The Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness


Mohs hardness scale has been used by geologists since 1822.  It is a relative hardness scale consisting of ten different minerals,  with talc (1) being the softest and diamond (10) being the hardest.  In the field we can scratch an unknown mineral against known minerals and determine relative hardness, which helps to identify field specimens.  Click on any link below to see each mineral's characteristics.

Click on any of the hardness scale buttons, Mineral Thumbnails or mineral names found in the table below for additional information.

 

Hardness Scale

Representative Mineral

Thumbnail
Hardness of 1 Talc  
Hardness of 2 Gypsum  
Hardness of 3 Calcite
Hardness of 4 Fluorite  
Hardness of 5 Apatite
Hardness of 6 Orthoclase  
Hardness of 7 Quartz  
Hardness of 8 Topaz
Hardness of 9 Corundum
Hardness of 10 Diamond

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copyright Chuck D. Howell, Jr. 2001-2015

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