Friedrich Mohs and the Mohs Hardness Scale

Friedrich Mohs and the Mohs Hardness Scale

Friedrich Mohs created the Mohs scale in regards to mineral hardness in 1812.

Friedrich Mohs was born in Germany in 1773 who went and studied minerology and geognosy at the mining academy at Freiberg under the tutelage of Abraham Gottlob Werner. [Note, Geognosy is a branch of geology that deals with the materials of the earth and its general exterior and interior constitution.]

At the age of 28, Friedrich Moh moved to Austria and worked as a foreman at the Neudorf Mine in the eastern Harz Mountain region and as a curator for the mineral collection of the Austrian banker J.F. van der Null. As a curator he had to categorize the minerals based on their physical and chemical structures and also identify the minerals that were still unknown.

On 1812 Mohs became professor of mineralogy at the Johanneum in Graz. It was then that he devised a system in which he first proposed his hardness scale for minerals. The scale is defined by ten minerals, numbered from 1 to 10, each of which will scratch the minerals below it.

Mohs scale lists the hardest mineral which is the diamond a 10, and the softest mineral, the Talc as 1.

At age 39, Friedrich Mohs began his teaching career as a professor of minerology in Gratz where his work on the Scale of Hardness of a mineral was concluded. The scale goes from one to ten:

1. Talc

2. Gypsum

3. Calcite

4. Fluorite

5. Apatite

6. Feldspar

7. Quartz

8. Topaz

9. Corundum [Ruby and Sapphire]

10. Diamond

In 1817, at age of 44, Friedrich Mohs became a professor at the Mining Academy in Freiberg, replacing his teacher Abraham Gottlob Werner. He was appointed nine years later as professor of Minerology at the University of Vienna.

Friedrich Mohs died at the age of 66 in Italy where he was a mining advisor at the Mining University in Leoban.