Understanding Gemstone Strength

When shopping for gemstones or jewelry made with gemstones, you may come across statements like “Mohs Hardness 3-5” but what does this all mean? Today, I am happy to share with you a quick guide to understanding gemstone hardness.

A gemstone’s hardness also know as the stone’s scratch resistance, is measured using something called the Mohs Scale of Relative Mineral Hardness. It is a scale that has been in use since 1812 and was designed to test the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer material. If a mineral scratches another, they belong to the same hardness level/scale.

1 – 2       Soft:    Can be scratched with a fingernail
3 – 5       Medium Soft:     Can be scratched with a steel knife
6 – 7       Medium Hard:  Can be scratched with a window glass
8 – 10    Hard:      Can be scratched with a diamond

Some sample gemstones in each of these categories are:

 Hardness Group: Soft

English: Talc from Luzenac (Ariège) Français :...

Autumn Hickoryite – Hardness Group: Medium Soft

Amazonite – Hardness Group: Medium Hard

English: Amazonite, Museum of rocks and minera...
English: Amazonite, Museum of rocks and minerals, Faculty of Mining and Geology, Belgrade (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ruby – Hardness Group: Hard

The red colour of rubies is from a small amoun...



Add yours →

  1. You post some of the BEST information! Thank you!

Your Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: