A quick rundown on the 'Moh's Hardness Scale'

4 Jul 2013

Are you beginning your search for an engagement ring and starting to feel overwhelmed with all this jewellery jargon? It would not be surprising if you were. You are venturing into a new world and yes, it can be daunting.
 
Perhaps, during your journey you may have read or heard a jeweller use the term ‘Moh’s hardness scale’. Possibly you nodded your head pretending you knew exactly what they were talking about. Heck, we all do it at times.
 
So, here is the quick run down so you can sound like the well-educated and informed buyer that you know you really are.
 
Lets try and make this simple, and not too technical. Basically, in the early 1800’s an Austrian mineralogist named “Freidrich Moh” devised a scale of 10 minerals rating their individual hardness respectively. Hence the name, “Moh’s hardness scale”. 
 
The idea is that each mineral with a particular hardness can scratch any other mineral with the same hardness or softer.  On the scale, 1 is the softest and 10 is the hardest:
 
 Hardness  Mineral
      10 Diamond
 9 Corundum (sapphire & ruby)
 8 Topaz, Emerald, Aquamarine
7 Quartz (amethyst, citrine and agate)
6 Orthoclase
5 Apatite
4 Flurospar
3 Calcite
2 Gypsum
1 Talc
 
 
Moh’s scale is the most commonly used system to rate the hardness of gemstones.  Anything with a rating of or above 7 is what is most commonly used in jewellery today.    
 
Diamonds are the hardest minerals on earth; they are 4-5 times harder than corundum (the family of sapphires and rubies). Understandably, this is why diamonds are so desirable for engagement rings. They will stand the test of time!
 
Guys, remember the process of selecting an engagement ring for the love of your life should be an enjoyable one! Don’t get too overwhelmed with the details and most importantly don’t be afraid to ask questions!

 

 

 

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