Diamond Acres Herkimer Hunt
Stone Arabia, New York
July 1, 2006
Report by Bill Hayward
While up in New York visiting family, my wife gave me permission to go dig for a few days. Perfect…except for the rain. My plan had been to take two days to go dig at the Diamond Acres Herkimer diamond mine. I woke up a 5am on June 26th and headed east from the Finger Lakes. It was overcast when I started out. Then the rain came. Light at first then heavier and heavier. I kept thinking it would let up. Not having Internet access and not taking the time to check the Weather channel, I didn’t find out I was driving into one of the worst weather systems the area had seen in years until two hours into my three hour drive. It was at that point, I decided to turn around and head back to my Dad’s house.
Fortunately, I was given permission again to go dig the next weekend. The floodwaters had receded and Thruway opened back up. This was the third time I visited the area. The past two times I visited Crystal Grove, but in my research, I found information on the Diamond Acres mine, located near Fonda, New York. Diamond Acres is where a considerable number of locals dig. The fees are only $2 a day and you can bring a generator, jackhammer and sump pump (needed after raining for 5 days straight). You can also stake a claim for $150 a year.
My brother and I headed up on the 1st of July. We arrived at the mine about 10am. I had been in touch with the owner of the property, Margaret. The owner’s daughter, Linda, lives on the property and is the one you need to pay and get a lay of the land before heading into the dig area. We talked for a little bit with Linda and headed up to the mine.
In our initial survey of the property, it looked like it had been hit bombs because everywhere you looked there were craters. We stopped to talk with some of the claim owners that were digging. All were friendly and helpful in pointing my brother and I in the right direction.
We settled on a place that was on the ridgeline of the property where no one had staked a claim.
It looked promising but you never know until you start pealing away the layers of dolomite. We cleared away some of the debris from past miners and started pulling the layers off. After pulling a six inch layer of dolomite off, we found out first small pocket of crystals.
The next layer produced another small pocket of crystals. Some broken and some not. That trend continued through the next two layers. We also ran into some anthraxolite.
The crystals produced in the anthraxolite proved to be quite unique. They are water clear but rounded. There are not faces on the crystals found in the anthraxolite.
When we had finished for the day, we had moved a lot of rock.
I don’t think we got into the good layers of dolomite. We were hoping the next day would prove more fruitful. Unfortunately, we never found out. The next morning was more rain and thunderstorms. My brother decided to start on the four-hour drive home. The next part of the trip for me took me north. I’ll expand on that in a minute. My brother took the majority of the find with him. Here is a picture of the pieces I took home.
Write-up I found on the web about Diamond Acres: Diamond Acres
The following link provides a map to the mine.
CLICK THE LITTLE MINER TO RETURN TO THE FIELD TRIP PAGE