Ask-A-Geologist Question: How to determine mineral hardness with the Mohs scale

Apatite Mineral

Apatite Mineral

We love the questions that come to us in the the Ask-A-Geologist feature. Today, a great question about the Mohs hardness scale. Remember, you can submit your own questions and we will answer them for you.

Question: Based on Mohs hardness scale an unknown mineral scratched apatite. It also scratches a steel knife blade but it cannot scratch quartz. What is the mineral’s hardness?

Answer: Hmmm, this sounds suspiciously like a homework question. Our policy is not to give you the answer to homework questions but to help you figure them out. First, I want you to click here and read this article on the Mohs hardness scale. All the information that you need to answer this question is given in the article. Under the section titled “How to perform the test,” there is a description of the steps that you need to do to answer this question. Once you know the answer, tells us in the comments. I know you can do it, but if you need a hint, let us know.


One Response to “Ask-A-Geologist Question: How to determine mineral hardness with the Mohs scale”

  1. This site was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something that helped me. Many thanks!

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