There is a nice variety of different minerals that can be found in New York, but without a doubt it is the Herkimer Diamond that is most interesting to rockhounds in the state.
Herkimer Diamonds are actually double terminated quartz crystals that are often very clear and beautiful specimens, making them highly valued by collectors. These crystals were valued by the early Mohawk Indians that inhabited the region of Upstate New York where they were found.
These gems occur within dolomite, and the best way to find them is to break apart the vuggy cavities of this hard material and with any luck it will expose the Herkimerís within. In some areas, they can also be found by searching freshly plowed fields and along streambeds.
It is worth noting that the State of New York has very unusual laws in regards to minerals within the state. All minerals on government lands are considered property of the state, so the best collecting site are on private lands. Luckily there are several public mines in New York where you can dig for these beautiful gems.
Ace of Diamonds Mine
The Ace of Diamonds is one of the most popular pay to dig mines in New York. It located along the west side of Route 28 near Middleville. If you want to collecting high quality minerals, this is the mine to visit when looking for Herkimer diamonds.
The mine is open during the warm season, and is a great place for all ages to visit and search for gems. You can bring your own rockhounding equipment, or rent some from them if you need it. You can also purchase gems from their rock shop.
Barton Garnet Mine
The Barton garnet mine is located in Gore Mountain in Warren County, New York. It isnít Herkimer diamonds that attract rockhounds here, but rather some exceptional deep red garnets.
The mine features some of the largest garnets deposits that are found anywhere in the world. This is a great place to escape the city for a while and explore this amazing mine. This is also a beautiful part of New York where you can also have fun just exploring the surrounding mountains.
Crystal Grove Diamond Mine
This is a great mine that you can visit and try your hand at finding some Herkimer diamonds. You donít have to bring your own tools as the mine managers will have some available if you need them. The crystal groove diamond mine has three digging sites, which makes it easy for larger groups to prospect for minerals.
Herkimer Diamond Mines
This is another great mine located in Middleville New York. This mine is located adjacent the Ace of Diamonds mine along the Route 28 just south of the city.
You can enjoy prospecting for the precious Herkimer diamonds on the floor of the mine. If you donít have much luck prospecting for the crystal clear gemstones, then you may consider visiting the nearby Herkimer Diamond mines gift shop for some great treasures.Additional Reading about Minerals in New York:Gold Panning in New YorkRare Gems & Minerals in New York State