New Jersey August 22, 2019
New Jersey Has Its Own Kind Of Unique Diamond That You Can Mine For Yourself
A diamond is a solid form of the element carbon with its atoms arranged in a crystal structure. That’s the technical definition for what we know as one of the most beautiful stones on earth. They’re brilliant prisms that symbolize light, life, purity, and perfection…perhaps that’s what makes them a popular choice for engagement rings. There’s nothing quite like them, except perhaps New Jersey’s own Cape May Diamond.
This is a tumbled, uncut diamond.
Diamonds have the highest hardness of any natural material. They are rated a 10 on the Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness. Most natural diamonds have ages between 1 billion and 3.5 billion years and can come in a variety of colors.
These are polished, uncut Cape May Diamonds.
Cape May Diamonds are actually quartz pebbles that can be cut to resemble diamonds. They rate as a 7 on the Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness, have a small variance in color, and can be up to 600 million years old.
There are quite a few similarities between the stones, but we love the story of the Cape May Diamonds best.
Cape May Diamonds were first discovered by the Kechemeche (Lenni-Lenape) tribe that resided in Cape May County over 400 years ago. They used the crystals for trading purposes, as gifts, and as a sign of friendship and goodwill. The Kechemeche believed the diamonds had supernatural powers that could influence the well-being and good fortune of their possessor. By the 1800s, Europeans were searching Cape May's shores for these sacred stones.
Sunset Beach is one of the best places to find the beautiful gems!
The best time to search for them is at low tide on cold, windy days, ideally shortly after a storm, though they can be found at any time. No tools are necessary but it helps to bring a bag or bucket and a sieve to sift out sand. Look for translucent pebbles, typically around the size of a pea. Prospectors may also find fossils and sharks teeth in the area.
If you can't find your own Cape May Diamonds, or would like polished versions, head to Sunset Beach Gifts, right next to the beach!
Though Sunset Beach is away from the hustle and bustle of Cape May proper, it does offer a small food stand and an amazing gift shop. They've got all sorts of goodies, including Cape May Diamonds and diamond jewelry of all sizes and types.
You can even find breathtaking Cape May Diamond rings at Sunset Beach Gifts.
When cut, they strongly resemble traditional diamonds, with the added benefit of being one-of-a-kind treasures from New Jersey.
After hunting for (and hopefully finding) Cape May Diamonds, check out nearby attractions...
In addition to all the shopping, dining, and museums in Cape May, you can visit the Cape May Lighthouse and a WWII Fire Tower right near Sunset Beach in Cape May Point.
Were you familiar with Cape May Diamonds? Do you have your own? I do, and I love them. (Thanks, mom!) For more Cape May fun, check out