If state Sen. Jim Seward gets his way, the Herkimer Diamond will forever be the official state mineral.

A bill sponsored by Seward, R-Milford, designating the quartz crystals as the official state mineral was approved Wednesday by the New York State Senate. 

The legislation, S3051, was approved by a vote of 61-0. Along with Seward, state Sens. John DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, and Michael Nozzolio, R-Fayette — Cayuga County's other state senators — voted for the measure. 

Seward said the Herkimer Diamond, which can be found in the Mohawk Valley, deserves recognition as the state's official mineral. 

"I am extremely proud that the state Senate has approved legislation naming the Herkimer Diamond as the official mineral of New York state," Seward said in a statement. 

The bill was previously introduced in 2009-10 and 2011-12, according to its legislative history. The state Senate approved the measure by a vote of 63-0 in 2013, but the Assembly did not bring it to the floor for a vote. 

Assemblyman Steve Engelbright, a Suffolk County Democrat, is the Assembly sponsor of the bill

Seward pointed out that the state has designated an official fossil and reptile, among other unique official designations. But the state doesn't have an official mineral. 

"The Empire State has a proud tradition of recognizing features that make it unique. While we may not be able to agree on the state's top vegetable or state soil, there is no such debate when it comes to minerals — everyone digs the Herkimer Diamond, a rare treasure well-deserving of 'official' statewide status," he said. 

 

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