Accurate radiocarbon (14C) dating of lime mortars requires a thorough mineralogical characterization of binders in order to verify the presence of carbon-bearing contaminants. In the last 20 years, cathodoluminescence (CL) has been widely used for the identification of geologic calcium carbonate (CaCO3) aggregates and unreacted lime lumps within the particle size fraction selected for carbon recovery. These components are major sources of older and younger carbon, respectively, and should be removed to obtain accurate age determinations. More recently, laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) has provided another means of investigating the preservation state and composition of CaCO3 binders. Considered the growing interest of the mortar dating community in the latest advancements of these analytical methods, here we review the principles of CL and LIF of CaCO3, their instrument setup, and their application to the characterization of ancient lime mortars used for 14C dating. In addition, we provide examples of SEM-CL and LIF analyses using high-resolution instrumentation, we discuss current issues and propose future lines of research.