Herkimer Diamond Mines Museum
Station 1: The Fluorescent Room
The Fluorescent Room is the first station on the learning tour. Large world-class rock and mineral specimens are first viewed under normal incandescent light. Then press a button and – surprise ! – the lights go off and fantastic, outrageous colors glow from the rocks. These specimens, found in mines from around the world, exhibit the harmless but spectacular phenomenon known as “fluorescence”. Ultraviolet light excites electrons in certain atoms, causing them to glow in bright colors.
Station 2: New York State Display
The second learning station is the New York Display. Superb mineral specimens from New York State localities show what treasures our state provides. The numerical identification system helps the observer locate the specific location on the seven by seven foot map. The map illustrates all the rock units, topographic lines, roads, and cities.
Station 3: Systematic Collection
Our extensive Systematic Collection is the third stop on our tour. James Dana, An American Professor of Mineralogy at Yale was the first to organize minerals according to their chemical class. Beginning with examples of elements such as copper, silver, and gold, our collection displays examples of crystallized oxides, halides, carbonates, phosphates, vanadinates, borates, and silicates from around the world.
Station 4: Quartz Collection
The fourth learning station is our Quartz Collection. Rare crystallized examples or rock crystals, amethyst, citrine, smoky, rose, rutilated, and septered quartz. Agates, jaspers, cherts, geodes and synthetic quartz crystals are also exhibited and the economically important property of prozoelectricity is explained.
Station 5: Herkimer Diamonds Stand Alone
A special effort has been put forward to recognize our world famous Herkimer Diamonds. Nowhere else is there such a breathtaking display. Five circular display cases highlight the history and materials found with Herkimer Diamonds. The large center case exhibits hundreds of large jewelry grade crystals. Try to find the rare enhydros, phantoms, and skeletal crystals nestled among the glittering gems (new extensive collection of faceted Diamonds !!)
Station 6: Physical Properties of Matter
Learning Station 6 explains the physical properties of minerals. Examples of crystal form, habit, conductivity, tenacity, fracture, cleavage, luster, streaks, harness, specific gravity, and magnetism. Utilizing these basic characteristics enables even the novice to identify one mineral from another.
Station 7: Randy’s Room and Fossils
Learning Station 7 is a special room – “Randy’s Room” along with numerous examples of New York State Fossils. This display exhibits fossils of the oldest life form know on earth. The various fossilization processes are illustrated through our unique collection to provide the observer a better appreciation for these beautifully detailed remains of ancient life.
Station 8: Art Forms
Throughout history, mankind has been fascinated by the beauty of minerals and its art forms. Striving to attain the most from these gems and precious metals man has make jewelry manufacturing a great art form. Beautiful cabochons, faceted gems and inlay designs highlight this display as the pinnacle of human effort to embellish the environment.
Station 9: Timeline
Learning station 9 is our answer to the difficult concept of geologic time. Detailed information from the origins of our solar system, plate tectonics through the evolution of modern life is uniquely illustrated along our 22 foot long timeline. Find out what’s older – the Herkimer Diamond or the Dinosaur.
Station 10: Economic uses of Rocks and Minerals
Learning station 10 illustrates the uses of rocks and minerals, and the importance of rocks and minerals in our everyday lives. Ores of metals, ceramics, glass, plastics, and building materials are displayed with their finished end product and economic uses.
Station 11: The Diamond Cross
This diamond cross was found the morning of September 11, 2001, at the Herkimer Diamond Mines. This is one of the most beautiful and unusual clusters ever found here.
Station 12: Kingdom of Kimer
Come visit the Kingdom of Kimer. A magical room for quiet reading. Read "The Legends of Herkimer Diamonds". A book has been written for children to highlight the notoriety and unique features of the Herkimer Diamonds, which are right here in our backyard ! We also have all 6 plush characters available in gift baskets or sold separately.
Station 13: Diamond Hall of Fame
Honorable, Industrious, Caring, Adventuresome. It is fairly easy to describe the Herkimer Diamond Mines Hall of Fame first inductees. Mr. and Mrs. Al and Jean Snyder of Oneida, NY have been selected as the 2005 recipients of this first year award.
Jean and Al were among the first diamond miners in 1955. With the virgin rock ledge, rock hammers and two children, they aggressively managed to secure one of the first pockets of diamonds known to us. Throughout the years, they initiated and managed regional lapidary and gemological organizations while creating and expanding their own business and raising a family.