Testing and Identification

Mineralogical tests that can be done at home with relatively little equipment, to hopefully help you identify that mineral! 


What is slag, anyway?

What is slag, anyway?

If you're a regular on mineral identification or discussion forums or groups, you'll have seen posts with photos of an unusual material, followed by a dozen comments of "SLAG!". It's not an insult, honest*. Fans of mineral identification and those who give their time...

What is *inside* this Ammonite?

What is *inside* this Ammonite?

This Ammonite came to me in a lot with other Ammonites - from experience, I can say it is probably from the Inferior Oolite of Dorset or at least South England.   What jumped out was that tiny circular inclusion - I didn't have a clue what it was - a tooth from a...

Testing and Identification: Easy Specific Gravity testing at home

Testing and Identification: Easy Specific Gravity testing at home

Specific gravity testing is a tremendously useful testing method used in mineralogy to identify the density of a material from the known density of another material, generally water. It is one of the most effective tests that can be done at home, but it does have its...

Testing and Identification: The Mohs hardness test

Testing and Identification: The Mohs hardness test

So, what is the Mohs hardness scale? The Mohs hardness scale is, unsurprisingly, a hardness scale, invented by someone called Friedrich Mohs. Specifically, it defines hardness by the ability to scratch, or to be scratched by other minerals. This gives us a very quick...