Treasure Hunting for Herkimer Diamonds

November 5, 2008 by  
Filed under Destinations, Featured

rock hunting
Herkimer diamonds are double terminated quartz crystals that are found in Herkimer County, New York, hence the name.  These crystals have usually have a shape that is very similar to diamonds with 18 facets and two terminators or points at the end.  These beautiful gemstones were formed close to five hundred million years ago.  They are formed extremely slowly in pockets of rock and can be clear or cloudy in color and may be found in a verity of colors depending on the impurities present in the crystal.These quarts crystals range in size from microscopic to over eight inches long and three to four inches wide and in rare cases even larger.  The best gem quality crystals are usually found in the one half inch to one inch range and will have excellent clarity, which is the reason they are nicknamed diamonds.  As the crystals become larger in size they tend to become less clear.

Herkimer diamonds are naturally faceted and have a hardness rating of 7 where diamonds have a hardness of 10 and it must be cut to give it smooth faces and the traditional diamond like shape.

How are they formed?
Millions of years ago calcium magnesium carbonate was deposited on the ocean floor.  As more and more of the sediments were deposited on the ocean floor the calcium magnesium carbonate and other minerals was compress into a rock strata called Dolostone which is quite similar to limestone.  Cracks can develop in the dolostone and then sea water will dissolve part of the rock leaving pockets where the quarts crystals form.  Pockets can contain from 1 to thousands of these quarts crystals of all sizes.  These pockets usually range in size from ½ inch to six feet in diameter.

Many of the crystal prospectors believe that they contain metaphysical properties.  They are believed to be able to activate your third eye and enhance the dreaming state.  When worn they may bring about a greater access to your psychic abilities.

At Herkimer Diamond Mine located in Herkimer County, New York, you can purchase an all-day prospecting ticket for around $10.  Prospectors can dig through the rubble near the mine area and break open rocks looking for the Herkimer diamond deposits.  Common tools used for prospecting are a 2 to 3 pound hammer, chisel, crowbar, safety glasses, gloves, 5 gallon bucket with water and some type of hoe or rake to move the piles of broken rock around.  Basic tools can be supplied by the mine staff with proper identification.  Visit the Herkimer diamond web site for current hours of operations and prices.

Up to 500 people a day from all around the world may visit the mine to prospect.  Hunting for Herkimer diamonds is great fun and a lot of hard work.  If you are lucky your will find a large pocket of crystal within the quarry walls.  One or more of the diamonds may be found by searching the rock rubble near the quarry walls scattered across the quarry floor with little or no effort.  Another common prospect method is to select and break open a rock with a heavy hammer and look for a cavity with crystals imbedded within.

Colorado Real Estate: Does it Rock?

May 28, 2008 by  
Filed under Destinations

rock hunting


We know that Colorado is known for Rocky Mountains. But does the Colorado real estate rock as well? Though Colorado real estate doesn’t rock that much, as per the statistics (and when we compare Colorado real estate to others like Florida real estate or California real estate). However, there are people with contrarian views as well. And believe me, contrarian views do sometimes get huge profits for you, because in such circumstances you will generally face lesser competition from other real estate investors and you can probably get a Colorado real estate piece for much lesser than it actually is worth.

However, we are not saying that Colorado real estate has performed badly. Though I don’t remember the exact statistics but Colorado real estate appreciation was about 5-7% only which is much lower to 25% or so for Florida real estate. Again, when we say 5-7% appreciation in Colorado real estate, we are talking about the state in general. So, it’s quite possible that there be regions in the state where the real estate appreciation is say 25% and there could be places where there has been no appreciation in real estate. The opportunity is always there, the only thing you need is the art of finding the Golden deal in this Colorado real estate market.

When assessing Colorado real estate you must take into consideration various factors e.g. you must assess the overall economic indicators and check what effect it can have on Colorado real estate (both in the near term and in the longer term). You don’t need to be a financial analyst or a real estate guru for doing this assessment, you just need to keep track of various news items and analysis reports on Colorado real estate. Also keep track of the mortgage rates and laws on tax breaks (as applicable to Colorado real estate).

All these factors influence the trend of real estate anywhere (not in just Colorado). Moreover, you will need to hunt for Colorado real estate opportunities by going to public auctions, foreclosures, teaming up with attorneys for information etc. Again, remember that a not-so-good news about any real estate (be it Colorado real estate or Florida real estate), doesn’t mean that real estate investment won’t make sense at that place; in fact, it might cut down the number of competitors you have.

So, if you feel that Colorado real estate doesn’t rock; you can probably make it rock for you. There always are plenty of opportunities.

Choosing Hunting Binoculars

January 27, 2008 by  
Filed under Destinations

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rock hunting


It’s hard to track game if you can’t see it. Therefore, one of the most important accessories for hunters is a good pair of binoculars.

While there are literally thousands of different models of binoculars on the market, not all are suitable for hunting. Most are not rugged enough for the woods, marsh or field. Many are not suitable for low-light conditions. Some are too powerful, and others not powerful enough.

Here are some factors you should consider when choosing hunting binoculars.

Binocular Construction:

Hunting is a rugged sport that puts demands on your equipment, including your binoculars.

Hunting binoculars should feature some sort of rubberized exterior armoring to protect them from being damaged if dropped or bumped against trees, brush, rocks and so on.

Because you’ll likely be hunting in extreme weather conditions, you’ll want a pair of binoculars that can withstand such conditions. They should be waterproof, and the lenses should be fog-proof. Another feature to consider are the lens caps. Binoculars with attached caps will protect the lenses, but not require you to fumble in your pockets looking for lens caps if it starts to rain or snow.

Roof prism binoculars are popular with hunters. Light enters the front (objective) lenses, and is then redirected through the roof prism to the rear (ocular) lenses. The roof prism design allows the binoculars to be more compact than binoculars that transmit the light directly from the objective lenses to the ocular lenses.

Binocular Lenses:

When it comes to lenses, bigger is indeed better. The larger the objective lens, the more light the lens transmits to your eyes. If you like to hunt at dawn or dusk, you’ll want the largest objective lenses you can get. The objective lens size is the second number in the manufacturer’s description of the binoculars. For example, 10×42 binoculars have 42 millimeter objective lenses. Objective lenses for hunting binoculars range from 40 millimeters to over 60 millimeters in diameter. Again, bigger is usually better.

When choosing hunting binoculars, look for phase corrected lenses. Phase correction is a coating on the lenses that increases the sharpness, contrast and color saturation. When you’re trying to spot game that blends in with its surroundings, you need every edge you can get.

Another feature to look for in hunting binoculars is nitrogen-filled optics. The nitrogen inside the binoculars displaces oxygen, so that moisture cannot form inside the optics, fogging the interior lenses.

The rear (ocular) lenses are another thing to consider when choosing hunting binoculars. If you’re like most people, your eyes aren’t identical when it comes to focus. Therefore, you’ll want to look for binoculars that allow each ocular lens to be adjustable for focus.

Consider, too, the amount of eye relief the binoculars feature. This is the distance from the lens to your eye at which you can still see the view. If you wear prescription glasses or sunglasses while hunting, you’ll need some eye relief. Also, binoculars with good eye relief allow you to bring them up to your eyes quickly, without having to get your eyes perfectly aligned. 15 to 20 millimeters of eye relief is generally considered optimum.

Binocular Magnification:

The first number in the manufacturer’s description of binoculars is the magnification. A pair of 8×42 binoculars magnifies the view by eight times.

For long-distance hunting, such as prairie dog hunting, a high magnification may be desirable. But for most types of wood/field/marsh hunting, too much magnification is undesirable. You’ll be viewing too small a portion of the area you’re scouting.

8x or 10x magnification is generally considered ideal for most hunting applications.

Many manufacturers offer zoom binoculars, which allow you to vary the magnification. In practice, though, zoom binoculars aren’t always ideal for hunting. They tend to be more fragile and weigh more than fixed-magnification binoculars. Also, as mentioned previously, high magnifications restrict your view of an area.

The amount of area binoculars allow you to view is called the “field of view.” The field of view (FOV) is referred to in degrees, or in feet at a specified distance. For example, 6 degrees of field of view is common. Expressed in feet, a pair of binoculars with 6 degrees field of view will allow you to see 314 feet of area at 1,000 yards.

Other things to consider when choosing hunting binoculars:

Weight is a consideration for any hunting equipment, including binoculars. 32 ounces may not sound like a lot of weight but, after a full day in the field, it will feel like it. Most binoculars made for hunting weigh around 20 ounces.

When selecting your binoculars, pay attention to the warranty the manufacturer offers. You’re going to be exposing your binoculars to some pretty rough treatment, so you’ll want the best warranty you can get. Many manufacturers offer warranties that last twenty years or more. Some even offer lifetime warrantees.

Properly cared for, a good pair of binoculars will serve you for decades. When you consider the cost of a single hunting trip, quality $300 to $500 binoculars are a great investment.