & AD).
Herkimer Diamond groups - free standing, no matrix:
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From the collection of Jeff and Val Collins Also see skeletal growth page
Small natural group of clear crystals (some inclusions)
Above is a brilliantly clear group of crystals, all without damage and only few inclusions - a rare group! 4 cm tall, from the Hoisington Family collection, special thanks to brother Micheal. Fonda, NY (DA) - 1992. Photo Dr.D.
On the left is an unusual circle of "diamonds". Excellent undamaged crystals, many water clear crystals in the group. It is also large, 8 cm in diameter, for a group of unique form and quality. From the Hoisington Family collection. Fonda, NY (DA) - 1992. Photo Dr.D.
See also the "sister" picture on the the matrix photos page.
A public service project always open to input from the community interested in Herkimer diamonds.
This is a very large cluster of Herkimer diamonds from Fonda. NY. The partially smokey crystal in the center is 13 cm point-to-point (the penny helps with scale) and has a nice classic form which is hard to find in very large crystals. In the early years of collecting at Fonda (1960's -70's) pockets could be found near the surface packed tight with clusters of large crystals. You followed the open cracks between dolostone blocks until you hit a pocket with a cluster in it. When the crystals were removed they would not remain together. This specimen has been reconstructed. Yet it is a good example of a large tight cluster common for Fonda, NY (DA). Photo Dr. D.
An unusual group of very light smokey, almost citrine (sometimes called "champagne"), Herkimers. Dimension across the length of the speciment is 5 cm. The clarity is quite good for a pale smokey group this size. It was the same pocket that supplied other photos on this website. A hydrocarbon rich pocket from Fonda, NY (DA 1972) Micheal Hoisington. Photo Dr. D.
Note: Almost all free standing groups of Herkimer diamonds are "restored", sort of like restoring and old art work to its former beauty. When pulling the crystal groups from the Earth they almost always disconnect from each other. Skilled collectors put them back together. Sometimes small clusters of crystals can be natural, and here are noted as so.
On the left is an interesting group because so many crystals are packed together, and many are water clear. The base of this group has over 40 crystals. Most came out of the ground naturally attached to each other along the bottom and edges of the larger central crystal (no reconstruction needed on the bottom). The distance across the specimen is 9 cm with a height of 6 cm. It came from a hydrocarbon rich pocket in Fonda NY (DA 1992). Photo Dr. D. 2008. Again it is worth noting the tight clustering of groups at the Fonda site.
Below is a photo of the same specimen looking at the base and the clustering of many crystals (arrow points to the center, but the small crystals are across the base left and right of the arrow). The dark brown material is contact rock.
The photo on the left is more typical of groups from Middleville (this from AD) which tend to grow in more of a line instead of a cluster (like the above photo). The crystals are most frequently fractured, but have excellent face development. The specimen is a little over 6 cm long and the photo is donated by Mike Eggleston. Visit his website - see the link below:
Please send us photo donations. Nice quality photos will be added, with credit given.
Web page author - W. David Hoisington, Ph.D.
The photo photo below is also from Middleville (this from AD) showing the growth in a line instead of a cluster. The crystals in this case also show a heavy rust coating (from disolved pyrite/marasite?). The specimen is 10 cm long and the specimen is donated by Frank. The sharp face development noted for these groups can be clearly seen. There are photos on the color page using this specimen. Photo Dr. D. 2010