This week, the gemstone I have chosen has a bit of a misleading name! Found in the state of New York, these gemstones are close to five hundred years old! The thing I find most amazing is that it comes out from the ground already faceted by Mother Nature.....so, any idea what I'm talking about? No? Does this photo help?
This is the Herkimer Diamond!
Now, it's not actually a diamond, it's a double-terminated (two pointy ends!) quartz, with eighteen naturally formed facets. The key to finding them is knowing that they form in cavities in dolomite rock, the third hardest rock in the world, ranging in size from the size of a pea to several feet across. Herkimer Diamonds are found by breaking open these rocks with a heavy hammer, by hand (a very painstaking process) and if you're lucky, you'll find one or more of these lovely gems. They can also be found in the soil surrounding these weathered rocks. The finest grade of Herkimer Diamonds, AA grade, make up approximately 1% of all the crystals mined. A grade still only makes up 2 to 3%, so finding one of this quality is quite rare.
These gemstones are known as the stone of attunement in Reiki practice and are said to align and attune the energy of the two chakras it is placed between.
There are actually mines that are open to the public where you can go an "prospect" for yourself for a small fee ($11!) and you are allowed to keep all the Herkimers you find! If anyone has done this, let me know, I'd love to hear about what you found