Abstract: On the basis of progressive acid dissolution the Thompson-Hower model states that mixed-layer glauconite/smectite and illite/smectite contain potassium in two structural sites: a mica-type K position (site 1) and a position of uncertain structural status more prone to dissolution (site 2). Site 2 was thought not to retain radiogenic argon (40Ar*). Using extensive progressive acid dissolution and K/Ar studies on a sized illite/smectite (I/S), determining the amount of K in site 2 is shown to be somewhat more complicated than previously thought because the dissolution pattern depends on acid normality. More important, site 2 fully retains 40Ar*, and no age correction is thus necessary as is required by the Thompson-Hower model, further affirming the geochronologic value of iUite in mixed-layer clay. These data are also relevant to understanding the crystal and particle structure of I/S. Site 2 is probably a partly filled K interlayer that develops as an intermediate kinematic step on the way to being fully filled during the transformation of smectite to illite.