What Is The Hardness Of Gemstones?

What Is The Hardness Of Gemstones?

What Is The Hardness Of Gemstones? will be covered in this article in great detail.

Gemstones are among mother natures most precious materials, and rightfully so. However, not all gemstones are created equally, a big factor in a gemstone’s look and value lies in its hardness.

But what is the hardness of gemstones? And what are the hardest gemstones on the Mohs scale? In this article, we’ll tell you everything about gemstone’s hardness!

What is the hardness of gemstones?

The gemstone’s hardness is quite literally how hard a gemstone is.

The hardness is a good measure of a material’s resistance to damage such as scratches.

It is measured in the Mohs scale and it differs between gemstones.

In this article, we’ll go through everything you need to know about gemstones hardness and gemstones on the Mohs scale! So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it!

*Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. That means that I am awarded a small commission for purchases made through them, at no added cost for you.

Why Is The Hardness Of A Gemstone Important?

We’ve been mentioning gemstone’s hardness and gemstones on the Mohs scale multiple times throughout this article already, but why is it important?

Hardness, as we’ve mentioned before is essential to determine a gemstone’s value, but why is that?

The gemstone’s hardness is important as it measures how well a gemstone on the Mohs scale can withstand wear.

The hardness is essentially an indicator of how well a gemstone can keep its polish when scratched, this is of course an essential property for any material but due to the valuable nature of gemstones, it is extra important!

Gem Identification – Mohs Hardness Test

Why Is The Hardness Important In Jewelry Making?

Since this is an electroforming blog our primary focus regarding gemstones will lie in using them to make beautiful jewelry.

But does hardness play a role in jewelry making, or can we just pick any gemstone we like? Let’s find out!

Unsurprisingly, gemstone’s hardness plays an essential role in making electroformed jewelry. The two main reasons being everyday wear and sealing the crystal/gemstone before you electroform them to protect your finished piece of jewelry.

Jewelry will get scratched and worn down if it is used on a daily basis, gemstones with a low hardness will wear down faster and will lose their beauty way too quickly!

That’s why hardness is an essential element in jewelry making.

What Is The Hardness Of Gemstones?
What Is The Hardness Of Gemstones?

What Does The Mohs Hardness Scale Measure?

We’ve been referencing this mysterious unit known as the Mohs hardness scale numerous times throughout this article.

We know that it’s a measure for gemstone’s hardness, but what does it actually measure? Let’s find out!

As we know the Mohs scale is a measure for hardness, more specifically a measure for an object’s relative resistance to scratching.

This is measured by scratching an object with an object with a known hardness to see how easy or difficult it is. It is of course a lot more scientific than that, but you get the idea!

*Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. That means that I am awarded a small commission for purchases made through them, at no added cost for you.

What Does The Word Mohs Mean?

Now we know what this mysterious unit is, and what it measures, but we’re still not any wiser on the weird name. Why did they choose the word Mohs, and what does it mean? Let’s find out!

The word Mohs doesn’t have a practical meaning.

In fact, it comes from the inventor of the Mohs scale, a German mineralogist known as Friedrich Mohs! No specific meaning, simply a name like we often see in science!

What Are The 10 Minerals On The Mohs Hardness Scale?

We now know all the ins and outs of the Mohs hardness scale, now it’s time to dig a little deeper into its contents. Starting with the 10 main minerals, what are they?

The 10 minerals in ascending order on the scale are, talc, gypsum, calcite, fluorite, apatite, feldspar, quartz, topaz, corundum, and the hardest, diamond!

Do note that the scale was made a long time ago, so this order might not be entirely accurate!

Sometimes you can get books on Crystals and Gemstones for FREE!

How Do You Calculate Mohs Hardness?

Then we move on to our next point about gemstones on the Mohs scale, we’ve learned a lot about the scale and its contents so far, but we don’t know how it’s calculated yet. Let’s find out!

The Mohs hardness isn’t calculated, it’s a practical test. You scratch an object with something that has a known hardness, if there is a scratch the object is softer than the other material and vice versa!

What Is The Softest Mineral On The Mohs Scale?

Now that we’re more familiar with gemstone’s hardness, it’s time to take a more specific dive into the contents of gemstones on the Mohs scale. Let’s start by looking at the softest mineral on the scale!

The softest mineral on the gemstone’s hardness scale is talc. Talc is a white mineral, often processed into the better-known talc powder!

What Is The Hardest Mineral On The Mohs Scale?

Let’s move on then from the softest mineral on the Mohs scale to the hardest! What is the hardest gemstone on the Mohs scale? Let’s find out!

Unsurprisingly, the hardest mineral on the Mohs scale is diamond, with a score of 10. Diamond is one of the hardest minerals out there and is therefore perfect for using inexpensive jewelry pieces!

What Is The Water Hardness Scale?

From gemstones, we move to an entirely different material, water! Water also has a hardness or a measure of the number of minerals in it, but what is the scale for this?

Water hardness is usually measured in parts per million, ppm, or grain per gallon, gpg. It is a measure of the number of minerals in the water, from 100 ppm, or 5.8 gpg, water is considered hard.

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What Is The Most Durable Gemstone?

Last but not least, we’ll take a look at the most durable gemstone. Durability is important to make electroformed jewelry, so let’s find out which gemstones on the Mohs scale to use!

Diamond is generally considered to be the most durable gemstone. It has an incredible resistance to scratching due to its hardness. It is easily split or chipped though!

Final Thoughts On… What Is The Hardness Of Gemstones?

All in all, gemstones are a precious piece of mother nature. As we’ve seen no two gemstones are the same and they are characterized by their position on the intuitive Mohs hardness scale. We hope you’ve learned something new today and thank you for reading!

I added an article and chart on Mohs Hardness Scale | Seal Gemstones Before Electroforming

If you enjoyed reading this article I know you will enjoy reading 25 Interesting Facts About Crystals (Part One) and 25 Interesting Facts About Crystals (Part Two)

What Is The Hardness Of Gemstones?
What Is The Hardness Of Gemstones?

Sources In MLA Format

Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. “How to Perform the Mohs Test to Determine Hardness of Rock or Mineral.” ThoughtCo, www.thoughtco.com/perform-mohs-test-607598.

“Gemstone Durability, Mohs Hardness, and Tough Gems.” GemSelect, www.gemselect.com/help/faq/gemstone-durability.php#:~:text=Many%20people%20would%20say%20diamond,split%20by%20a%20single%20blow.

“Gemstone Hardness: Zylana Expertise Guide about Gemstone Hardness.” Zylana, www.zylana.com/educational-information-about-pearls-gems-and-jewellery/gemstone-hardness/.

“Mohs Hardness Scale (U.S. National Park Service).” National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, www.nps.gov/articles/mohs-hardness-scale.htm.

“Mohs Hardness.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., www.britannica.com/science/Mohs-hardness.

“Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 27 Jan. 2021, simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohs_scale_of_mineral_hardness.

“What Is a Good Water Hardness Number?” Aquatell Canada, www.aquatell.ca/blogs/aquatell/what-is-a-good-water-hardness-number#:~:text=Most%20water%20hardness%20testers%20measure,the%20most%20commonly%20used%20measurement.


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