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“Take your shot at becoming rich (and still have fun)!!”

Herkimer Diamond Mines
Ranked #2 of 9 things to do in Herkimer
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 1 May 2014

Be a real prospector!!....Fully functioning diamond mine that you can spend all the time you want looking for valuable gems.....Just make sure you bring supplies and goggles as hammer they give you doesn't provide a big help.....Still a lot of fun and learning for family with teens!

2  Thank CoachK2525
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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155 - 159 of 233 reviews

Reviewed 22 April 2014

You are literally treasure hunting! Smashing rocks, digging through dirt and the sun practically finds the stones for you! If you think you're only going to have a medium amount of fun, be prepared for DOUBLE X L! Each tiny, shiny stone you find seems to come with it's own, tiny celebration. We totally dorked out and had an even better time than we thought we would, so much so, that we were already talking about "when we come back" before we had even left. If you've thought about doing it, do it. If you haven't thought about doing it, do it.

Note:
"Items we brought that we're glad we did" - Long pants, clothes that you can get dirty, gloves, protective eye wear.

"Items that would have been nice to have." - Knee pads (you can do a lot of kneeling and sitting...on rocks.), a water bottle, a bucket and screen would have just been a little extra fun to collect dirt/dust and run it through the water of the sluice to find small or dirty stones.

7  Thank TACLYO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2014

Went to the Herkimer Diamond mine when I was a kid with my folks back fifty years ago and was hooked for life. We went back two or three times every summer. When I returned in 2006, it had become a KOA attraction and campground, and also had a wonderful rock shop in the old barn. Looking for Herkimer diamonds is still as much fun now as it was then. I took my grandsons, daughter and son-in-law last April and now they are hooked. We rented one of the family cabins by the West Canada River and it was wonderful. Comfortable and roomy. Best vacations ever!

2  Thank robin k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2014

Fun day or two getting down and dirty breaking rocks and digging in the dirt. The ground sparkles in the sunlight. You don't find "real" diamonds, you find Herkimer Diamonds. With some patience and a little work all 5 of us found some diamonds. Most in the 1/2 to 2 carat size range. After you pay to get your wristband, go upstairs and watch the short video. It helps explain what you are looking for and how to go about it. Stay across the street in one of the cabins. They are very nice.

6  Thank Rph M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2013

I have been to other parts of the US to mine for different things and each one is its own challenge to say the least. After some quick google work I decided to go for a day and just bring an 8 pound sledge hammer. After 2 hours of randomly smashing rocks i stopped and figured there had to be a better way so i talked to some of the people that worked there and talked to some of the other miners that seemed to be having much better luck. after them showing me what to look for in the rock and explaining different ways of finding the herkimer diamonds i set back to it. I made some friends quickly and they let me borrow some tools and i went back to work. After my education i quickly started finding stones that were amazing. That day the largest stone i found was about an inch long and 3/4 inch thick. i found about 50 stones that day with many being the size of a 6 sided dice. As we were leaving i decided i was going to come back up for two more days. My luck continued for the next two days and I have already booked a campsite for 2 weeks straight for the 2014 season.

some pro's and cons

pros.
finding the stones are not that complicated but the harder your willing to work the better the reward. My friend just walking around moving rocks and looking in the dirt found some really nice pieces. I chose to break up the rock wall which was much harder but the pay off after the work was better.

bring tools that are equal to the level of commitment you are willing to deal with. a small 2 pound hammer from the gift shop gained us just as many diamonds as an 8 pound sledge if you were looking in the right rocks. if you bring hammers, chisels and all sorts of stone breaking equipment your hard work will pay off even more

its a rock quarry safety glasses and good boots, gloves are a good idea and so are pants and a pair of knee pads

ask someone if its your first trip what rocks to look at. I always will help out especially if i see you have young kids and i will usually give some of my stones to kids so they dont feel skunked.

the kampgrounds are actually really nice and very affordable take a look.

you park at the mine so its literally a 10 foot walk to where you can start breaking rocks

i could go on and on about how great this place is compared to some of the places i have dug for gemstones and crystals in the us.

some cons
it can be very hot some times of the year and all the rock intensify that heat.

you can get stuck in a rut where your not finding anything and get discouraged

it is hard work you are breaking rock with a hammer after all

right around the mine there is not a lot of stores, up the road about 10-15 minutes there is a town that has anything you could be looking for so make sure you bring what you need for the day.

some impressions of the area

this is a beautiful area in NY its rolling hills and farm country. it has a great fresh air quality to it that just makes me feel so happy to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city and smog. I was here at the close of there season so it was crisp and it did snow a bit my last day there but it was an amazing trip. On a side note they do have pretty good 4g signal so no worries about being out of touch.

herkimer diamond mine vs ace of diamonds??? a lot of controversy here.

i called ace of diamonds first and found the gentleman that answered the phone to be kind of snotty and rude considering i was going to be giving him money. After him i called herkimer diamond mine and got the feeling of a mom and pop run business that was more than willing to answer all my questions so i chose them. After my arrival and talking to other people i learned that ace of diamonds is a more active commercial mine and they also sell claims on there property which might be why they are less inclined to help day trippers. herkimer has a small commercial mine area and they just open mines. granted the open mines look more picked over because most people just smash open whats there instead of trying to pull down rock walls. But even so i have watch people bust open rocks and give up then the next person hits the same rocks and finds a good stone inside it.

overall i am very excited to go back for my next visit and now i have started to get prepared with better tools to maximize my findings. in the end though it is mining and not finding. so the experience and the adventure are enough to want to make me come back for years to come.

in fact i have already roped my sister from Texas to join me for some of my 2014 trip.

look forward to seeing everyone out there in the 2014 season.

25  Thank matthew s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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