Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mohs Scale of Hardness for Gemstones

Have you ever heard of the Mohs scale and wondered what it was?  I have read about it in reference to the hardness of gemstones over and over, but I decided I wanted to know more about, it so I did some research.  This is what I found.

The Mohs scale was created in 1812 by the German geologist and mineralogist Friedrich Mohs.  Minerals were tested for hardness by scrathing one material against another, and seeing which was the harder substance.  Hardness refers to a minerals resistance to scratching.  Then they were rated by which was more scratch resistant than the other. 

The scale shows the hardness of minerals in a range of 1 to 10 where talc at 1 is the softest and diamond at 10 is the hardest. On this scale minerals with higher Mohs numbers can scratch minerals with lower Mohs numbers.

Here is a sample of some gemstones and where they rate on the Mohs Scale.

This graph is taken from Wikipedia

Here is another table showing more gemstones and other materials, and where they are considered to be on the Mohs scale.

This graph is taken from Wikipedia.

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