MOHS SCALE OF HARDNESS

 

The Mohs hardness scale  was created by the German mineralogist, Friedrich Mohs in 1812.  Friedrich  was highly educated in chemistry, physics and mathematics. He established; the hardness of a mineral is the relative ease or difficulty with which it can be scratched.

Minerals are assigned numbers  between 1-10.   1 is the softest and 10 is the hardest. Gemstones and other minerals are ranked according to their Mohs hardness.

For example:  Diamonds rank 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, making it the hardest substance for scratching. Rubies and Sapphires, being comprised of Corundum, are at #9 on the Mohs Scale.  Due to the elevated hardness of a diamond above that of a ruby or sapphire, the diamond will scratch the ruby and sapphire, but the ruby and sapphire will not scratch the Diamond. 

Below, is a chart setting forth examples of the Mohs Hardness Scale:

GEMSTONE NAME HARDNESS GEMSTONE NAME HARDNESS
Agate 7.0 Jet* 2.5
Alexandrite 8.5 Kunzite 7.0
Amber* 2.5 Kyanite 7.0/5.0
Amethyst 7.0 Labradorite 6.0
Ametrine 7.0 Lapis Lazuli 5.5
Andalusite 7.5 Malachite 4.0
Apatite 5.0 Moonstone 6.0
Aquamarine 7.5 Morganite 7.5
Aventurine 7.0 Obsidian 5.0
Azurite 3.5 Onyx 7.0
Beryl 7.5 Opal 6.0-6.5
Bloodstone 7.0 Pearl* 3.0
Blue Chalcedony 7.0 Peridot 6.5
Carnelian 7.0 Rhodochrosite 4.0
Cat's Eye - Chrysoberyl 8.5 Rhodonite 6.0
Cat's Eye - Quartz 7.0 Ruby 9.0
Chrysoprase 7.0 Sapphire 9.0
Citrine 7.0 Sardonyx 7.0
Coral* 3.5 Scapolite 6.0
Diamond 10.0 Serpentine 2.5-5.0
Emerald 7.5 Sillimanite 7.5
Fluorite 4.0 Quartz 7.0
Garnet 6.5-7.5 Sodalite 5.5
Goldenite 7.0 Spectrolite 6.0
Goshenite 7.5 Spinel 8.0
Heliodor 7.5 Sunstone 6.0
Hematite 6.5 Tanzanite 6.5
Hiddenite 7.0 Tiger's Eye 7.0
Howlite 3.5 Topaz 8.0
Iolite 7.0 Tortoiseshell* 2.5
Ivory* 2.5 Tourmaline 7.5
Jade 6.5-7.0 Turquoise (Stabilized) 6.0
Jasper 7.0 Zircon 7.5


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