Skip to Content

FAQ – sample identification

Does the Center analyze or identify potential meteorites for the general public? 

No. Due to a substantial rise in demand as well as budget constraints and staff limitations, the Center's public Meteorite Identification Program was suspended in 2010.  Specimens sent to the Identification Program are no longer accepted.  The Center for Meteorite Studies is in no way responsible for any specimens sent to the Center, nor is the Center responsible for returning them to senders.

Can I bring my sample to the Center to be identified in person?

No. We do not have a public office at which you can leave your sample and no member of our small staff is devoted to specimen identification.  The Center for Meteorite Studies is in no way responsible for any specimens sent to the Center, nor is the Center responsible for returning them to senders.
 
How can I get my sample identified?
We encourage you to contact your State Geological Survey, the Geology department of a local university or college, or your local museum of natural history for help identifying your specimen.  In addition, The Field Museum's Robert A. Pritzker Center for Meteoritics and Polar Studies in Chicago has an identification program.
 
Does the Center analyze or identify fossils, terrestrial rocks, gemstones, environmental quality samples, etc.?
No. We encourage you to contact your State Geological Survey, the Geology department of a local university or college, or your local museum of natural history for help identifying your specimen.
 
I purchased OR I'm thinking about purchasing a meteorite.  How do I know if it's real?  Will the Center verify/certify/identify/analyze it for me?
No. We have never accepted purchased meteorites of any kind for verification/certification/identification/analysis from the general public.  As with any other goods, potential purchasers of meteorites should follow the rule of "buyer beware".
 
Will the CMS buy my unverified meteorite?  Will the Center tell me how/where to sell my meteorite?
No.  We do not purchase unverified meteorites from the general public, and do not offer advice on selling meteorites.