Agate Chrysocolla Hematite Moissanite Pearl Tanzanite Brilliance Fluorescence
Alexandrite Chrysoprase Iolite Moonstone Pyrite Tigerís Eye Carat Hardness Inc
Amber Citrine Ivory Mother Pearl Quartz Topaz Clarity Stability
Amethyst Coral Jade Mystic Topaz Rubies Tourmaline Color Inclusion
Ametrine Diamond Jasper Obsidian Sapphire Turquoise Cut Toughness
Aquamarine Emerald Kunzite Onyx Spinel Yellow Topaz Durability
Blue Topaz Feldspar Malachite Opal Star Sapphire Zircon Facet
Cats Eye Garnet Marcasite Peridot Sugilite  

Gemstone Hardness include (Mohís Scale)

Hardness is one of the main considerations when shopping for a gemstone. Usually the term hardness is meant to convey how well a gemstone resists abrasion.  One of the ways that gemologists determine the hardness of gemstones is through the use of Moh’s hardness scale.

The Moh’s hardness scale was created by a German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs, it mainly measures the scratch resistance of various minerals, through the ability of a harder material to scratch or abrade a softer mineral.

There are ten materials on the Moh’s scale and they are listed from soft to hard, besides their rank, they are given an absolute hardness score.  For instance, talc is the softest mineral and has an absolute hardness score of 1, Diamonds are the hardest material known to man and have an absolute hardness score of 15,000.  Here is a list of minerals from softest to hardest along with their absolute hardness number:

  1. Talc                              absolute hardness 1
  2. Gypsum                        absolute hardness 2
  3. Calcite                          absolute hardness 9
  4. Fluorite             absolute hardness 21
  5. Apatite                         absolute hardness 48
  6. Orthoclase Feldspar     absolute hardness 72
  7. Quartz                          absolute hardness 100
  8. Topaz                           absolute hardness 200
  9. Corundum                    absolute hardness 400
  10. Diamond                      absolute hardness 1500


Usually hardness is a good indicator to identify which gemstones are durable and easily worn on a day to day basis.  A less hard gemstone will either need to be protected with a resin or worn less frequently, while gemstones with a high hardenss can be worn daily with no problems at all.

© 2007 Gemstone Education