A friend asked me about Herkimer Diamonds – are they actually diamonds? What are they supposed to do? Are they expensive? All good questions. And you know how much I love to talk about gemstones! So I pulled out my strand of Herkimer Diamonds as we talked.
Herkimers are not actually diamonds. They are a variety of Quartz Crystals with a high level of clarity or brightness. They can be referred to as Herkimer Diamonds, Herkimer Quartz Diamonds, or Herkimers. They should never be called Diamond because they are not diamonds. Herkimers are double terminated (pointy on both sides) Quartz crystals which are only found in and around Herkimer County, New York. While double terminated quartz is fairly rare, it can be found in a few other parts of the world – Arizona, Norway, Afghanistan, China and Ukraine – it’s just not a Herkimer Diamond if it wasn’t mined in Herkimer.
My friend and I chatted for a while longer and she asked me to design a bracelet for her. With pleasure! After we said our goodbyes I sat quietly, holding my strand of Herkimers and feeling their energy. I had purchased them a few months ago, not because I had a specific design in mind, but because the strand is phenomenal, and I knew I might not find a strand like this again. That’s not the way things roll for me (see my post on Hemimorphite). As I said, Herkimers are rare, which means they are difficult to mine and limited in quantity, which means their price is starting to rise. I almost hadn’t bought the strand because I haven’t used quartz in my designs that frequently. Actually, I’ve avoided using clear quartz in my personal jewelry, and I’ve even been known to caution my customers to limit the amount of quartz that they wear too. Why? Why would I do such a thing??
First, let me say there is absolutely nothing wrong with Quartz. I actually like it a lot. It’s sparkly, it’s beautiful and it goes with everything! The thing is, Quartz (I’m talking Clear Quartz Crystal including Herkimers) is most commonly regarded as a high-energy amplifier. An Amplifier. Of any and everything. When the any or everything is another gemstone in a piece of jewelry, that’s generally a good thing. But too much of a good thing can also be a not so good thing. Quartz does not discriminate in what it amplifies. Again, it amplifies everything, including the wearer’s vibe as well as the energies around the wearer – meaning the vibes of other people. So if you’re wearing certain gemstones to help you deal with negative energies around you – say at work – and you add Quartz to the mix, yes it will amplify your intended energy. But… it can also amplify the vibe of the work environment, which can potentially cancel out your intended energy if that negative vibe is stronger. Being hyper-aware of this tendency in quartz was one reason I why I avoided creating jewelry with it. Instead, I have always chosen to work with gemstones that are high energy and high quality enough to not need the extra boost of quartz.
Think I’m avoiding the question? Here’s my answer (gulp): the truth is I’ve been afraid. Of Quartz. Yep. Hard to believe, isn’t it? I’m all about working with and wearing super energy gems like Moldavite and Diaspore. But Quartz?… shudder.
Again, with the question – why Amy, WHY? I have been afraid to use Quartz because I didn’t think I could handle any more amplified energies in my life, including my own. I let my good-intended wariness of quartz spin out of control because I was also afraid to let it amplify my own feelings. I’ve avoided feeling and expressing so much – hurts (real and imagined), fears (real, imagined, and taking on other people’s fears as if they were my own), and even joy. I’ve been holding myself so tightly for so long that I’ve been crushing myself. For no good reason – no good reason that I can’t work through. I’ve got just about all the power gems anyone could need! Seriously, have you seen my “studio”?! I know I’m not the only one going through life stuff – hell, everyone goes through life stuff. But my way of handling life stuff had been to mostly clamp down on my feels, get small (obviously not literally) and hope it didn’t bubble up to the surface, out of control.
Back to me at my desk holding the strand of Herkimer Diamonds. I started to feel … really good. Energized. Amplified! I went back to my gem research sources and found that the double termination of Herkimer Diamonds allows the flow of energy to go in through one point and out through the other point. Sending and receiving. Clearing and replacing. And there’s more:
- “Herkimers are extremely useful in a healing environment, where their clarity, brilliance and high vibration facilitate the removal of energy blocks or debris and introduce a clear, high frequency into the aura…
- Herkimers can assist in meditation by opening one’s higher chakras and helping one remain focused on the meditative state. They are highly stimulating to the third eye, crown and etheric chakras and tend to increase psychic sensitivity”. The Book of Stones – Naisha Ahsian
- Wearing or placing a Herkimer between two chakras will help it align and attune both chakras.
- Water included Herkimers help the wearer face their fears while maintaining a self-loving heart space. Carbon included Herkimers help purify healing spaces and other gemstones.
- All Quartz is a stone of light. And while quartz is also an amplifier, it is also programmable. With concentration and intent, the wearer or holder of quartz can program it to help achieve just about any goal in life.
Wow. It’s definitely time for me to bring Quartz back into the mix where it belongs – in the jewelry I create for all of us. I held the Herkimers again, concentrating on connecting with them in the ways I’d just read. And then I had a good cry, which turned into a good laugh as I let go of the life stuff that I’d been holding on to with soul-crushing intensity. I let the Herkimers help me in the way they do best:
Face your fears and your self-imposed blocks. See them for what they really are, not what you’ve let them become. Let them go. Replace them with clear light and clear vision. Use that clarity to get back to living, to truly living. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Herkimer Diamond Quartz to Amy
You know me. I’ll never say that any gemstone can or will do the work for you, but they most certainly will work with you, if you let them. It’s not always easy and it most likely won’t happen in one amazing session. It has already helped me to approach not only my personal life but also my jewelry designs with more than I’ve been allowing for myself. And because you do know me, you know that one way that I’m living it is by creating some new pieces.
I pulled out all of the Clear Quartz I’ve had stashed for an embarrassing number of years – a few shaped beads, points and some eggs that were hand carved by as a wise and lovely gem intuit named Andras from Sedona. Andras had also given me a beautiful oblong piece of quartz that he carved. He told me to keep it for myself, to work with it. Instead, I tucked it away – “too powerful, that piece is.” I thought (yes, sometimes I think in Yoda-speak). It’s not too powerful anymore.
I’ve created a very small collection using Herkimer Diamond Quartz and Clear Quartz.
I’ve posted some Chakra pendants on my website . And yes, the flow of energy between the Quartz and the gems is wow! I used silver plated copper wire on them, which is something I don’t do that often, but these pieces called for it, and instead of avoiding, I listened. After I finished the Herkimer-Quartz-Chakra pieces, I started working with the hand-carved Quartz eggs. I have a few of them posted on my website and will be rolling the rest out over the next few days. I’m using sterling silver wire netting and love-knot techniques on them, which is simply lovely against the soft curves of the Quartz. I’d keep one for myself, but there are only five more eggs and a small sphere. It’s a really small collection and it’s meant to be shared with you. Besides, I have Andras’ oblong Quartz to make something for myself. I’ll post it on Instagram after I get these pieces out for you.
I want to thank my friend for allowing me to share her questions about Herkimers for this post. I welcome any gemstone questions you have as well – they too might become post topics. I also thank my daughters for all of the jewelry photos they’ve taken for me over the years. I now get just how much patience they have.