Abstract In the Aberfoyle Sn/W district of N.E. Tasmania, mineralization is in quartz veins associated with Devonian granite. The host rocks to the mineralization are folded Silurian quartzites, greywackes and shales and these also contain abundant pre-mineralization quartz veins which can be difficult to distinguish from irregularly mineralized ore veins on geological criteria, especially in drill core. It was found that the decrepitation characteristics of the quartz, chiefly the intensity ratio of high and low temperature peaks, which are developed in all decrepigrams, enable a distinction between the two generations of veins to be readily made. The differences between the fluid inclusions in the two generations of veins are relatively subtle, however it seems clear that “CO 2-rich” inclusions having a wide range of composition and density are the main source of decrepitation events and that the major differences in decrepitation behaviour can be correlated with differences in average homogenization temperature of these inclusions. Even those ore veins which have undergone moderate ductile deformation have the typical signature of their origin. The decrepitation results are supported by analyses of inclusion gases by Raman microprobe. These analyses differentiate a third group of veins which are possibly unmineralized veins belonging to a separate hydrothermal system.