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Base Kit Instructions


You may also download a PDF version of these instructions.

Determining the size of the base and where to make the impression:

1. When determining the size of the base, it is important to make sure you hold your specimen and the printed Base Guide (download and print at 100%) so they both are facing you.

2. Each square area on the Base Guide represents a base’s dimensions.  The thinner lines represent the base’s bevel (the top slanted edge).

3. In order to judge which size base will fit best, hold your specimen above the Base Guide, as if the specimen were being displayed on a base that size.  Choose which size base looks best. 

4. NOTE: If your specimen sits on any of the thinner lines on the Base Guide, your specimen will sit on the beveled area in the actual base.  You can choose to leave it or go to the next size base.  If your specimen extends over any of the solid lines, you MUST choose a larger base.

5. Sizes are not limited to those shown on the Base Guide.  An array of base sizes is available in ½” increments.

Making the impression

6. Now that you have chosen which size base to use, remove the lid of the kit.  At all times, the kit should be on a hard, flat surface and the front of the kit should face you.  The front of the kit is labeled FRONT on the kit.

7. NOTE: You should avoid unnecessarily touching the foam in the kit.  Unnecessarily touching the foam can make impressions on the foam that can also be cut onto the final base for your specimen.  THE FOAM IS VERY SENSITIVE.  If you make an accidental impression on the foam, draw an ‘X’ through the mark.  This will tell us you made an error and do not want circle area to be cut into your final base.

8. The lines on the foam represent the same size bases as on the Base Guide without the thinner lines which mark the beveled areas.  These lines are the exact overall size of the base.

9. Hold your specimen above the base size you have chosen.

10. Position the specimen the way it should be displayed on the base.

11. Determine how deep you want your specimen to sit in the base.

12. With even pressure and in one motion press your specimen straight down into the foam to the desired depth leaving the specimen resting in the foam.  Never allow the specimen to enter the foam on an angle.  Always insert and remove the specimen either straight down or straight up.

13. NOTE:  While specimen is resting in the foam, do not attempt to readjust its position in the foam.

14. If you wish to make the specimen sit deeper in the foam, you may apply even pressure and gently press the specimen further downward.  Be sure to move downward only.  Movement in any other direction will result in an un-usable impression.

15. Be sure that you have pressed the specimen deep enough into the foam so it will stay in place without being supported by your hand.  While releasing the specimen, if you feel it will not remain in the place you positioned it, you may have to do one of two things:

a. Press the specimen deeper until it will remain in place, so long as you have not exceeded your desired display view.  If pressing the specimen deeper will hide a display area then your specimen will require supports.

b. If a support is required, while the specimen is in the foam being supported by your hand, mark an area in the foam using the point of a pen behind the specimen so that we can make a custom support prop to stabilize your specimen in its final base.

c. NOTE:  If this is the first time you are making an impression that requires a support prop, please contact us at 732-318-6760 and speak to one of our consultants for assistance.

16. Take a photo of your specimen resting in the foam.  Digital photos are preferred and can be emailed to  You should include the kit number in your email.  The kit number is located on the top lid of the kit.  If you can’t send a digital photo, send a printed photo (write the kit number on it) with the kit.

Removing your specimen from the foam and finishing the kit

17. Use your thumb to hold one of the front corners of the foam and kit while you are removing your specimen from the foam.  This will ensure the specimen will be removed cleanly from the foam.  Don’t worry about leaving a small impression on the front corner of the foam.

18. Grasp your specimen with one hand and lift it straight up and out of the foam in one motion.

19. Once your mineral has been removed from the foam, do not attempt to improve your impression by re-inserting the mineral in the same impression.

20. If you have chosen to have your base engraved, there is a sticker located on the top lid of the kit.  While the lid is off the kit, write exactly what information you want engraved on the base.  The base engraving will be done exactly as printed on the sticker.  Fine Mineral Bases will not be responsible for any engraving errors resulting from incorrect information you have supplied.

21. Place the lid on the kit.


Shipping and returning the kit

22. Using the shipping box the kit arrived in, repack the kit safely inside and send to:

Fine Mineral Bases 
11 Progress Street 
Edison, NJ   08820

23. Please fill out the Credit Card Authorization Form and return with your kit.  This is required for first time customers only.  We will store your credit card on file.  Once we determine the charges for your bases, you will receive a quote for your approval.

24. If you approve the quote, your bases will be cut and your credit card will be charged on the day the bases are shipped to you.

25. Your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Click here to download a printable version of the Base Guide.

Base Guide




Fine Mineral Bases 11 Progress Street Edison, NJ  08820 Phone: 732-318-6760 Fax: 732-318-6761 Design by Local Galaxy