NOTE: Analytical system is currently down
for repairs; backlog is over 30 work days at this time, and no new
analytical work is being accepted..
Excalibur Mineral Corporation has a complete Scanning
Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy laboratory
in its Charlottesville, VA facility. Our services provide a rapid and
reliable means of chemically characterizing any solid material,
identifying the presence of even minor amounts of any element in
the periodic table from carbon upwards (no hydrogen, helium or lithium
etc.. detection). This process is non-destructive, and only
an extremely small quantity of material is needed. Our services
do not include trace element analysis, light element (Beryllium
and Boron) quantification or characterization of liquids, however.
We apply this expertise primarily to mineral and gem identifcation
for collectors and researchers, but we can also offer these services
at very competative rates to non-mineral industrial users involved
in failure analysis or contamination characterization. Excalibur
is the only retail mineral supplier in the United States that has
this capability in-house, and this enables us to rapidly confirm
materials offered in our rare species listings and current catalogs
of mineral specimens for collectors.
A typical analysis includes an SEM image, EDS spectra, ZAF corrections,
standardless quantification of elements by weight percent, and a full written report. Where feasible,
our report will also name the mineral species analyzed, or provide a list
of likely alternatives if chemistry alone is insufficient to completely
characterize the mineral.
The cost for a typical report is $60.00; this excludes any special
specimen preparation requirements, return shipping or other special
handling needs that may be requested. We can also provide colored
X-ray maps that show the distribution and boundaries of various
elements in the material submitted at additional cost. X-Ray powder
diffraction is available only by special request. Please inquire
regarding these or other non-mineral related identification services
for industrial customers.
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Instructions for Submitting Specimens for
SERVICES: Rough material, including
micro crystals on matrix, gemstones, powders, massive minerals or
fragments, will receive a full, non-destructive qualitative analysis
as well as a computer-derived, standardless semi-quantitative analysis.
An SEM image will be included as well as a full written report.
LABELS: For each specimen to
be identified, please prepare a label, and if you have a suspected
or suggested mineral in mind, include a species name followed by
(??). This will enable us to more quickly confirm or deny a tentative
identification. Specimen locations are important, so please include
specific locality data; a brief description (color, habit etc..)
of the unknown should be included on your label . Follow the instructions
regarding specimen sizes and markings. Please use a copy of our
"Services Requested" below, indicate the services desired, and include
your check or credit card info with your order. Sorry, no C.O.D.'s.
SPECIMEN SIZES: Smaller is
better! We require a pinhead size or less for our analytical work-ups.
Please do not submit material larger than 2.5cm x 2.5cm x 1cm deep
if possible. Larger specimens will be trimmed and the excess discarded
unless specimen preparation charges for extraction are to be billed.
Since we are working at micron levels, there is no minimum size
required for our analytical services. If you can see it, we can
analyze it! Please do not send samples in capsules, envelopes
or padded envelopes. They are invaribly crushed and/or lost in the
mail handling process! Use a box, please!
SPECIMEN MARKING: The area to be
analyzed should be clearly marked and described. In addition to providing
a brief written description on your label, we strongly suggest placing
two small opposing arrows on the specimen that pinpoint the material to
be checked if it is not readily apparent.