We receive many emails each week with pictures of specimens and requests for identifications. This page will guide you through sending us the most useful photos and information to help us identify your specimen as best we can.

*IMPORTANT: It is NOT always possible for us to identify your specimen from photographs and descriptions. Often, we can get enough information to narrow it down, but we will never guarantee that we are 100% correct. Some specimens might require a hands-on exploration.

“What should I email you?”

  1. Photos –
    • in focus
    • good lighting (outdoor/natural lighting can be best)
    • a common object for scale (penny / pencil / ruler / chapstick)
    • different angles
  2. Description –
    • where was it found (city/state)
    • how did you find it (in a riverbed? in your garden? in a hole? etc.)
    • anything that seems interesting/out of the ordinary can help (you likely picked up this specimen because it caught your eye for some reason – please tell us what that reason is)
  3. What you have already learned –
    • is it magnetic?
    • does it have layers?
    • do you think it’s a fossil?
    • are there holes in it?
    • is it metallic or non-metallic?

“I don’t use email, can I text photos instead?…”

If you’d prefer to text us photos and a description, you can do so at this number:

“I’d like to talk to you on the phone first…”

Sure, give me a call or leave a voicemail: 405-325-7313

“I want to come in person to meet with you…”

We hold monthly open houses, called “Geologist Office Hours.” These drop-in events take place at our offices in Norman, OK (on OU’s campus). This is an opportunity for people to bring their samples in to our office, to meet some of our geologists, and have us look at your sample with you. If further testing of any kind is warranted (through electron microprobe analysis or XRF analysis), we can discuss that with you at the open house.

“Do you authenticate meteorites?”

No. We aren’t able to authenticate or determine the value of any samples, including meteorites. We can often determine if you might have a meteorite, though we’ll never be able to tell you its worth, or type. This is a very specialized body of knowledge, and you’ll need to go through the proper channels. Contact The Meteoritical Society.