What is the Mohs Scale?

Hey gem lovers! Ever heard of the Mohs Scale? It’s like a fortune teller for gemstones, telling us how tough and long-lasting they are. Now, when it comes to diamonds, our favorites, the Mohs Scale tells us all we need to know about their durability and predictable wearability. Cool, right? We wanted to chat about why diamonds are the unparalleled leaders of the pack for hardness and strength.


Loose Diamonds

Back in 1812, Friedrich Mohs created the Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness. It’s like a ranking system for how tough minerals are against scratches. The scale ranges from 1 (super soft) to 10 (diamond hard). It lets us know several aspects of gems, including that gems ranking higher can scratch and harm the stones that come in lower ranking. It’s like the minerals’ little competition for who’s the toughest around.

“Friedrich Mohs” (1773-1839), German mineralogist, and creator of the Mohs hardness scale. Lithograph by Josef Kriehuber, 1832. The Peter Geymayer Collection. Public Domain.


Mohs Strength - hand punching a stack of concrete.

Diamonds reign supreme on the Mohs Scale with a perfect score of 10. Renowned for their exceptional hardness, diamonds are created as carbon atoms arranged in a crystal lattice structure. This unique design of nature has made them one of the hardest substances on the planet. This unique molecular arrangement ensures that diamonds can withstand the test of time, resisting abrasions and remaining beautiful for generations.


14k White Gold "Journey" Diamond Pendant at Whiteflash
Diamond Eternity Hoop Earrings In 18k White Gold at Blue Nile


The Mohs Scale gives us invaluable insights into a gemstone’s wearability and suitability for various jewelry types. For your daily wear pieces, such as engagement rings and wedding bands, opting for gemstones with higher Mohs ratings ensures durability and minimal risk of scratches. In this regard, with their unrivaled hardness, diamonds emerge as the perfect choice for enduring symbols of love and commitment.  One of the many reasons that diamonds are found in so many staple pieces in jewelry wardrobes. Some colored gemstones are also hard enough to safely wear regularly without causing them damage in the process.


On the other hand, (or ears, or wrist, or neck etc…) gemstones with lower Mohs ratings are more susceptible to scratches and damage from wear over time. Although beautiful, some popular gemstones like opals, pearls, and turquoise may not be the ideal choice for everyday jewelry due to their softer makeup. Understanding the Mohs Scale empowers jewelry lovers to help make informed decisions when selecting gemstones for jewelry pieces! Knowledge is power, and we want PriceScopers always to feel prepared throughout their jewelry journey.



While the Mohs Scale gauges hardness, diamonds are more than just their texture. With their exceptional hardness, diamonds are also beloved for their fire, brilliance, and scintillation. The way that diamonds return light is nothing short of spectacular. The Mohs Scale is another tool in our fabulous belt helping us find pieces that will bring us joy for years.



The Mohs scale is a guide, a visual path to understanding the hardness of a given mineral. Giving you insights that will help you make the right choice for the jewelry needs you are in the market to fulfill. Softer stones absolutely have their place and can create magnificent pieces, but for durability, diamonds are where it’s at. You will always need to be careful when mixing softer stones with harder stones so as not to damage the lower-ranking gems. We want your bling to last for as long as possible!

Written by Kayti Kawachi

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