Mohs Hardness Scale

 


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What is the Mohs Hardness Scale
What is the Mohs Hardness Scale? The Mohs Hardness Scale characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer material.

Mohs Hardness Scale - History & Biography of Friedrich Mohs (1773 - 1839)
The Mohs Hardness Scale is named after Friedrich Mohs (1773 - 1839) who was a German geologist. Friedrich Mohs studied physics, chemistry and mathematics at University and then continued his studies at the Mining Academy in Freiberg. His interest in diamonds started in earnest in 1801 when he became a foreman at a mine. Friedrich Mohs then moved to Austria identifying the minerals in a private collection of a Banker. During this time he developed a system for classifying minerals by their physical characteristics. Up to this point minerals had always been classified by their chemical composition. In 1812 Friedrich Mohs created a hardness scale which has subsequently been called the Mohs' scale of mineral hardness.

Mohs Hardness Scale
Among the physical properties of the Diamond that of hardness is pre-eminent ; a quality in which it so exceeds all other bodies that it can penetrate them without being itself even scratched. On the Mohs scale diamond has a hardness of 10 - a diamond is the hardest naturally occurring substance known to man.

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The Mohs Hardness Table
The Mohs Hardness Scale characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer material. It is easy to understand as Mohs used ordinary materials of known hardness to approximate the position of a mineral on the scale. The Mohs Hardness Scale follows:

 

Mohs Hardness Scale
Hardness Name of MineralComparisonLevel
1Talc Can be scratched by fingernailSOFTEST
2GypsumCan be scratched by fingernail
3CalciteCan be scratched by a coin
4FluoriteCan be scratched by a knife blade
5ApatiteCan be scratched by a knife blade
6Orthoclase FeldsparHarder than Steel
7Quartz Harder than Steel
8TopazHarder than Steel
9CorundumHarder than Steel
10DiamondHarder than SteelHARDEST
Table / Scale


Hardness - Bruting

In consequence of its excessive hardness it was formerly only possible to polish it partially, by rubbing it against another rough Diamond a process known as "bruting." In early times there existed so exaggerated an idea of its extraordinary hardness that it was said a Diamond could not be broken by a hammer on an anvil, and that it was far easier to strike the anvil into the earth than to break the Diamond. This will account for the loss of many Diamonds in antiquity, as it was the absurd practice to place them upon the anvil to test their hardness and genuineness. Through this ignorance many a regal gem has been shattered and so lost to the world. It was, of course, only the brittleness of the stone which was really tested by the hammer, and not its hardness, which is a very different quality.

 

The Hardest Diamonds
The Australian Diamonds are harder and tougher than the stones from India, Borneo and Brazil, while these again have a hardness superior to that of most of the stones from South Africa.

 

Facts - Information - Guide - Table / Scale - History & Biography of Friedrich Mohs
History & Biography of Friedrich Mohs - Scale - Table - Common Forms
Scale - Bruting - The Hardest Diamonds

Mohs Hardness Scale

 

Information about Mohs Hardness Scale

Discover some fascinating information about Mohs Hardness Scale.

  • Facts and Information
  • Guide to Diamonds
  • What is the Scale / Table?
  • History & Biography of Friedrich Mohs (1773 - 1839)
  • Scale and Table
  • Bruting
  • The Hardest Diamonds
  • Mohs Scale
  • Facts and Information
  • Easy Guide
  • Definition and description
 
 

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