What is a Herkimer Diamond?
Herkimer Diamonds are a variety of quartz crystals, characterized by commonly forming completely undisturbed, as doubly-terminated, perfect crystals. They are found in relative abundance in the Little Falls Dolomite formation in upstate New York, USA.
How old are they?
Herkimer Diamonds have been estimated to be in the range of 400 to 450 million years old.
I have seen herks from other countries – are they the same as these?
From what we’ve read, similar, yes. Location specific Herkimer Diamonds, however, are arguably the finest quality doubly-terminated quartz crystals ever discovered. Additionally, these fascinating crystals often form in clusters weighing over 5 pounds, or as individuals approaching the size of footballs. Generally speaking, the larger they get, the gnarlier they get; meaning that the most perfect specimens are on the small end.
What is a reconstructed crystal?
Reconstruction is a process by which Herkimer clusters are pieced back together, in their original configuration. Almost all clusters larger than about one inch, or half an ounce, have simply collapsed during their lifetimes. Not damaged, merely ‘dis-assembled’ along their points of intersection.
Reconstruction is a painstaking effort of finding those areas where one individual component of a cluster match-up, and using adhesive to reconstruct the specimen.
Be aware that some adhesives used are water-soluble, therefore you should never submerge your cluster as a method for cleaning them.
How is reconstruction different than repair?
Repair is often times necessary, and used in conjunction with reconstruction. Natural stresses, over millions of years, has in many instances caused a crystal to chip or to fracture. It is quite common to expose a crystal, or a cluster, that has suffered such severe damage that it is quite simply not possible to attempt any manner of salvage. Those specimens which lend themselves to repair are normally collected, and repaired as well as possible.
Special care required of reconstructed or repaired?
As stated earlier, it would not be recommended that a repaired or reconstructed specimen be submerged for cleaning purposes. A feather duster works well.
Should your specimen ‘come unglued’, it should be a simple matter of re-applying a suitable adhesive.