Error in K-Ar ages is often due more to deficiencies in the splitting process, whereby portions of the sample are taken for potassium and for argon determination, than to imprecision in the analytical methods. The effect of the grain size of a sample and of the composition of a contaminating mineral can be evaluated, and this provides a useful guide in attempts to minimize error. Rocks and minerals should be prepared for age determination with the effects of contaminants and grain size in mind. The magnitude of such effects can be much larger than intuitive estimates might indicate. ?? 1970.