Mele (pronounced “Mee-lee”) was founded in 1912 in New York City by Mr. Emidio Mele, an Italian immigrant who designed and built elaborate window displays for jewelry stores in New York City. Emidio Mele’s sons, Edward V. Mele, and Joseph Mele took over the business, and in 1952, Mele moved some of its manufacturing to a building in Utica, New York.
The world-famous Herkimer Diamonds are beautiful double-terminated quartz crystals already faceted by nature. The bedrock in which the crystals are found began forming approximately half a billion years ago in a shallow Cambrian age sea that lapped against the shores of the ancestral Adirondack Mountains. The limey sediments (calcium magnesium carbonate) which have accumulated beneath the sea’s salty waters were gradually compacted under the weight of thousands of feet of additional sediments, forming the rock strata Dolostones. While still beneath the sea, water seeped through the pores of the rock often creating “vugs” by dissolving part of the rock. Millions of years later, water rich with silica filled these vugs and eventually evaporated or drained away leaving the silica which had grown by precipitation to form the quartz crystals. They were first discovered by the Mohawk and Iroquois Indians. Some authorities believe that the Mohawk were known in their own language as the people of the crystals because of this.