Friedrich Mohs founder of the Mohs Hardness Scale

Mohs Hardness Scale for Birthstones

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The Mohs Hardness Scale for Birthstones

The Mohs Hardness Scale for birthstones is only part of the complete Mohs Hardness Scale, which according to Wikipedia, is an ordinal scale characterizing scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of harder material to scratch a softer material.

The scale ranges from the very soft mineral Talc to the very hard mineral Diamond.

Diamond is the hardest mineral and tops the Scale scoring 10.

Altogether there are ten minerals on the Mohs Hardness Scale, talc, gypsum, calcite, fluorite, apatite, feldspar, quartz, topaz, corundum, and diamond.

The Mohs Hardness Scale was created in 1812 by Friedrich Mohs, a German geologist, and mineralogist.

Diamond is one of the most popular precious gemstones due to it being the hardest gemstone and suitable for everyday wear.

All other gemstones are suitable for everyday wear but greater care must be taken when wearing pieces of jewellery with softer gemstones.

Below is the Mohs Hardness Scale for birthstones.

 The hardness of gemstones used in jewellery is important when buying pieces of jewellery, especially jewellery which is worn every day, such as engagement rings.

Month Birthstone Mohs Hardness Scale

Why is the Mohs Hardness Scale for Birthstones Important?

The Mohs Hardness Scale is important when considering buying birthstone jewellery because it tells you how hard the birthstones in your jewellery are and how easily they will scratch.

9 Interesting Things about Birthstones and their Scores on the Mohs Hardness Scale

  1. Faceted birthstones will show scratches more than cabochon gemstones.
  2. A harder birthstone can be polished easier than a softer one, the resulting difference is visible to even untrained eyes.
  3. All birthstones can be used for rings but when considering a softer birthstone for an engagement ring, great thought should go into how prepared you are to constantly keep removing your ring to protect it from external influences.
  4. The Diamond is the hardest birthstone, scoring 10.0. However, the Sapphire is also an excellent choice for hard-wearing precious birthstones. These precious birthstones score 7 or higher on the Mohs Hardness Scale for birthstones.
  5. Harder birthstones are ideal for rings.
  6. Softer birthstones scoring lower than 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale for birthstones can be used in rings but, extra care must be taken with them.
  7. Birthstones scoring between 6 and 6.5 is ideal for all pieces of jewellery but need some extra care when worn as rings. They should be removed when cleaning and generally when coming into contact with chemicals.
  8. Birthstones with a score of between 5 and 5.5 make excellent earrings and pendants. 
  9. Birthstones scoring a low 2 to 4.5 are quite soft and their best use is for earrings, brooches, and pendants. 
Mohs Hardness Scale for Birthstones

Feature Image of Friedrich Mohs

Thanks to Gabriel Decker (1821-1855) / Public domain