There are definite differences between a Tibetan Quartz and a Herkimer Diamond. At first glance, the stones may look similar to the untrained eye, especially as both can be presented as clear, shiny, and beautiful.
But there are notable differences. To clear up misconceptions, let’s look at the characteristics of both gems to see where the differences lie.
Tibetan Quartz vs Herkimer Diamond: What Are They, And What’s The Difference?
What Is Tibetan Quartz?
Tibetan Quartz is a gorgeous crystal that was first discovered in 2002.
The gemstone is classed as a silicon dioxide mineral with a hardness of 7, and it frequently has hematite, carbon, or water inclusions.
The Tibetan monks collect these gemstones from deposits around Lake Chabyer Caka in the Gangdise Mountains in the Tibetan Plateau’s interior and the Ganesh Himal Mountain range.
This secluded place is one of the world’s most sacred sites and is only accessible by foot during the summer months.
The monks cannot use machinery to recover the Quartz because the altitude is very high; therefore, they transport it down the mountains in sacks.
Although Tibetan Quartz deposits exist in Brazil, India, Namibia, Madagascar, Pakistan, and Russia, much larger quantities hail from Tibet’s Himalayas.
In addition, Tibetan Quartz is one of the few completely natural gemstones, having received no modifications or treatments.
As a result, they are very high vibration stones that spiritualists use, along with the sound of OM, for spiritual purposes.
What Are Herkimer Diamonds?
The major catch with Herkimer diamonds is that they are not genuine diamonds at all. Instead, they are double-terminated quartz crystals.
So the word Herkimer diamond is just a brand name/nickname given to the crystal when it was first discovered in Herkimer, New York.
Although to the untrained eye, Herkimer diamond crystals can look just like a diamond, and that’s where a lot of confusion can arise.
Herkimer diamond is a double-terminated quartz crystal that dwells within open outcrops of dolostone in and nearby Herkimer County, Mohawk River Valley, and New York.
Other discovery sites were in the village of Middleville and the city of Little Falls; therefore, the crystal is also called a Middleville diamond or a Little Falls diamond.
Unlike other crystals that rely on the anchor rock while developing, Herkimer diamonds grow on their own inside clay deposits, which makes Herkimer diamonds rare and very popular among mineral lovers and gemstone collectors.
Herkimer diamonds first came into existence 500 million years ago.
Acidic waters caused caverns to form in the Adirondack Mountains, with exquisite pure quartz crystals developing within the sediment-covered rocks inside these cavities.
The 15th-century Mohawk Indians considered the crystals magic when they first discovered them in outcrops of rocks and water in the Mohawk River Valley.
Although double-point quartz crystals can be found elsewhere, including Arizona, Canada, Norway, England, Germany, Afghanistan, Ukraine, and China, they only gave the term Herkimer diamonds to those mined in Herkimer County.
The collecting methods include looking along the prospecting area or digging through rubble with crowbars, sledgehammers, and chisels.
Popular tools used are 2 to 3 lb crack hammers and and bull point chisels.
Breaking the crystal from a single rock is the most popular prospecting method for loose Herkimer diamonds.
Gem collectors delight in this high vibration stone because of its two points and 18 facets.
Most of them are colorless, but there are pieces in various colors, including smoky versions.
The colorless crystals look remarkably like diamonds, but they look more like glass and don’t contain the depth and brilliance linked with diamonds.
However, the higher-quality gems have an impressive shine, especially if seen in daylight. The crystals can be used as display stones or as various jewelry pieces.
When a genuine diamond is found underground, it is in a rough form that requires detailed cutting to get the faces smooth and into a geometrical shape.
However, Herkimer diamonds are beautiful as soon as you take them out of the rock or clay deposits.
Another important fact is that no two Herkimer diamonds are the same, and each cluster is unique. The stones are almost always transparent and have good clarity.
However, sometimes they can contain flaws and impurities, such as rainbow inclusions, air bubbles, or black carbon deposits.
A perfect Herkimer diamond is usually smaller than 1 inch or (2.5 cm) long, but you can occasionally find much larger crystals.
They form in clusters or single crystals, with the tiny crystals attached to the larger pieces.
The Difference Between Tibetan Quartz and Herkimer Diamonds
Tibetan Quartz and Herkimer Diamonds are both a type of Quartz, and they’re the same substances in terms of makeup.
Herkimer diamonds are quartz crystals in hexagonal quartz form. However, they are double-terminated instead, only terminated at one end.
Since Quartz has only one termination, Herkimer Diamonds are a unique exception.
As the quartz crystals’ hexagon structure makes them more elongated, Herkimer diamonds appear more prolonged because of the two pointed ends.
Sometimes, people find deposits of Tibetan quartz crystals that are so lustrous they assume they are Herkimer diamonds.
They excitedly go to a local jeweler hoping to become rich, only for the exasperated jeweler to tell them, “these are just quartz!”
Their perfection causes them to sparkle much more brightly than you would typically see with Quartz.
If you weren’t sure whether you had a Tibetan quartz or a Herkimer diamond, you could perform a Moh’s Hardness test to figure out which stone is harder than the other.
A Moh’s Hardness test is a scratch test where you have to use different objects to scratch the stone (fingernail, penny, nail, etc.).
Each thing is relatively rougher than the last, creating a number sequence starting at one and it goes to 10. So, for example, Tibetan quartz is 7, the Herkimer diamond is 7.5, and the only thing that’s a 10 is a diamond.
Sometimes retailers list the Herkimer diamond as an actual diamond in their jewelry descriptions, which can be misleading.
If you’re concerned that you may buy inferior quality or if the Herkimer diamond is genuine, check with the retailer, as some will provide a certificate of authenticity to go with their Herkimer diamond jewelry. Always enquire if you have questions.
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