How to Send Samples for Radiocarbon Dating

We respond to inquiries promptly during business hours (8 AM-5 PM EST, Monday-Friday).

Request a quote before sample submission.

Payment methods – Prices are available in EUR, GBP, JPY, KRW, RMB, TWD and USD.


Step 1

Prepare Samples

Always handle only one sample at a time. Begin and end the packaging process for each sample prior to beginning the next to avoid mix-ups.
Recommended sample sizes
Please read sample handling and container recommendations before preparing your samples

Beta Analytic carbon dating samples packing recommendation
Step 2

Submit Data Sheet

Online Form – please include the confirmation email with your samples.


Package samples and ship to a Beta Analytic office

Use small boxes instead of envelopes to protect the samples from being crushed or powdered during shipment.

For groundwater samples, please put the bottles inside a plastic bag and seal the bag with a zip-tie or duct tape. If any of the bottles leak during shipment, the water will not weaken the cardboard shipping container.

Please use a tracked mail service or courier and email the tracking number to lab@radiocarbon.com.


Step 4

Customs Declaration for DIRECT shipment to Beta’s Miami address

Description of goods for your customs declaration form – “GEOLOGICAL SAMPLES FOR SCIENTIFIC STUDY – NO COMMERCIAL VALUE – WILL BE DESTROYED IN THE ANALYSIS.”

Customs and carriage value – 1 USD
Harmonized Tariff Number (HS code) – 280300

To avoid delays at customs, use the word “coprolite” in shipping documents instead of guano, dung or feces to describe the materials being sent.


FAQs:

It depends on the service selected. If you select the “AMS standard” service, you will receive the results in 14 business days or less, AMS Priority – 6 business days or less, or AMS Time Guide – 2-3 business days. The Time Guide service is not applicable to bones.

A Beta representative will contact you to confirm the safe arrival of your samples in MIAMI and to quote you a delivery date for the results. Our quoted turnaround time starts following the day of receipt at the Miami laboratory excluding weekends.

Samples being delivered to the lab after 3 PM EST will be logged in the system the following day.

There are no cancellation fees for samples that cannot be dated.

Requests to cancel samples that are suitable for a C14 measurement will be charged according to the amount of work done at the time of cancellation. Please note we begin analysis within hours of receipt of the sample, so charges begin to accrue almost immediately. If in doubt about the suitability of your samples, you are welcome to ask us to contact you for discussion before incurring charges.

  • manuscripts, art works, artifacts or antiquities;
  • any samples with “tracer Carbon-14” or any other artificial isotopes
  • materials for personal research (e.g. wood from an ancestral house, metals/coins, bones from a random dig, etc.)
  • Ambergris (“whale vomit”) 

If you want excess samples to be returned, please provide return shipping instructions. Note: We cannot return extracted collagen, soil and water samples. More details can be found on the page Sample Retention and Return of Excess Materials.

Beta Analytic will dispose of samples after six (6) months that there is pending communication and no response has been received from the client on how to proceed.

Beta’s Professional Archaeology Policy – Materials with commercial value are not accepted, including houses. Beta Analytic only accepts samples submitted by research and academic institutions or professional archaeologists. We do not date manuscripts, objects of art or other valuable or priceless items unless they are submitted and paid for by a recognized governmental agency, major museum, or other official agency that is investigating the materials as part of a multidisciplinary scholarly process. The lab does not analyze antiques, books, manuscripts or materials of a religious nature or items which are commonly sold in the antiquities markets.

To meet the requirements of the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property and not abet trade of looted cultural property, Beta Analytic does not date art works, artifacts or antiquities from private persons, antiquities dealers, auction houses or private collections.

No. Beta’s Professional Archaeology Policy – Materials with commercial value are not accepted, including houses. Beta Analytic only accepts samples submitted by research and academic institutions or professional archaeologists.

Other Topics:

Page last updated: October 2023