Herkimer Diamond Mine
By Allison LaBarbera
My latest manifestation has been to mine my own crystals for my jewelry making business, Vibing High. There is something about mining your own crystals and cutting out the middle man that I'm crazy about. I love to be able to tell my customers exactly where that crystal came from and how I mined it. I am able to deliver a product from “the Earth, to me, to you” which brings me such fulfillment. This is what led me to get my husband to take me to the Herkimer Diamond Mine in Herkimer, New York this year for my birthday.
Herkimer, New York is approximately 4 hours away from my home in Long Beach, New York. We decided to spend an overnight there as I knew we would be tired from mining all day. They have lodging right across the street and if you have ever seen the show “Tiny House, Big Living”, that is exactly the type of place they offer - which for us was perfect. Our small cabin was right on the water and we basically needed it for sleeping only.
I ordered my own tools, as I did a little research before we embarked. I bought 2 rock hammers, a chisel, gloves, and a bucket. We brought water, chairs, sunblock, and an umbrella, as I knew it would be an all-day commitment.
Once we got there, it was $11 per person ($12 normally) but they knocked off a dollar for each ticket since we were using the lodging across the street. For $22 we could keep everything we could find while getting a great tan and burning some calories. Blissful. We strapped on our beach chair backpacks and grabbed our tools and headed toward the quarry. I was elated.
We weren't even there for 5 minutes when I found my first Herkimer Diamond Quartz crystal. These Herkimer Diamonds are not diamonds, but are naturally faceted water clear Quartz crystals. They are magnificent. My plan was to not stop until I filled up an entire gallon-sized Zip Lock bag. Some of the crystals can be found by cracking open large boulders and harvesting what is inside, while others are loose on the ground sparkling in the sunlight. Those finds were the most gratifying.
Turns out, mining is pretty strenuous. After many blisters and fatigued biceps it started to rain and we called it quits. We didn't fill up a Zip Lock bag, but I was seriously proud of the loot we gathered after 6 hours. My husband found our largest crystals. I couldn't wait to get home and make some jewelry and tell our story. Pictured below were our findings.
Once we got back to Long Beach, I was a jewelry making machine. My creations which can be purchased in my Etsy shop, VibingHigh. Some of the pieces have sold out, but there still some available. Below is the link. https://www.etsy.com/shop/VibingHigh?ref=hdr_shop_menu
Herkimer diamondsare a stone of attunement. They can be programmed to attune one to a quality, situation, or environment. They relieve tension and promote peace of mind as well as bringing balance of emotions to the wearer. The fact that I hand mined these crystals is what makes them so important to me. With that being said, I also enjoy selling them to people who have a vested interest in beauty and wellness which makes me just as pleased to part with them. I highly recommend visiting the Herkimer Diamond Mine and finding your own crystals because it was a unique and fun experience. As for me, this was the first of hopefully many excursions I will take in order to bring you crystals from “the Earth, to me, to you.”