Tag Archives: Mineral

The Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness


The Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness

The Mohs scale of mineral hardness characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals, through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer one and not be scratched by it. While the varying hardness of stones was likely first explored around 300 BCE, German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs devised his scale in 1812. It uses 10 standards ranging from talc, the softest, with a value of 1, to diamond, the hardest, with a value of 10. Where does a fingernail fall on the Mohs scale? More… Discuss

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The He Shi Bi


The He Shi Bi

The He Shi Bi is a piece of jade that features prominently in Chinese history. According to legend, a man named Bian He found a large stone that he believed contained jade in the hills of Chu. He presented it to the king and later to his successor, but they disbelieved the man’s claims and had his legs cut off as punishment. Finally, he presented it to a third king, who recognized the stone’s potential and had it sculpted into an incomparable disk of jade. What was the disk made into in 221 BCE? More… Discuss

Jade is an ornamental stone. The term jade is applied to two different metamorphic rocks that are made up of different silicate minerals:

Japan Finds Rare Earth Elements in Seabed


Japan Finds Rare Earth Elements in Seabed

Japanese researchers have discovered an estimated 100 billion tons of rare earth minerals in the Pacific Ocean floor. These minerals are a vital component of many hi-tech devices, including hybrid cars, flat-screen TVs, iPods, superconductors, lasers, missiles, night-vision goggles, and wind turbines. Currently, China produces 97 percent of the world’s rare earth metals. In recent years, it has cut export quotas, citing environmental concerns and domestic demand. This has led to accusations of strategic hoarding and price gouging. If recovering the minerals from the seabed proves commercially viable, the deposits could expand the world’s reserves 1,000-fold. More… Discuss