Home Tanzanite How Hard Is Tanzanite on the Mohs Scale: A Full Guide

How Hard Is Tanzanite on the Mohs Scale: A Full Guide

by Madonna

Tanzanite, a captivating gemstone renowned for its striking blue-violet hue, has captured the hearts of gem enthusiasts worldwide since its discovery in Tanzania in the 1960s. As with any gemstone, its durability is a crucial factor in determining its suitability for various jewelry applications. The Mohs scale of mineral hardness is a commonly used measurement system to assess a gem’s hardness and scratch resistance. In this article, we will explore how hard tanzanite ranks on the Mohs scale and what this means for its wearability and care.

Understanding the Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness

Before delving into tanzanite’s hardness, it is essential to understand the Mohs scale and how it determines the scratch resistance of gemstones. Developed by German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs in 1812, the scale ranges from 1 to 10, with 10 being the hardest mineral, diamond. Each level represents a mineral’s ability to scratch another mineral of a lower hardness on the scale.


Tanzanite’s Place on the Mohs Scale

Tanzanite is a variety of the mineral zoisite and falls within the Mohs hardness range of 6 to 7. While tanzanite is not as hard as diamonds or other harder gemstones like sapphires and rubies (which rank 9 on the Mohs scale), it is significantly harder than some other popular gemstones like opal and pearls.


Is Tanzanite wear-resistant?

Tanzanite is reasonably wear-resistant with a hardness of 6 to 7 on the Mohs scale. While it is not as hard as some other gemstones like diamonds or sapphires, it can withstand everyday wear if handled with care. Tanzanite can resist scratches and abrasions to a certain extent, but it is still susceptible to damage from harder materials. To maintain its beauty and longevity, it is advisable to store tanzanite jewelry separately, handle it gently, and avoid exposing it to harsh chemicals or rough activities. With proper care, tanzanite can be a durable and stunning gemstone for various jewelry pieces.


Is tanzanite as hard as diamonds?

Tanzanite is not as hard as diamonds. On the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, tanzanite ranks at around 6 to 7, whereas diamonds hold the top position with a hardness of 10. The Mohs scale is a measurement system that evaluates a mineral’s ability to scratch another mineral of lower hardness.

Diamonds are the hardest known natural material, making them highly scratch-resistant and suitable for everyday wear in various jewelry pieces. On the other hand, while tanzanite is reasonably durable with a hardness comparable to other popular gemstones like emeralds and tourmalines, it is not as hard as diamonds and requires more careful handling to avoid scratches or damage.

When wearing tanzanite jewelry, it is essential to be mindful of potential risks and avoid activities that may expose the gemstone to rough impacts. Proper care and regular inspections by a professional jeweler can help maintain the beauty and longevity of tanzanite jewelry over time.

What kind of jewelry is suitable for the hardness of tanzanite?

Due to the hardness of tanzanite, which ranges from 6 to 7 on the Mohs scale, it is best suited for certain types of jewelry that offer more protection and reduce the risk of damage. Here are some jewelry options that are suitable for tanzanite’s hardness:

1. Earrings:

Tanzanite earrings are a popular choice as they are less likely to endure the wear and tear that rings or bracelets might experience. They are also less exposed to potential impacts and abrasive surfaces.

2. Pendants:

Tanzanite pendants are another excellent option, as they are less likely to come into contact with hard surfaces compared to rings or bracelets. When set in a pendant, tanzanite can be showcased beautifully without excessive risk of damage.

3. Necklaces:

Similar to pendants, tanzanite necklaces are generally safe to wear as long as they are not subject to rough handling or potential impacts.

4. Occasional Rings:

While tanzanite can be set in rings, it is best to reserve them for special occasions or occasional wear to minimize exposure to daily activities that might lead to scratches or chipping.

5. Protective Settings:

Regardless of the type of jewelry, choosing protective settings, such as bezel settings that cover more of the gem’s surface, can offer better safeguarding for the tanzanite.

Remember, while tanzanite is not as hard as some other gemstones, it can still be enjoyed in various jewelry pieces with proper care and handling. It is essential to be mindful of daily activities and avoid situations where the gem might be exposed to rough impacts or chemicals that could potentially harm it.

Can Tanzanite be worn every day?

Tanzanite can be worn every day with proper care and precautions. While it has a hardness of 6 to 7 on the Mohs scale, making it reasonably durable, it is essential to avoid exposing it to rough activities or harsh chemicals. Choose jewelry with protective settings, such as bezel settings, and remove it during sports or heavy physical work. Regularly clean and store tanzanite jewelry separately to minimize the risk of scratches. Periodically have it inspected by a jeweler to check for any issues. With mindful wear and proper care, tanzanite can be enjoyed daily without significant concerns.

Caring for Tanzanite Jewelry

Proper care and maintenance are essential to preserve the beauty and longevity of tanzanite jewelry.

1. Cleaning

Tanzanite jewelry should be cleaned regularly to remove dirt, oils, and debris that may accumulate over time. Gently wipe the gemstone with a soft, damp cloth and mild soap to keep it looking its best.

2. Storage

When not wearing tanzanite jewelry, store it separately in a soft pouch or lined jewelry box to prevent scratches from other harder materials.

3. Professional Inspection

Have tanzanite jewelry inspected by a professional jeweler periodically to check for loose stones or potential issues that might require repair.


Tanzanite’s placement on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness at 6 to 7 indicates that while it is not as hard as some other gemstones, it is still suitable for various types of jewelry with proper care and handling. As with any gemstone, it is essential to strike a balance between beauty and durability based on individual preferences and lifestyle. By following proper care and maintenance practices, jewelry enthusiasts can continue to admire the captivating beauty of tanzanite for years to come.


1. Is tanzanite hard enough for an engagement ring?

Tanzanite is not as tough as ruby and sapphire, but many people love their tanzanite rings. If you are active, consider a setting that protects the stone, or choose tanzanite for a ring you don’t wear every day.

2. Why is some tanzanite so cheap?

Some tanzanite can be inexpensive due to factors like the availability of the gemstone, its quality (lower-grade stones with lighter color or more inclusions), heat treatment to enhance appearance, market demand fluctuations, and competitive pricing strategies employed by sellers.

3. Is light or dark tanzanite better?

The preference between light and dark tanzanite is entirely subjective and depends on individual tastes and style preferences. Light tanzanite with pastel blue or violet tones can offer a delicate and calming appearance, ideal for those seeking a subtle and elegant look. On the other hand, dark tanzanite with deep blue or violet hues can exude a bold and dramatic presence, making it a captivating choice for those who prefer a more striking and intense gemstone.


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