How hard is your gemstone?
Diamond is the hardest natural material in the world. However, it can shatter into a thousand pieces if you hit it with a hammer, while jade breaks in two. How is that possible? Scientifically speaking, hardness measures the ability to resist scratching. So a hammer can't scratch it, but can break it!
For gemstones, we use Mohs Scale of Hardness to define this hardness. In 1812, the mineralogist Friedrich Mohs established a reference scale of ten common minerals, ranked in order of increasing hardness.
|9||Corundum, so rubies and sapphires|
|8||Topaz (also spinel and chrysoberyl)|
|7||Quartz (also emerald and aquamarine (both 7.5 to 8), citrine, smokey quartz, amethyst)|
|6||Feldspar (also opal, tanzanite, chrysopraas, jade, moonstone and agate)|
|5||Apatite (also lapis lazuli and turqouise (both 5 to 6))|
|3||Calcite (also pearls and onyx (3.5 to 4))|
|2||Gypsum (also amber|
The dust all around us contains quartz particles and they can scratch everything softer then them. Which means just by cleaning, it can build up small scratches over time. So always be careful but please do keep wearing them. They are just too beautiful to simply lay in the vault.