It’s no secret that diamond is one of the most favorite gemstones to have on your jewelry, especially engagement rings, which became a standard use case for diamonds. Herkimer diamond is no exception, it’s a happy companion to many types of jewelry, and it’s very expensive in the process which doesn’t surprise us. However, many people can’t make a difference between synthetic diamonds, Herkimer diamonds, and other types of diamonds, which often leads to confusion when trying to evaluate them.
The brilliance and unique luxurious look are what get many collectors and jewelers gasping to have it. After all, it has a vast value which is nearly priceless. But many people don’t understand what the Herkimer diamond is, and often get it confused with other types of diamonds.
Additionally, it’s quite expensive, so only a few millimeters of round Herkimer diamond can cost you over $2,000 if you’re looking for brilliant quality. What’s also worth mentioning is that Herkimer diamond can be mined only at certain locations in the world, which means that it can be considered rarer. What’s different compared to other diamonds is that it’s mined above the ground, so they’re more sustainable.
These are all the contributing points to the excess value of the Herkimer diamond. But, how much is this value? If you’re looking to buy a mint-quality Herkimer diamond for an engagement ring, necklace, or some other kind of garment, continue reading this article.
Low-quality Herkimer diamonds can cost as little as $1 per carat. However, brilliant, sparkly Herkimer diamonds can cost as much as $100 per carat, with certain cuts going up for thousands of dollars.
We’ll detail everything you need to know, regardless of whether you’re looking to buy a Herkimer diamond or sell your grandma’s jewelry you found in the jewelry box in the attic. You’ll learn everything there’s to learn about these diamonds and help you evaluate them on your own without a problem.
That being said, without further ado, let’s say more about the Herkimer diamond, and what makes it so valuable compared to other gemstones in jewelry.
About Herkimer Diamond
Everyone who wants to collect Herkimer diamond needs to learn the basic information about it, as that’s providing a high selling point for both collectors and jewelers. However, before we say anything in the details, it’s necessary to clear out one of the most common confusions that arise.
Although you probably thought that the Herkimer diamond is a certain type of diamond, the truth is completely the opposite. Many jewelers present Herkimer diamonds as real diamonds which is not the right thing, as Herkimer diamonds are not real diamonds at all.
You heard us right, perhaps its perfect crystalline look, brilliance, and unique luster made you believe that it’s a real diamond, but unfortunately, you’ve been deceived as it’s not. It’s a type of quartz, that sneakily resembles real diamonds, and was presented as one for centuries.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t make them any less valuable, even though quartz can be said to be quite approachable, or at least some variants of it. Herkimer diamonds have a very long history as gemstones. They were placed on many garments and ornaments. Additionally, they were used to make jewelry like earrings, necklaces, and rings.
Some geologists estimate Herkimer diamonds to be as much as 500 million years old, which makes them some of the older gemstones. They were also used in the making of various tools which served great use to many civilizations, which just increases their value.
Herkimer diamonds are chemically considered doubly terminated crystals, consisting of termination points located at the ends of the rock. They are made of mostly quartz and have 18 facets that occur naturally.
As mentioned earlier, there are quite a few locations where you can mine Herkimer diamonds. However, the good news is that just like with many quartz rocks, Herkimer diamonds can be mined above the ground which makes them more sustainable and ethical compared to diamonds which were often exploited by cheap labor and slaves.
Another important thing about Herkimer diamonds is that they are capable to grow on their own due to different chemical processes occurring inside different rocks, which gives it a head advantage compared to other gemstones which rely on a host rock and physical and chemical processes that occur within them.
This may give them some more symbolic value, and make them favorites among collectors and jewelers, but it also contributes to a very high value. Unfortunately, many people think that they are real diamonds which are not. The reason they are considered diamonds is because of the brilliance of quartz crystals.
Herkimer’s name comes from Herkimer County in New York. There are also a few other locations around the world which include Ukraine, China, Norway, and Afghanistan. But, many things between diamonds and Herkimer diamonds are similar. For example, evaluation is still based on the same 4C as the real diamond.
They are quite hard, so they can be cut into different diamond shapes without crumbling. Additionally, the naturally occurring facets allow perfect accentuation of the sparkle and irresistible luster. The best thing is that they can be cut in cabochons if needed.
They are clear and rarely have impurities, but they are possible. Those impurities manifest mostly as small chips and cracks, as well as air bubbles. Some Herkimer diamonds even have visible rainbow inclusions. Some of them are smoky or kind of foggy, which may decrease their value as most jewelers prefer transparent options.
Lastly, they have very strong symbolic meanings. Herkimer diamonds are carriers of strong energy which can be used for healing and protection aura. Many people who practice spirituality use them for meditation and other forms of spiritual work.
Lastly, they are bought to be used for healing chakras. They are popularly used with crown Chakras and Third eye chakras.
Is Herkimer Diamond Worth Anything?
After everything we detailed above, can Herkimer diamond get you any money if you were to sell old jewelry or another type of garment? Absolutely yes. Herkimer’s diamonds are one of the most valuable gemstones on the market, even though they’re not original diamonds like you may expect them to be.
This increases their value by a great amount, and although they can be quite difficult to identify, once you do, you’ll be able to get a proper value out of them. There are different variations of Herkimer’s diamonds and each one of them dictates the actual value.
It’s safe to confirm that Herkimer diamonds are less valuable than real diamonds, and there are many reasons for that. Diamonds are harder to mine and extract, but the final product is more rewarding in sense of clarity and brilliance.
Herkimer diamonds are usually of very high quality, but with a score of 7.5-7.7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, they’re nowhere near the diamonds. They are quite durable and chipping-proof and can make great jewelry pieces on daily basis, they can still cheap and get damaged, which is way more difficult for real diamonds.
Still, Herkimer diamonds have great value, especially with units of the best quality. Make sure to check out the chart.
Herkimer Diamond Value
As mentioned earlier Herkimer’s diamond value depends on numerous factors and the most contributing factor is the 4C which will be detailed later. But, for now, it’s safe to say that cut, size, and overall quality of the gemstones affect the final value on the market.
Whether you’re shopping in the street jewelry shops or on online marketplaces, you will find that a mint-quality Herkimer diamond will start at roughly $50-60 per carat. That being said, it’d be great that in case you have multiple of these gemstones to see to have them evaluated, as you could make quite some fortune.
The most exquisite quality of Herkimer diamonds can be found at $100 per carat, and even more, if they are clear, brilliant, and with a shiny luster. That is a great value considering that Quartz is one of the more affordable and less rare gemstones. Some common forms of quartz are up for sale for up to $2 per carat, which makes Herkimer diamond one of the most valuable variants of Quartz.
Although some of the best quality Herkimer diamond costs around $100 per carat, some variants may cost even more. This Herkimer diamond Quartz has been sold for over $18,000 in 2012, making it one of the best quality and most valuable Quartz variants that have been sold.
|Smokey, Foggy, Low Quality||$1-5||carat|
|Good to mint quality||$50-100 and more||carat|
Of course, you can’t hope to get thousands of dollars for your Herkimer diamond unless it’s truly brilliant and free of any flaws like air bubbles and rainbow reflections. This Herkimer diamond on a matrix was sold for nearly $900 back in 2009.
How to Identify & Evaluate Herkimer Diamond?
If you’re an amateur at identifying and evaluating Herkimer diamonds, this one may be tricky for you. It’s easy to upload a picture of your gemstone or jewelry online and see how much it is worth. But even keen eyes of Reddit users, as well as users of other forums may not always be 100% it’s the Herkimer diamond.
Because of their brilliance and specific look, Herkimer diamonds can resemble real diamonds, as well as certain variations of quartz. Nevertheless, certain ways can help you identify and evaluate it, and if it is not even that will work, you can always visit a jeweler for an appraisal.
One of the easiest ways to identify the Herkimer diamonds is to take a look at their ends. Herkimer diamonds are double-terminated, which means that they have two pointy ends at each side, which helps jewelers, as well as novices, identify them.
Depending on how the Herkimer diamond was curated and honed to be put on a matrix or a piece of jewelry, these terminations may differ, but two pointy ends are an immediate way to say that this is a Herkimer diamond.
If you managed to identify that it is a Herkimer diamond, you may be struggling with clarity, which is one of the 4 C’s to help you evaluate Herkimer’s diamonds. The more brilliant it is the better, it should be completely clear, and have a reflective and shiny luster that didn’t decrease in quality.
Sometimes, Herkimer’s diamonds will have some flaws in terms of clarity. Due to an air leak, as well as interference of some other materials Herkimer diamond may appear smokey or cloudy which indicates it’s not of a high value.
Additionally, sometimes, it’ll leak air bubbles that are visible in the cut of the diamond, as well as rainbow reflections. To some, this may be appealing, but collectors and jewelers generally don’t like this trait and are likely to call these variants of the gemstones of poor quality.
We mentioned earlier that a Herkimer diamond needs to be clear, which means that it needs to be colorless and transparent, and just allow for its luster to shine. Because the best quality gemstones are colorless, they allow their sparkle to shine.
Nevertheless, if you have a low-quality Herkimer diamond without a high value on the market, you’ll be able to recognize so through cloudy and grayish colors. Those are not highly regarded on the market and have a low selling point.
Herkimer diamonds should be able to be cut in a variety of shapes. Some of them are hard enough to be cut in all shapes that the diamonds are cut into. Some Herkimer diamonds have a high value even in their raw state, which can be seen in the auction links we shared above.
If the Herkimer diamond has some flaws or needs to be cut as per specific specifications, jewelers will cut it into a cabochon which also makes an attractive option for jewelry.
When it comes to jewelry, Herkimer diamond needs to be cut into small pieces and not amount to more than 2 to 4 carats. Otherwise, it may be too large for jewelry such as rings and earrings, especially considering the fact some people don’t prefer large engagement rings.
In some cases, the more carats your gemstone has, the less valuable it is, so a small amount of carats is perfect for the jewelry and could also lead to a higher value.
Flecks of Black Carbon
Flecks of black carbon stuck inside this type of quartz will easily indicate that this is not the real diamond but a Herkimer diamond. While this factor amounts to easier identification of the Herkimer diamond, it is not a high selling point for evaluation as jewelers usually prefer clear options without imperfections and impurities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you’re selling or buying Herkimer diamond, there must be a lot of questions that you may want to be answered. Here’s a comprehensive list of FAQs that may help you get your answers.
Why is Herkimer Diamond so Valuable?
It looks quite similar to real diamonds and that makes it more difficult to identify it as quartz, it also makes it more brilliant and shinier compared to other Quartz variants. It can be mined only at certain locations, and last but not the least, it’s over 500 million years old, which gives it great value.
Can You Shower With Herkimer Diamond?
Even though they’re not as hard as the real diamonds, 7.7 on the Mohs scale of hardness is more than enough to make this quartz variant more durable and sturdier to withstand the stream of water in a shower. That being said, don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe to submerge Herkimer diamond into the water, and take a shower with it.
Where to Buy Herkimer Diamonds?
This is a tough question. Many jewelry stores sell Herkimer diamonds, where you can see them up close and decide whether you want to buy them or not. However, online marketplaces such as Amazon and Etsy also sell it.
Keep in mind, however, that you can never trust online marketplaces so easily, especially because both platforms are full of sellers that are not trustworthy. If you’re looking to buy real diamonds, you can check James Allen out. Occasionally, you may find Herkimer diamond engagement rings there also.