Special Exhibit
The Artful Soul of Faust
EXTENDED thru June 19, 2022

The legendary story of Faust is told in fourteen large cameos carved by Dieter and Andreas Roth.
The collection was carved from 2007 to 2013 at the Roth-Cameo studio in Idar-Oberstein, Germany.
The Lizzadro Museum is the first to premiere this exhibit in the United States.


The Diamonds that aren’t Diamonds

By Sara Kurth

Herkimer Diamonds – are they real diamonds? Sadly no. But that doesn’t make them any less interesting. “Herks” as they are sometimes called, are actually quartz. But not just any quartz. They are rock crystal quartz – the clearest form of quartz, featuring double terminated points and 18 natural facets. The term “double terminated” indicates that the crystal comes to a point on both sides, not just one, as is commonly associated with quartz crystals. This is not unique to Herkimers, but only those crystals found by the Mohawk River in Herkimer County, New York can be called Herkimer Diamonds. Herkimers are traditionally transparent and colorless, but occasionally inclusions, or minerals or other materials trapped during formation, can be found. Liquid saltwater and petroleum, gaseous carbon dioxide, even minerals such as dolomite or other Herkimers have been found included in a larger Herkimer diamond.

Herkimer Diamonds in matrix

Quartz is the most common mineral on earth’s crust and can be found in every kind of rock. Herkimers are formed only in sedimentary rocks, specifically in dolostone and limestone. Nestled within these 500-million- year-old rocks, are porous vugs. Vugs are cavities inside a rock. Many have heard of geodes. All geodes are vugs, but not all vugs are geodes. To be a geode, the cavity must be mostly spherical. Vugs need not be spherical, as long as there is a cavity present. The cavity in which Herkimers formed were created by subterranean marine deposits that were filled with mineral-rich liquid. As the liquid underwent tectonic shifts, heat and pressure caused crystal growth. The added pressure resulted in a somewhat symmetrical growth of the quartz crystals, causing the double termination. Much like the formation of carbon diamonds, pressure is essential for the formation of symmetrical crystal growth. Unlike how quartz grows in geodes, these crystals were suspended within the vug, having very little interaction with the host rock. This floating crystal, along with the high temperature and pressure, is the reason these crystals grow into the double terminated crystals we see today.

Herkimers have long fascinated humans. As far back as the first peoples of Mohawk Valley, Herkimers were held in high esteem. They were used as amulets, made into tools, and used for trade. In fact, the Mohawk people referred to themselves as Kanyenkehaka or “The People of the Crystals.” The fascination with these stones has not waivered with the settlement of western New York. Today, “Pick Your Own” Herkimer digging areas surround the area of Herkimer, New York. You can even find and have your very own Herkimer engagement ring made!

On Saturday May 7th at 2 p.m., we are excited to have Elizabeth Thielen speak about her adventures rockhounding in her home state of New York and her fascination with the Herkimer Diamonds. This interactive lecture will include hands-on samples! Sign up online.

Sokolowksi, L.A., “Romancing the Stone: Update New York’s Herkimer Diamonds” Rock & Gem, Vol. 52 No. 2, February 2022, pp. 16-25.

15 Days in May Member Sale!

Looking for that perfect gift for that special someone?
Mom looking for new jewelry? Dad tired of the power tools? Graduations galore?
The Museum Shop has unique items for everyone on your shopping list!

Museum Members double your 10% discount to 20% off May 1 through May 15!

Lizzadro Museum Out and About!

Elmhurst’s Art in the Park
April 30 & May 1

The Lizzadro Museum is a proud sponsor of Elmhurst’s Art in the Park this year. Visit our booth in Elmhurst’s Wilder Park to interact with our Touch Exhibit and Mineral Match Game.

For more information visit the website here.

Pick up Your Passport to Adventure!

Summer is a great time to visit the museums in Kane and DuPage counties. The passport program is sponsored by members of the Kane DuPage Regional Museum Association and designed for ages 4 to 12 . Collect stamps at each site you visit to win a prize! The Passport Program begins May 3rd and ends on Labor Day. Passports will be available online and at participating sites, at the beginning of May.

For more information visit KDRMA’s site here.

Chicagoland Gem & Mineral Association Show
May 28 & 29

Visit the CGMA show at the Kane County Fairgrounds! The Lizzadro Museum will have an exhibit and activity table. The show features rock and mineral dealers, activities, demonstrations and is hosted by local clubs like the West Suburban Lapidary Club and the Earth Science Club of Northern Illinois.

For more information visit the website here.