Paleonet: Microfossil donation appraisals: Two suggestions

Peter Smolka PeterPaulSmolka at
Mon Sep 24 09:50:04 UTC 2012

I would suggest:

1) One can(!) buy various kinds of fossils, including microfossils from
various service-companies, also (even(!)) companies that work for the

I would search such companies / consultants, see the AAPG website and other
(Google) and ask them for:

"Mounting on a slide, 6 species of (....): What do they cost from you -
ready for use."

That might help, e.. nothing "per ounce" but asking for a sample for
"reference-purposes",l comparable to geochemical calibration-samples etc.

I am thinking of companies of the type of "Robertson Research" who - in the
past - sat in some tiny village in Wales and did various services (don't
know whether they still exist).

2) Or: Ask => another <= universitry what would => they <= charge if they
would do it as fundraisng-service.

That is within the unoversity realm, for example:

Outcrop nearby, bus-ticket there: 4 hours PhD-students salary to get the

1 hour washing in the laboratory (assuming softrock but with a reasonable
amount for overheads, putting in the heated oven etc.).

1 hour picking with a trained eye

1 hour mounting (plus "this and that")

2 hours packing and mailing including searching for packing-materials.

Sum: 9 hours PhD salary, bus-ticket etc.

This way (example two) the costs are realistical, e.g. without "executives
compensation / bonuses etc.".


I had recently the same issue:

I was searching for a native postdoc or an retired professor who could do
some final language-polishing for some 3000-4000 words manuscript (intended
for an Elsevier Journal).

I was willing to pay a reasonable amount, e.g. 200-300 USD (credit card or

Of course: English commas are a must as there I am weak.

And of course: Some view regarding understandability, e.g. they way I review

They are really difficult to find.

Kind regards

(Dr. Peter P. Smolka)

PeterPaulSmolka at
smolka at

 -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: paleonet-bounces at [mailto:paleonet-bounces at]Im
Auftrag von Mark Storaasli
Gesendet: Samstag, 22. September 2012 01:40
An: PaleoNet
Betreff: Re: Paleonet: Microfossil donation appraisals

  If  "market values" of the kind are tracked by the institution, and the
source data is
  readily had, then the independent appraiser is not absolutely required;
but the "proof
  of value" better be iron-clad -not simply exhorbitant cost of
extraction/display but actual
  auction/market records of sales. I see unsorted micro-fossils running
about $20 an
  ounce(?) independent appraiser will be better, unless your
institution has been
  purchasing comparable individually-mounted specimens(?)

  On Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 3:54 PM, Roger D. K. Thomas
<roger.thomas at> wrote:

    Dear Tom.

         I am quite sure the IRS will not accept appraisals from recipients
of gifts.  This would involve a conflict of interest.  It is my
understanding that donors need to have their items appraised by an
independent expert, prior to making the donation.  I presume this could
still be done, although you already have the collection in hand.

         Kind regards,   Roger

    On Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 3:33 PM, Thomas Hegna <thegna at>

        We recently had a donation of some nice microfossil slides to our
department. How have other people handled the appraisal of microfossil

      Thomas A. Hegna

      Department of Geology
      Western Illinois University
      Tillman Hall 113
      1 University Circle
      Macomb, IL 61455

      Paleonet mailing list
      Paleonet at


      Roger D. K. Thomas
      John Williamson Nevin Professor of Geosciences
      Secretary-General, International Palaeontological Association
      Department of Earth and Environment
      Franklin & Marshall College
      P.O. Box 3003
      Pennsylvania 17604-3003
      Office telephone:   717-291-4135
      Office fax:     717-291-4186
      Home telephone:    717-560-0486

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