Frequently Asked Questions:

What types of material do you accept?

Rock, ore, mineral, soil, sediment, powders, meteorites, single grains, terracotta, ceramics, eggshells, bone, teeth, otoliths, fish scales, concrete, aggregates, roots, stems. If you are unsure whether your material can be made into a thin section, please call us for further recommendations.

How do I send sample material to the lab?

Box, bucket or bag. We accept sample material through the USPS, FedEx and other shipping providers. Be sure each sample has visible sample number and orientation (either marked or notched, if necessary) on the sample itself or sample bag/wrapping. Small Samples can be sent in vials or jars. Please be sure to include a copy of our order form with your order either with sample materials themselves or email to

Do samples need to be pre-cut?

No, but a small fee for cutting is applied to bulk hand samples requiring it. Please identify area to be cut and sampled.

What do you do with the excess material?

By default any remaining sample material left after your thin sections have been made will be returned with the finished slides and billets – unless otherwise instructed by the client. We can also discard it at no cost, or we can archive your material for future use with a nominal fee.

Can I pre-embed my samples in epoxy?

We strongly recommend that you do not embed sample materials yourself unless there’s special circumstances. For those situations, we ask that you contact us to discuss options. Our lab cannot guarantee the performance or end result of an improperly mixed or cured epoxy. Please feel free to contact us and we can provide a procedure for you to embed your samples yourself to secure their transport to the lab.

My samples are very resinous/rich in hydrocarbons. Is this a problem?

Sometimes. We are more than happy to put your sample material through an extraction process to provide the best capture possible.

Can you make thin sections with a pre-existing billet made from another lab?

Yes. Final results will vary depending on the original quality of the billet.

Can I get permanent cover slips removed?

It would be an extreme situation where removing a cover slip is necessary in lieu of taking another thin section from the original billet. Chances are slim of preserving a thin section from cover slip removal.

How much is shipping?

We are dedicated to using USPS Flat Rate Priority with return shipping. Listed below are the USPS Priority shipping sizes and rates we use most frequently. Orders of 20+ samples will require a large box to accommodate the slides boxes as well as excess material. Please include this cost to your project estimate and/or purchase order.

  • Medium Box (8.5″ x 5.5″ x 1.75″) $18
  • Large Box (12″ x 12″ x 6″) $25

What forms of payment to you accept?

We use Square merchant services for all invoicing. When you receive the email invoice, you have the option of paying with credit card or check. If you’re working with a Purchase Order, please include that number on your order form.


Standard format
Large format
1″ Round
Non-visible grain mount (shipping example)

Shipping grain mounts example

Thin section of eggshell
Example of hand sample

Example of hand sample
Example of hand sample
Standard billet examples
Standard & large billets of insects
Standard billet examples