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THE Find Stone Source MOH HARDNESS OF MINERALS AND STONE…

Find Stone Source STONE INDUSTRIES

The hardness tests of minerals and stones are often misunderstood among scholars and stone enthusiasts alike; in fact it’s not difficult to comprehend once a short study in the resistance to abrasion reaction is performed. Scratching is often used as the term for resistance to wear and tear, especially for natural stones, marbles, limestone’s and granites which reach the Moh scale of three (3) for marble, and six (6) for granite, and seven for (7) harder granite, quartz and gneiss. Simple tests can be achieved; however we have the Moh Scale available to guide us through the general resistance and hardness required for many applications. The easiest and most useful tests to perform is simple, if it scratches what are possibilities’, uses and benefits, Talc versus Marble, Marble or Limestone versus Granite,  Quartz versus Diamond and so on.  There are many benefits for soft and hard materials in our busy world; especially engineering, applications weakness versus strengths; although basic it is often overlooked by many professionals in many trades, including stone specialists and stone manufactures such as Find Stone Source that dominates the word markets for very sophisticated and commercial stone projects.

Find Stone Source and its trade affiliates offer many species of natural stone materials, available to the trade markets, and often many natural stone materials are misrepresented and inferior for certain applications, this is common as many trade buyers will take the designers and other stone specialist or suppliers word is not specified correctly, offering the wrong stone for the said applications. Find Stone Source and its group of factories and plants have the expertise for advisement to natural stone buyers and a to help specify the correct natural stones with an ASTM Rating or an Moh Scale that set’s all natural stones apart, that qualifies to resistance and scratching, and wear and tear. As an example, soft metals are relatively easy to scratch, and we all obviously know that a diamond is not, the hardness is paramount for the natural stone industry if it is for flooring, countertops, pavers, wall-veneers,  coping, fountains, sinks for example to name a few, “marble-sinks” can they be a problem? Well yes, if your sinks are polished, the chlorine in the water will diminish the polish in a very short time; this applies to marble countertops, and many polished materials, especially where chlorinated water is dispersed.  Marble Means Maintenance, yes you got it, the dreaded three (3) (MMM’s) all is relative to the MOH Scale, all these scenarios can be over looked and does apply with the purchase of all stones, when stones, marbles and granite are used for certain applications you must talk to your Find Stone Source Representative.

Many: of these elements and minerals, including natural stones measure with Moh, with the ease of these types of materials, that fracture easily and with difficultly under duress and are or its density, nature and tenacity. There are other hardness scales than are based on ease of indentation, resistance to pressure and weather elements, with the wind, rain, snow and fire and many other natural phenomena, that is taken in to consideration when making selections in natural stones. For simplicity, we refer to the hardness, standards and will refer to the resistance to abrasion as given by Mohs' Scales as listed and other information’s available that help the purchaser with additional ratings and general guidelines.
The classic scale for hardness was published by Frederick Mohs, an Austrian mineralogist from the 1800 hundreds, who basically conceived the concept from scratch tests performed routinely by miners. Since Mohs published the scales of MOH and it’s relatively simple analyzes and findings, it remains unchallenged, bearing his family name rather than that of an unknown prodigy who just thought up the whole idea, with no recognition that is without a doubt an important guideline for advanced and new specifications, as the ASTM Rating and Universal Specifications that are generally used for other factors, A-American, S-Standard, T-Test, M-Method: Absorption, Rupture, Elasticity, Water-Absorption, Compressive-Strength, Refractory,  Abrasion-Resistance, Structural-Performance, just to name a few of some ASTM Ratings that are used by Architects for specifications.

Although Architects understand these important ratings, they are not very familiar with other aspects of the natural stones itself, yes the stone be hard enough to quality. But the beauty can be lost, the esthetics is simply not there, the stone experts are truly the masons and the manufacturers who work with stone every day. Find Stone Source believes that over 33% of stones that are specified are not suitable in appearance, as many professionals are not acquainted with natural stones that are esthetically more pleasing to the eye and appropriate for the project at hand, whether interior or exterior the experienced stone provider, for instance Find Stone Source has supplied thousands of projects over the decades and can certainly advise designers to specify the best natural stone for the job at hand.

The scale sets Ten (10) minerals as standards, arranging in order of increasing hardness. These are, as most of you probably know:
1 = Talc
2 = Gypsum
3 = Calcite
4 = Fluorite
5 = Apatite (fluorapatite)
6 = Orthoclase
7 = Quartz
8 = Topaz
9 = Corundum
10 = Diamond

These minerals were selected for their abundance, as well as their differential of hardness. Note the scale is uneven. For example. Talc is one (1) now that maybe a surprise, just like marble dust is used for chewing gum wrapping, and talc is used for the body and many other domestic products, with additives, resins and glues including plastics, whereas Diamond is at ten (10) is much harder than corundum at nine (9) but how much, the research for our purposes are not warranted to go further, but you must admit it is interesting.

Testing the hardness of rocks is less effective than testing the hardness of minerals. A rock is basically a mixture of various minerals, although it can contain non-mineral materials such as natural glass and fossils. (Fossils aren't minerals because they are organic, while glass isn't a mineral because it lacks an internal crystalline structure. You could achieve a range of hardness depending on which grain you tested. Within a coarse grained rock, identifying the individual minerals allows you to identify the rock. If the rock is fine-grained, it's harder to interpret the results.

Mohs' scale has stood the test of centuries as a useful tool for mineral identification. Its simplicity and effectiveness will likely assure its relevance well into the future.
Stone History & Fact Guide
Stone is a natural solid formation of one or many materials. There are thousands of types of stone that have been quarried through the centuries. Quarries are located all around the world. A majority of natural stone comes from… Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Turkey, Greece, Germany, United States, Mexico, China, India, Greece, Canada and Brazil, and many other factories around the world…
The minerals in stone came from the same liquid and gas minerals that formed the earth. The Earth developed as a massive body of gas and liquid minerals that slowly cooled and condensed to a solid core. Through pressure, the Earth's crust began to form, and heavy minerals were forced down to the core of the Earth where they were trapped. As the crust got thicker, it squeezed around the inner core, which created intense pressure and heat from within the earth. Crystals and other solid forms began to grow from the mineral vapors that were being released. As the Earth's crust began to expand and erode, heat and pressure pushed the solid minerals up to the Earth's surface, which formed colossal rock beds. It took up to one hundred million years to form some of these beds. Many of the beds are now used as quarries where the stone is mined.

Most of these minerals can be identified by their color, hardness and crystal formation. Crystals come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The wide arrays of these minerals are often difficult to identify. Many stones look very similar to each other; however, they are all very different. It is imperative to know the exact type of stone that is to be maintained. Stone is natural and may have adverse reactions to certain cleaning chemicals and procedures. Most stones are also natural alkalis and so are dirt and soil; therefore, stone and dirt are attracted to each other which often makes cleaning very difficult. This makes the proper selection of cleaning procedures and chemicals for stone very complex.

Types of Stones

The familiar stone types that are used today are identified through four categories:
SEDIMENTARY, METAMORPHIC, & IGNEOUS STONE & MAN-MADE.
SEDIMENTARY stone came from organic elements such as glaciers, rivers, wind, oceans and plants. Tiny sedimentary pieces broke off from these wind elements and accumulated to form rock beds. They were bonded through millions of years of heat and pressure. 

LIMESTONE: Mainly consists of calcite. It does not show much graining or crystalline structure. It has a smooth granular surface and varies in hardness. Some dense limestone’s can be polished. Common colors are black, gray, white, yellow, or brown. It is more likely to stain than marble. Limestone is known to contain lime from sea water.

SANDSTONE: Is a very durable formation of quartz grains (sand). Usually formed in light brown or red colors. Categorized by the most popular sandstone bonding agents such as silica, calcium, clay and iron oxide.

SOAPSTONE: A very soft stone made of a variety of talc. It is a dense mineral that wears well and is often resistant to stains.

FOSSILSTONE: Considered a limestone that contains natural fossils such as sea shells and plants.

TRAVERTINE: Usually a cream or reddish color. It is formed through the accumulation of calcite from hot springs. It contains lots of holes that were formed from water flowing through the stone. These holes are often filled with synthetic resins or cements. Requires lots of maintenance if the holes are not filled. Classified as a limestone and a marble.

METAMORPHIC stone originates from a natural change from one type of stone to another type through the mixture of heat, pressure and minerals. The change may be a development of a crystalline formation, a texture change or a color change.

MARBLE: A re-crystallized limestone that formed when the limestone softened from heat and pressure and re-crystallized into marble where mineral changes occurred. The main consistency is calcium and dolomite. Ranges in many colors and is usually heavily veined and shows lots of grains. Hardness rates from 2.5 to 5 on the MOH Scale. Marble is classified into three categories:

DOLOMITE: If it has more than 40% magnesium carbonates.

MAGNESIA: If it has between 5% and 40% magnesium carbonate.

CALCITE: If it has less than 5% magnesium carbonates.

SLATE: A fine-grained metamorphic stone that formed from clay, sedimentary rock shale and sometimes quartz. Very thin and can break easily. Usually black, gray or green.

SERPENTINE: Identified by its marks which look like the skin of a serpent. Most popular colors are green and brown. Hardness rates from 2.5 to 4 on the MOH Scale. Contains serpentine minerals, has lots of magnesium and has an igneous origin. Does not always react well to re crystallization or diamond polishing.

IGNEOUS stones are mainly formed through volcanic material such as magma. Underneath the Earth's surface, liquid magma cooled and solidified. Mineral gases and liquids penetrated into the stone and created new crystalline formations with various colors.

GRANITE: Primarily made of Quartz (35%), Feldspar (45%) and Potassium. Usually have darker colors. Contains very little calcite, if any. Provides a heavy crystalline and granular appearance with mineral grains. It is very hard material and easier to maintain than marble. Yet, it is still porous and will stain. There are different types of granite depending on the percentage mix of quartz, mica, and feldspar. Black granite is known as an Anorthosite. It contains very little quartz and feldspar and has a different composition than true granite.

ENGINEERED-MAN-MADE stones are derived of unnatural mixtures such as resin or cement mixed with the addition of stone chips.

TERRAZZO: Marble and granite chips embedded in a cement composition.

AGGLOMERATE or CONGLOMERATE: Marble chips embedded in a colored resin composition.

CULTURED or FAUX MARBLE: A mix of resins that is painted or mixed with a paint to look like marble.
Some Surface Textures
There are many different types of stone available today. When stone is ordered, it is fabricated with a particular type of surface. There are six main types of surfaces that are selected:
HONED: Provides a flat to low sheen gloss. Different levels of gloss can be selected. This surface is very smooth, but often porous. This texture is common in high traffic buildings. Honed floors should always be protected with Stone guard Penetrating Sealer because it has wide-open pores. Honed stone colors are not as vibrant as a polished stone.

POLISHED: A glossy surface that wears away with time due to heavy foot traffic and using improper maintenance procedures. This surface is very smooth and not very porous. The reflectivity of polished crystals brings out the brilliant colors and grains of natural stone. The shine comes from the natural reflection of the stone's crystals. The polish is provided by polishing bricks and polishing powders that are used during fabrication. The shine is not from a coating.

FLAMED: A rough surface that is developed through intense heat. During fabrication, the stone is heated up and the crystals begin to pop, thus forming a rough surface. This surface is very porous and must be treated with Stone guard.

BRUSHIQUE: Was developed by Find Stone Source, although not unique, the process is unequaled for longevity and esthetics. Basically the material stone of choice is brushed or tumbled, and finally semi-polished or full polished. The idea is to seem a restored antique stone relic.

THERMAL: A rough surface that is developed through intense heat. During fabrication, the stone is heated up and the crystals begin to pop, thus forming a rough surface. This surface is very porous and must be treated with Stone guard

TUMBLED: A slightly rough texture that is achieved by tumbling small pieces of marble, limestone and sometimes granite to achieve a worn appearance. It often requires an application of Stone Color Enhancer to bring out the colors.

SAND-BLASTED: This surface is the result of a pressurized flow of sand and water that provides a textured surface with a matte gloss.

SAWN: A process performed by using a gang saw.

BUSH-HAMMERED: A pounding action that develops a textured surface. The degree of roughness can be selected.

SPLIT-FACE: A Split faced stone finish is exactly that, a stone that is split into two pieces producing a mushroom uneven surface finish, this is used primarily for vertical veneer stones.
Natural Stone Colors Produced by Nature:
As discussed previously, stone was formed from different types of natural minerals. Marble's main consistency is calcium. Calcium carbonate is the natural source that bonds the stone. Certain additive minerals blended into the calcium during formation to customize these brilliant colors. The additive minerals are also color developers present in granite and other natural stones.
Stone Color: Mineral:
Black Biotitic, Hornblende, Carbon
Brown Limonite
Gray Variety of Minerals
Green Mica, Chloride, Silicate
Red Hematite
White Feldspar, Calcite, Dolomite
Yellow Limonite
Mineral: Mineral Color: Augite: Brown, Green, Black, Purple:  Biotite Black, Brown, Green: Calcite Pearlescent and Pale Colors:
Dolomite Colorless, Pink, Pale Brown: Feldspar Yellow, White, Pink, Green, Gray: Hematite Metallic Gray or Black: Hornblende Green, Yellow, Brown, Black: Limonite Black, Brown, or Yellow: Sulphur Pale Gold


Minerals have a variety of crystalline properties. A different property has a different color. For instance, Augite (listed above) has different crystalline properties. Each property has its own color. Stone's brilliant colors and various crystal formations developed when different mineral properties blended together along with the integration of temperature and pressure.
MARBLE CHARACTERISTICS
The distinction and richness of marble is due to its natural variations in color and texture. With the color variations acting as a strong role in the quality of marble, the marble industry has set a description of the different working qualities, such as geological flaws, voids, veins and lines of separation, which have been set to repair nature's variations through sticking, rodding, and filling. These repairs permit for the use of a beautiful product with otherwise could not be used in defeat.


As a result of the knowledge gained in extensive experiences, a classification has been listed to not describe the merit or value of different marbles, but merely to indicate what method of fabrication is considered necessary and acceptable in each instance, as based on standard trade practice.


Group "A" ~ Sound marble and stones, with uniform and favorable working qualities. Group "B" ~ Marbles and stones similar in character to the preceding group, but working qualities somewhat less favorable; may have natural faults; a limited amount of waxing and sticking necessary.


Group "C" ~ Marbles and stones with some variations in working qualities; geological flaws, voids, veins, and lines of separation are common; it is standard practice to repair these variations by sticking, waxing and filling; liners and other forms of reinforcements employed when necessary. Group "D" ~ Marbles and stones similar to the previous group, but containing a larger proportion of natural faults, and a maximum variation in working qualities, requiring more of the same methods of finishing. This group comprises many of the highly colored marbles prized for their decorative quality.