Episode 9

Yinan Wang

Minerals & Fossils

Oct 2, 2020 | Nature, Science

In this episode, I speak with Yinan Wang, a mineral and fossils expert, and the author of “50 State Fossils”!

Interview with Yinan Wang (Mineral and Fossil Expert)


In this episode, I speak with Yinan Wang, a mineral and fossils expert. Yinan is also the author of “50 State Fossils”. We speak about how to find fossils, why meteorites are so valuable, how to tell if amber is fake, and we learn more about what books Yinan wants to write next!


  • Yinan is a jack of all trades (0:00:27)
  • How Yinan got interested in fossils and minerals (0:01:20)
  • Yinan’s book “50 State Fossils” (0:02:12)
  • State Fossils quiz (0:03:10)
  • Can you keep stuff you find? (0:04:34)
  • Finding stuff in amber (0:07:18)
  • What is amber? (0:08:22)
  • Fake amber (0:09:14)
  • Where to find amber (0:11:09)
  • What can you find in a random hole? (0:12:09)
  • Diamonds in Canada (0:13:10)
  • Can anyone mine diamonds? (0:14:26)
  • Yinan has tried prospecting (0:16:19)
  • What is opal? (0:16:39)
  • Have all minerals been identified? (0:17:58)
  • Mineral hunting and buying (0:19:00)
  • Yinan’s favorite mineral (0:19:45)
  • How do you know when something is interesting? (0:20:43)
  • How does rock/mineral hunting work? (0:21:18)
  • Modern minerals and age of fossils (0:22:55)
  • How is the age of a fossil determined? (0:23:52)
  • What to do with a fossil you find? (0:24:45)
  • Yinan’s favorite fossil (0:25:21)
  • Living out the childhood dream (0:26:15)
  • Do treasure hunters still exist today? (0:26:52)
  • How they track meteorites. (0:28:46)
  • How often do meteors fall? (0:30:12)
  • Meteorites on the market (0:31:10)
  • What are meteorites made out of? (0:32:12)
  • Where to get a meteorite? (0:33:30)
  • What tools should rockhounds have? (0:35:31)
  • Yinan’s Patreon account (0:38:00)
  • Tech tools (0:38:54)
  • What other interests does Yinan have? (0:40:05)
  • Yinan’s education (0:41:20)
  • Yinan’s upbringing (0:42:51)
  • Life at Princeton (0:44:06)
  • Talking about music (0:44:57)
  • What does Yinan tell people he does for a living? (0:45:55)
  • Yinan is writing more books (0:46:20)
  • Yinan talks about Dr. Gerta Keller (0:48:53)
  • What websites does Yinan recommend for beginners? (0:53:43)


Yinan Wang on Twitter: https://twitter.com/FossilLocator

Yinan Wang on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/fossillocator


Visit Planet B612 on the web: https://planetb612.fm/

Follow Planet B612 on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PlanetB612fm

Support Planet B612 on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/julielaurin



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