This is how ChatGBT describes Herkimer Diamonds:
“”Herkimer diamonds are actually not diamonds at all, but rather double-terminated quartz crystals found in and around Herkimer County, New York. They are known for their exceptional clarity and natural faceting, which gives them a diamond-like appearance and has led to the name “Herkimer diamond.” These crystals are formed in pockets within dolostone, a type of sedimentary rock, and are believed to have been formed over 500 million years ago. Their unique shape is the result of the rapid growth of the crystal, which caused it to form simultaneously from both ends. Herkimer diamonds have become popular among gemstone enthusiasts and jewelry makers due to their unique appearance and rarity. They are also believed to have metaphysical properties, such as the ability to enhance spiritual awareness and intuition.”
This is how I would do it:
In one of nature’s greatest jokes, the poor upstate New York county of Herkimer (and you know it’s poor because I used the word “upstate”) (That’s just the hard reality. “If it’s North of New York City, it ain’t shit!” would be the state motto if they could fit it on a license plate), God or The Universe or the guy programming our reality who does stuff like change minor plot points of the Bond film MOONRAKER *, decided to make it so that these amazing clear faceted crystals would appear in the dolomite of Herkimer County. And the locals, digging into the wretched soil of upstate new York, desperately hoping that smallpox would wipe out the plains Indians so they could move to some useable farmland, must have shit their one good pair of trousers when these ALREADY CUT “diamonds” just spilled out of holes in the rock. I’m surprised God didn’t go full force and actually have them mounted on golden rings with a Tifany prong setting.
Sums it up
Anyway, He and the angels gathered around for the moment when some college educated fancy lad came to town and had to break the news to the hard working farmers of Herkimer that all they had was prettier than usual quartz, aka “the second most abundant mineral in the Earth’s continental crust”. They probably beat him to death with their horrible farm instruments and then starved that winter, having abandoned all farming of food in their rush to find more quartz.
Nobody likes a fancy lad
Anyhoo, the trick is that this rock is old. OLD! Older than dinosaurs! Good luck finding a dinosaur bone, ain’t gonna happen. Hey, you know what 500 million year old rock feels like? HARD AS SHIT, THAT’S WHAT! This stuff has been around for 500 MILLION YEARS, it ain’t going anywhere. Smack it with a sledge hammer and the hard steel bounces off and hits you on the head. You’ll see diamonds all right, little glittering lights that circle around your head. That’s the concussion talking. If you manage to avoid the inevitable effects of Newton’s Third Law, you will see that your sledgehammer did not so much as scuff the rock. The owners of the mine have blasted a whole quarry of broken rocks for you to smack, and then they rent you the sledgehammer and chisel and sifter. It’s cheap, costs no more than $15-$20, because the owners of the place get $100 of amusement watching you slave away, smacking at rocks that must be some kind of adamantium/vibranium alloy.
At some point you will notice that only little kids are gathering any diamonds, because they just prowl the ground looking for the ones that spill out when an adult accidentally hits the right rock in the right place, sending a spray of tiny crystals hither and yon, never to be seen again, until a kid finds it. They are all over the place, but you’ll spend the whole day and find but a handful, unless luck is on your side or you have more kids than Fagin. Here’s the trick; Go on a day when it might rain, or a clear day after a rainy night. Get there early. As the sunlight of early golden hour hits the once dusty dirt at an angle, the ground lights up like a starry night and you can go snap those babies up before the dulling layer of grime once again hides their glitter.
You may also find Stromatolites, which people walk right by because they’re ugly, but are the likely ancestors of us all, so there’s a lesson in all that.
After all this, when your muscles scream in agony, with the promise that tomorrow morning you will be unable to perform simple function, like pain-free movement, walk across the street and take an inner tube down the shallow river, letting the cold mountain water sooth your skin, sunburned to a crisp despite your slathering of SPF-1200 sunscreen lotion. Go eat at a local greasy spoon, nothing tastes better than food after actual physical working, which your office job has left you ill equipped to handle. You will have a handful of beautiful but worthless crystals and a good story. They are also believed to have metaphysical properties, such as the ability to enhance spiritual awareness and intuition by people who you should fleece for every cent they own, since they are too dopey to use it responsibly, so taking it from them should not trouble your slumber a jot.
* In MOONRAKER, the steel-jawed villain Jaws, is rescued by a Swiss Miss looking woman who smiles at him with a moth full of braces. They instantly bond and walk off hand in hand. Everybody remembers this gag. It’s the obvious punchline. AND IT NEVER HAPPENED!!! When you tell people this they go back and look it up on youtube, and then their dvd, and then their VHS tape and in none of them does she have braces. WHAT THE ACTUAL @#$*??? So ALL of us had the exact same thought, everyone EXCEPT the screenwriter. Wow. Just wow.