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Herks.com unveils new web site
Our new web site rocks LOL! More stunning photos, info about mining Herks, gallery of world-class crystals, and a new store. Browse away!
What are Herkimer Diamonds?
"Herkimer Diamonds" are not diamonds but rather a particular variation of quartz crystal. Being quartz, they are silica-based whereas diamonds are carbon-based. So then, what's with the name? Well, these crystals look like diamonds in shape, luster, and clarity. They can be clear or milky, or colored smoky, golden, or champagne. They naturally have 6 faces with 18 facets. They can form as singles, in clusters, as druzy, or in matrix. They can contain enhydros, inclusions, phantoms, skeletal faces, and rainbows. These double-terminated quartz crystals can be found in many locations around the world, but New York is famous for crystals with the clarity and luster similar to that found in carbon-based diamonds.
How Did "Herkimer Diamonds" Form?
Here is where we leave the world of fact and enter the world of educated thought. There are different theories about the formation of these double-terminated crystals, but there isn't one that is accepted by the entire geological community. So after spending 20+ years digging and learning about these crystals, this is our take on these beauties. "Herkimer Diamonds" are formed in pockets (or vugs) within dolomitic limestone, which is a sedimentary rock. They are dated to be between 350 - 400 million years old. At some point, the vug contained a liquid solution that provided the environment for crystals to freely form without attaching to the host rock. As the solution drained and evaporated from the vug, double-terminated crystals were left behind loose within the vug. Some crystals attached to each other (clustering) while some attached to the host limestone (matrix). Still others both clustered and attached to the host rock (see the "Superman" matrix) It is common for the crystals to form around an impurity such as a fleck of black anthraxolite. Other minerals associated with "Herkimer Diamonds" are dolomite, calcite, pyrite, and marcasite.
"Herkimer Diamond" crystals are known as attunement crystals as they are able to draw in, hold and release energy from both ends of the crystal. They are associated with the crown chakra, but can be used to clear and open any chakra. A clear crystal can excite thoughts while a milky crystal can calm thoughts during meditation. They are placed over the "third eye" to enhance telepathic abilities and placed on the body to release negative energy. They are used by two or more people simultaneously to balance energy. Spiritually, they are used to unlock ancient knowledge of the past and of the future.
External Characteristics of Herkimer Diamonds
Like snowflakes, no two Herkimer Diamonds are exactly the same. However they do have some common characteristics that can be easily observed. Some of those exterior characteristics are the following:
Skeletal Face - where layers of the face are open, showing unfinished growth. In extreme examples a deep opening into the crystal face - a natural hole - is exposed. In less extreme examples, and irregular waviness on the face.
Record Keeper - etched or raised triangle on face of crystal.
Self Healed - severed from original matrix or cluster then later continued to grow new crystal structure over area of separation (similar to a skin scab).
Window Face - diamond or rectangle face between body and tip.
Time line to the Past - rectangle face pointing to the left.
Time line to the Future - rectangle face pointing to the right.
Golden Healer - Iron coating on outside faces or as a golden inclusion.
Tabular - a flattened shape where two opposite sides are at least twice as wide as the others, giving the appearance of a tablet.
Generator Crystal - 6 evenly spaced sides that center at the tip.
Internal Characteristics of Herkimer Diamonds
Rainbow - light being refracted by a crack or inclusion.
Enhydro - air or water bubble. Can be stationary or mobile.
Anthraxolite Inclusion - a black carbon-based mineral. Can be stationary or mobile.
Other mineral inclusions - common ones are dolomite, calcite, pyrite, and marcasite.
Manifestation crystal - when a small crystal grows totally within the larger crystal.
Phantom - another mineral included (usually anthraxolite) in fine layers resembling another crystal in shape. Gives a ghost-like appearance (i.e. phantom).
Herks.com has an extensive, but limited crystal availability. All of these crystals are hand dug without the aid of power tools or explosives. Our online catalog gives a fair representation of the types of Herks we have available. Quantities vary. Also, some crystals don't fit into one of the nine departments of the Herks.com Store. There are other characteristics found in Herkimer Diamonds that you might be interested to know about. If you have a specific characteristic in mind, drop us a note and we'll take a look for you. ASK@Herks.com
OVERALL APPEAL (OA)
Overall Appeal (or OA) is a short hand we use when describing the quality of Herks. Overall Appeal is subjective, but based on viewing, and inspecting thousands of Herkimer crystals. We look at the crystal shape, color, and overall condition. We look at how the crystal stands, or presents, and where the flaws are located. We consider the rarity of each crystal form. All together, these qualities make up crystal's Overall Appeal. The scale is simple: 1 for little appeal, 10 for it couldn't be better.
Clarity, Color, and Grading
GENERAL GRADING SYSTEM
At Herks.com we use a grading scale of 1-5 as a standard measure for crystal quality. We are well aware of the scale AAA-D often seen associated with Herks, with grading interpretations inconsistent not only across the market, but within vendor stock.
NATURAL - RECONSTRUCTED - REPAIRED
Except for a good cleaning, the Herkimer crystals on this web site are in the same condition as when they were found; Natural. There are two possible conditions other than natural: Reconstructed, and Repaired.
1) Reconstructed: Crystal-to-crystal: crystals have been glued to their original contact points. Each piece fits to one location and only one location, on another crystal. Think of it as a three-dimensional, crystal jigsaw puzzle. It is very unusual to remove an intact cluster of 3 or more crystals from a pocket or a vug. Although crystals create imprints on nearby crystals as they grow (contacts), they often create too loose of a bond to stay intact (for they are very old), so we use "Epoxy 330" to reconstruct these clusters. Crystal-to-matrix: crystals have been glued to their original contact with the matrix. The most common way for this condition to occur is when the crystal has broken, leaving a "footprint" on the matrix, thus, becoming a repair. This is not a very common condition with our crystals. Generally speaking, if the crystal falls off the matrix, we leave it off. Matrix-to-matrix: the matrix has split and been glued to provide a full foundation for the cluster. This is a very rare condition of reconstruction for Herks.com.
You should assume that clusters on this website have at least one glued bond of crystal-to-crystal, otherwise, we will say natural cluster. Reconstructing is very labor intensive when done correctly, the way we do it. Still, a reconstructed cluster is trumped by the natural cluster.
2) Repaired: Damage to crystals happens "naturally" over time. Earthquakes, glaciers, and tectonic plate shifts are all natural earth movements that have occurred since the crystals were formed many millions of years ago. And admittedly, the process and tools of "liberating" crystals can be rather violent causing unintentional damage to them. So, for the select, well deserving crystals, the pieces are assembled, a dry fitting is done, then glued with "Epoxy 330". Often, repairs can't be detected without magnification. Sometimes the repair is quite obvious, but deemed necessary (increasing the Overall Appeal). We try to mention all repairs but no guarantee they are all accounted for. On occasion, even we can't tell if a repair has been made. If in doubt, please ask. We do our best to accurately describe our crystal condition.
With the above in mind, a natural cluster (no breaks, no detachments) is a very rare item and will be priced accordingly. Most will be placed on the Top Shelf.
Our Pay, Ship, Return Policy
HOW TO BUY FROM HERKS.COM
1) Herks.Com uses PayPal as our third party secure payment method. We do not see or ask for your financial information.
2) You do not need a PayPal account to pay for your purchase, however, all transactions will be processed through PayPal's secure system.
3) Payment methods include: Credit & Debit Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and PayPal accounts.
4) You will receive an invoice from PayPal to complete your transaction.
5) Herks.Com will send you a confirmation email after your transaction is complete.
If you need to make other payment arrangements, send us an email or call. Buy@Herks.Com
SHIPPING FROM - TO HERKS.COM
1) Shipping charges are calculated at check out. They are estimated based on the weight of your purchase.
If the actual shipping charge is less than the amount calculated at check out, the difference will be returned to the buyer's account.
Shipping under-charges will be covered by Herks.Com up to $10.
2) Our shipping carrier is United States Postal Service (USPS), our preferred transit is Priority Mail, Domestic/International. Visit: USPS
3) Shipping duration: Domestic 3-4 days, International 6-10 days.
4) Sales tax will be calculated and added to purchases mailed to Massachusetts.
5) Prices listed on the Herks.com web site are in US dollars. Weights and measures are in metric.
6) Insurance is available for all US and International shipments.
RETURNS AND REFUNDS
Herks.Com takes great care in accurately representing and packaging the crystals, but sometimes things happen. If your purchase arrives in good condition but you are not completely satisfied, you may make a return within 7 days of receiving the order. To ensure a full refund, follow these steps:
1) Send us an email at ASK@Herks.Com so we expect your package.
2) Wrap each item in it's original wrapping and secure it with tape.
3) Pack it in a new shipping box the same as was sent to you. Include all original paperwork.
4) Ship to Herks.Com as printed on the return label, insuring package for full value.
5) Refund is issued to the original funding source, or credit is applied toward a different Herks.Com selection.
If your insured purchase arrives damaged or it gets lost in shipping, or your cluster arrives unglued,
please email us first: ASK@Herks.Com
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