Mosh scale determines hardness of minerals by comparing tested sample with 10 standard minerals. It gives the ability to quickly recognize basic rocks and minerals and is highly relevant for field geologists.
One of the most important diagnostic features of minerals, especially gemstones, is their hardness. It describes their scratch resistance. To determine the relative hardness of minerals, simplified ten-point scale proposed by the German mineralogist Frederic Mohs in 1812 is used. This scale consists of 10 standard minerals. They are arranged in order of increasing hardness. This means that each successive mineral scratches all previous and is scratched by the next in line. However, the differences in hardness between successive materials on the Mohs scale have a relative value. For example, gypsum (hardness 2) is only about five times softer than apatite (hardness 5). On the other hand diamond (hardness 10) it is about 140 times harder than corundum (hardness 9) and as much as 47 million times harder than talc.
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