1. Gemstone Hardness = resistance to scratches and abrasions
A gemstone’s hardness is a good indicator of how well it will resist scratches and abrasions. The Mohs scale ranks gems on a relative scale based on their scratch hardness, so although corundum (ruby or sapphire) is a 9, a diamond at 10 is many times harder. Only a diamond can scratch a diamond. Corundum can scratch itself, topaz (8), quartz (7), and anything softer. Topaz can scratch itself, quartz (7), and anything lower on the scale.
2. Gemstone Toughness = resistance to breaking and chipping
The way the atoms of a gem bond together and the strength of these bonds determine a gemstone’s toughness, or how well a gemstone resists breaking and chipping.
3. Gemstone Stability = resistance to chemicals, heat, humidity and light
Stability refers to how well a gemstone can withstand exposure to chemicals, light, and changes in temperature or humidity. Some key causes of gemstone damage include:
- Extreme Temperature Changes
- Humidity Levels
- Prolonged Exposure to Heat and Light
- Exposure to Chemicals and other Materials
Gemstones have been revered for their beauty and durability for thousands of years. Properly cared for, they become the treasured heirlooms that survive generations. So that you can best care for your gemstones, know their properties and qualities and keep your fine jewelry in good repair.
Read the complete article and more tips at: More than the Mohs Scale – Understanding What Makes a Gem Durable