A method for chemical separation of Lu and Hf from rock, meteorite and mineral samples is described, together with a much improved mass spectrometric running technique for Hf. This allows (i) geo- and cosmochronology using the176Lu???176Hf+??- decay scheme, and (ii) geochemical studies of planetary processes in the earth and moon. Chemical yields for the three-stage ion-exchange column procedure average 90% for Hf. Chemical blanks are <0.2 ng for Lu and Hf. From 1 ??g of Hf, a total ion current of 0.5??10-11 Ampere can be maintained for 3-5 h, yielding 0.01-0.03% precision on the ratio176Hf/177Hf. Normalisation to179Hf/177Hf=0.7325 is used. Extensive results for the Johnson Matthey Hf standard JMC 475 are presented, and this sample is urged as an international mass spectrometric standard; suitable aliquots, prepared from a single batch of JMC 475, are available from Denver. Lu-Hf analyses of the standard rocks BCR-1 and JB-1 are given. The potential of the Lu-Hf method in isotope geochemistry is assessed. ?? 1980 Springer-Verlag.