A straightforward and simple, but powerful and direct, method is presented for both the detection and quantitation of cobalamin impurities in either commercial cobalamins or in metastable cobalamins (Cbls), such as RSCbls. The method is, quite simply, the use of the aromatic region of the 1H NMR of cobalamins; it is a method developed as an outgrowth of our work preparing metastable thiolatocobalamins (RSCbls) and is a method that proved necessary for characterizing those (and by inference other) cobalamins unstable to HPLC separation conditions (i.e., and, therefore, where the normally powerful HPLC method so commonly used in cobalamin chemistry fails). Despite considerable, prior, modern multidimensional NMR literature on cobalamins, the present method has not yet been indicated explicitly, nor has anyone reported previously the NMR data required to prove that the method works (i.e., the data for a series of cobalamins and their common impurities proving that they have different chemical shifts in the aromatic region of their 1H NMR when examined under identical NMR solvent, pH and other conditions). The direct NMR method is easy to perform, readily quantitated and applicable to species unstable to the HPLC conditions required to separate cobalamin impurities. The results have allowed quantitation of the 5-11% impurities in, for example, commercial HOCb1.HX, results which document that some commercially available cobalamins are not as pure as the manufacturers' claims.