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Geology/determining stone and rock type


I am looking for information in determining and identification the type of stones and rocks witch are giving to me to identify at my work. for example I'm given a kind of stone that is said it is marble and I should test it and confirm or reject it. other type of stones that are sending to me include granite, dolomite, travertine ,...
please help me in finding easiest and simplest and cheapest ways of testing them and identifying their nature.
thanks a lot."

There are not easy ways to determine many rock types; even a geologist can be wrong with out a lab analysis. Because I and others have seen many samples of the above mentioned rock types and know their basic constitution we can determine about 90 - 95 percent of the time but if the rock type is critical I would never identify a rock type without a lab analysis.  I don't know who or why people are sending you rocks to be identified but if it is a financial venture I would NEVER determine a rock type without doing analysis.  

There are ways that rocks can be identified, to some extent, and I have attached a link to one of these sites:

There are many good text books that will give you the basic information necessary to preliminary identify rock types but many rock types will have the same chemical formula and similar SG's but are completely different rock types i.e. marble and travertine.  Then it becomes mostly experience unless you want to have significant analysis done.

This type of identification is what we go to college for 4 - 10 years to be able to do; it is not as simple as you might want it to be.


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Joe Norris


I am an economic geologist. An economic geologist does mineral evaluations and appraisals of mineral or mining properties. I can tell you if your deposit has value - remember that a mineral deposit, no matter how good, only has value when mined. Any value assigned to a mineral deposit, in the ground, is only the speculative value that deposit.


I have been a economic geologist for most of my 35 year career. Although I have done work in perhaps 45 states and numerious countries much of my work has been in Appalachian coal, intermountain west gold and silver, and Arizona uranium.

Past President of the Virginia Section of the American Institute of Professional Geologists and a certified geologist in twelve states.

BS Degree from Eastern Kentucky University. Work on MS Degree @ Eastern Kentucky University, Colorad School of Mines & Marshall University Numerious short courses on the value of mineral deposits and how to value same. Also several short courses dealing with the different types of geologic processes; sedimentary, igneous, metamorphic along with the mineral associated with each.

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