Some minerals are very hard, others are very soft. We can use the Mohs Hardness Scale to compare the hardness of any mineral. The higher the number on the scale, the harder the mineral is. Each mineral can scratch only those minerals that are on the same level or below it on the scale.
Don't see the Mohs Scale? Click here.
You can easily test hardness by trying to scratch a mineral with your fingernail and a pocket knife.
|Your fingernail has a hardness of 2.5 on the Mohs scale. If you can scratch a mineral with your fingernail, it must be softer than 2.5. If you can't scratch it, it must be harder than 2.5.||A pocket knife has a hardness of 5.5 on the Mohs scale. If your knife can scratch a mineral, it must be softer than 5.5. If it can't, then it must be harder than 5.5.|
Don't see the scratch test? Click here.
Now let's examine another mineral property:
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