Hardness Test: Quartz Scratches Calcite

Hardness Test: Quartz Scratches Calcite

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Credit: JOEL AREM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Hardness, in mineralogy, is a measure of 'scratchability'; a material of a given hardness will scratch a material that is not as hard. More than a century ago, mineralogist Friedrich Mohs devised a hardness scale for minerals, called the Mohs scale. A mineral of hardness 7, such as quartz, will easily scratch a softer mineral, such as calcite (hardness 3). In this photo, the calcite specimen is a banded 'onyx'. On the Mohs scale, talc is number 1 and diamond is number 10.

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Keywords: arem collection, calcite, diamond, friedrich mohs, geological, geology, hardness, hardness scale, hardness test, mineral, mineral properties, mineralogy, minerals, mohs, mohs scale, onyx, polished, properties, quartz, scratchability, specimen, talc, tests

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