The Mohs Scale

24 October 2016 / Blog

The Mohs scale is a simple comparison of the relative hardness of natural materials, which are ranked on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the hardest possible substance. Numbers are assigned based upon a simple test: when two substances are rubbed together, the substance which scratches is assigned a lower number. As you are probably aware, diamonds top off this scale with the only natural 10 rating. The Mohs scale itself is interesting: it was invented in 1812 by a German geologist named Friedrich Mohs, but similar methodologies had been used for millennia: Pliny the elder, a Roman philosopher from the 1st century C.E. mentions a similar process in his work Naturalis Historia. Although the methodology of the Mohs scale may seem primitive, it is still widely used by geologists to this very day.
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