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Rough measure of the resistance of a smooth surface to scratching or abrasion, expressed in terms of a scale devised by German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs in 1812. Minerals are ranked in comparison with the Mohs scale, which is made up of 10 minerals that have been given arbitrary hardness values on a scale from 1 (least hard, or talc) to 10 (hardest, or diamond).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Mohs hardness, visit Britannica.com.
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