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Where can I send a sample of material to be tested to see exactly what it is?

Do you have an address where items can be sent for testing and evaluation?

I have a softball size rock that was given to me by my father some 50 years ago and the story that goes with it is awsome if true and would make this a great item to be passed down from generation to generation as a keepsake. (But only if I can verify the rock.)

I would like to try and validate the material and the story just for my own satisfaction.

I don't have a lot of money so if you know of someone or somewhere I could send a sample for testing and evaluation I would greatly appreciate it.

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you have details on where the rock is from and when it was found? and Post a photo. Often a photo and a good description can be enough to identify a mineral. $\endgroup$ – Gary Kindel Jun 17 '17 at 20:06
  • $\begingroup$ It would really help if you gave your location. I doubt you are willing to send that specimen halfway across the world. $\endgroup$ – Jan Doggen Jun 18 '17 at 20:05
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It depends on what type of test. If you just want simple identification this site offers a tentative one and any museum with a mineralogy section will have someone on staff who can do identification and they are usually happy to do it. Ditto for an college with a geology class/program. you might want to call/email the professor in question first to make sure they are willing. All these are usually free, although for the museum you should at least pay the admittance fee out of courtesy. You can also look for a local rockhound club.

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If it's a sample of sentimental value, you probably do not want to have the material "tested". Mineral testing methods such as XRD, XRF, EDS, LA, petrography, etc are destructive to one degree or another. These methods are also usually expensive, unless you story is compelling enough to convince someone to do it for free.

Alternatively, I would recommend following the advice of John. Just find a geologist and ask them. An easy place to start would be here: we have a guide for asking identification questions. Just ask here, and see how that goes. You can also include the background story, if you think it will help us identify or get our opinion whether or not it is consistent with what we think the rock is.

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