Normally prospectors are totally reliant upon laboratory analysis to determine what a rock contains.
Obviously, the more a prospector knows the better and is less reliant upon others. However, because no one knows everything and the Earth is full of surprises it behooves a prospector to be as equipped with as many tools of the trade as possible.
Today, gizmos with flashing lights, dozens of levers/knobs and impressive gauges connected with bewildering battery of wires to high tech computer software that makes strange noises is the trend. Although these modern widgets are exciting, one must keep in mind that all instruments have pluses and minuses. Therefore, because of the old cliché – garbage in garbage out – I am skeptical of instruments utilizing computer software that only PhD’s can comprehend.
In the quest of identifying unknowns I believe that the below instrument cannot be beat for its mechanical simplicity and cost effective semi-qualitative/quantitative analysis. Although it was late in the game before I was fortunate enough to get my hands on this wonderful tool, it was nevertheless better late than never. Not only have I been able to make discoveries, reduce my dependence upon labs, but also be able to verify my wet & dry assays.
As a result of being blessed with this tool and in the interest of saving the prospector a ton of money and irretrievable quantities of time I wholeheartedly advise those who seek minerals to purchase a magnificent Vreeland spectroscope as soon as possible.