Minerals ID & Analysis


We offer the mineral specimen characterization, identification or analysis in any sample preparation or context:

    • Identification of mineral species (or synthetic analogs) in geologic, archaeological or industrial materials.
    • Confirmation of the identity of mineral specimens for dealers and collectors.
    • Characterization of mineral specimens for museums and collections.
    • Identification of minerals in thin sections or polished sections.
    • Correct ID and labeling of mineral specimens for mineral dealers and  collectors.clinoatacamita web


The objective of Geospectra is to use new or experimental techniques and investigate new approaches to help the natural heritage preserved in private and public collections can be properly classified, without damage of specimens and at affordable costs.

Our laboratory has extensive experience in the characterization of mineral samples, from non-destructive analysis of collection specimens to characterization of samples of geological interest. With the Geospectra project, the customer has a custom scientific research, helping to define the questions to answer and adjusting analytical techniques and costs to the particular circumstances of each sample and each client.

Examples of  mineral specimen characterization report for mineral dealers:

Characterization of the Clinoatacamite from Lilly mine (Perú)

Study of a Tantalite-Fe from Brazil 

Geospectra gives scientific and technical support to business, associations, public or entities that are interested in the mineralogical, patrimonial, archaeological or historical research, taking part in the whole process, including the preparation of publications or reports.

The passion of Geosprectra is the Mineralogy, oriented to specimen mineralogy, descriptive mineralogy or applied mineralogy.

Case studies

Case study #1: The case of the ‘Hokutolite’ from Riotinto (Spain)

Several years ago, baritine specimens from the Cerro Colorado and Sultana mines at Rio Tinto (Huelva, Spain)  were put in the market labeled ‘hokutolite‘, a rare lead-rich variety of baritine, formed in some hot springs in Taiwan and Japan. Analysis performed showed that the Rio Tinto baritine was lead free. But, what is the origin of the mislabeling?

barita hoku web

The lead-rich baritine from Rio Tinto mines (Huelva, Spain)

Recently, we performed the analysis of several samples of baritine from Rio Tinto (both sold as ‘Hokutolite’ and ‘Baritine’) in order to clarify the composition. The elemental analysis by energy dispersive spectrometry showed a significant quantity of lead in all cases:

analisis barita

The Ba:Pb ratio found in all samples varied between 4:1 and 5:1. Is correct the denomination ‘Hokutolite’?. In our opinion, is not correct. Although the Rio Tinto baritine is a lead-rich variety, the lead content in ‘Hokutolite’ is usually higher (Ba:Pb between 2:1 and 4:1) and with significant content of strontium and radium, not found in the Rio Tinto samples. Moreover, and possible most important, the mineralogeny of the baritine found in the Rio Tinto gossan is clearly different. Anyway, the labeling of this baritine as ‘Hokutolite’ is explicable and reasonable, taking into account the lead content.

Case study #2: The Helvine-Genthelvite series from Huanggang (Ulanhad League, Inner Mongolia, China)

We like the experimental techniques and to explore new ways and approaches. Hence, to solve the problem posed by a respected and well-known mineral dealer, the identification of great (and expensive) Genthelvite-Helvine-Danalite series specimens, we built and use for this kind of problem a ‘Martian’ technique: the alpha particle X-ray spectroscopy (APXS).

2013-01-02 apxs 001

Genthelvite from Huanggang


For the correct classification of these specimens, we developed an APXS spectrometer specially designed for the non-destructive analysis of mineral specimens at a very competitive cost. With this tool, properly calibrated, is possible to generate a ternary diagram for each specimen, without alteration or aesthetic modification.

diagrama ternario genth

If you are interested in to work together with us or to study some of your mineral specimens, please contact us

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