by chefpete41 on 07/11/09 at 2:45 pm
If diamond prospecting appeals to you ,try the diamond mines of Herkimer county, New York, where a little hard work could be very rewarding.
You don’t have to travel to the Australian out back, Russia or Africa to prospect crystal diamonds. There is a place called Herkimer County, which is about 65 miles each of Syracuse in upstate New York. Anyone is welcome to prospect at the Herkimer diamond mines.
At one time the entire area was covered by a shallow sea. Over millions of years the immense pressure caused the formation of quarts crystals, which is the hardest crystal there is. And that makes Herkimer diamonds rarer than diamonds. Herkimer diamonds are also easier to find. Using a hammer and chisel, rocks are smashed into pieces, often this yields small diamonds which are usually worth about $5- $40, depending on their shape and how clear they are.
Small ones can also be found lying on the ground in the surrounding area of the mine. They can fetch about $4,500 per lb. The best time to look for them is after a rain storm, when the diamonds reflect the sun light. For larger diamond clusters you will need to excavate pockets in the rock face. These pockets can contain clusters worth $1,000 or more. Unlike regular diamonds which come out of the ground dull, and must be fastened to make them sparkle. Herkimer diamonds just need cleaning and they will sparkle. Look for clusters as these are more valuable. If you wish to take it a step further – with some knowledge and practice, you could make your own jewelry, and sell it online. Diamond Herkimer jewelry sells on eBay for upwards of $150.00.
At the Ace of Diamonds mine, at Middleville, you pay a daily fee of $8.50 per person to prospect the mine. You can take your own basic equipment , or you can rent or buy the equipment. You can keep all the diamonds you find. They also provide a guided mine tour, with mechanical diggers and all the power tools for a major diamond hunt. It cost $1,500. You can also lease a section of the mine for $200 a month. There are a number of mines within close proximity, some within walking distance, and most have camp grounds with facilities.