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Uwe Richard Kackstaetter, Ph.D. (Dr.K)


I can answer questions concerning minerals, mineralogy, gems, metals, and anything that has to do with geology. However, I am NOT a jeweler. Questions about values, settings, gem stone cuts and appraisals are best directed to other experts on this site. I can however aide in the identification of unknown mineral materials. As a public service and part as training for new geoscientists, our university department provides FREE mineral identification for individuals. Please contact me for details or go to for details..

Experience in the area

I am a professor of applied geology and mineralogy with many hours of field experience. Furthermore, I enjoy recreational gold prospecting and mineral collecting. As a professor I am engaged in research concerning minerals and their occurrence.


Member of the GPAA (Gold Prospectors Association of America) as well as the Association of Environmental Geochemists. Member of the GSA (Geologic Society of America) Member of the AIPG (American Institute of Professional Geologists)


Here is a small sampling: Mineral-rock handbook: Rapid-easy mineral-rock determination : written for anyone interested in minerals and rocks - Proctor, Peterson, and Kackstaetter;Macmillan Pub. Co. (New York and Toronto and New York) Physical Geology Laboratory e-Manual [CD-ROM], Kackstaetter, Earth Science Education LLC Colorado Front Range Self-guided Geology Field Trips, Kackstaetter,


Ph.D. in Applied Geology and Mineralogy. I am actively teaching courses in mineralogy and a variety of field courses with mineral collecting opportunities. Background in precious metal exploration.

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Amy08/27/16101010A heartfelt thank you for your time .....
Amy08/27/16101010Many thanks for your kind and detailed .....
Lizzie 05/18/16101010 

Recent Answers from Uwe Richard Kackstaetter, Ph.D. (Dr.K)

2016-08-24 Indentification:

Hi Amy,  This is very pretty but is most likely not natural. You are looking at a chunk of discarded glass from the glass making industry. These are common and are often sold as pretty garden rocks. When

2016-08-24 Mineral Indentification:

Hi Amy,  Unfortunately your pictures are very fuzzy and I can only postulate or speculate about your rock. It looks like that you have found a piece of "graphic granite". A good place for these type of

2016-07-14 What's this:

Hi Amanda,  Thank you for the picture with greater detail. It looks a lot like some fossilized remains. However, I am not a fossil expert. (My background is in "Mineralogy and Applied Geology") Do you

2016-07-11 What's this:

Hi Amanda,  Doing interpretations from pictures alone is always a little tricky. However, your stone looks a lot like a chert nodule. Chert is a type of quartz (SiO2) that can precipitate out of water

2016-05-21 What base metals may be contained in this alloy?:

This will be tricky to answer without some additional testing.   It could be simple stainless steel, which has become popular in making silvery, shiny inexpensive jewelry pieces. A quick home test would


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