Precious gems that go in jewelry have to be harder than a 7 on the Mohs scale due to quartz being the hardest airborne mineral and would scratch them, so does that mean we breathe in quartz on the daily and our lungs don’t mind?

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Precious gems that go in jewelry have to be harder than a 7 on the Mohs scale due to quartz being the hardest airborne mineral and would scratch them, so does that mean we breathe in quartz on the daily and our lungs don’t mind?

In: Biology

3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

ELI5: Gemstones scratch. The harder ones resist scratching longer. If you scrape your soft stone on a harder thing it will scratch. Those things that scratch your gemstone? You don’t want to breathe them. Door knobs are hard to inhale for most of us. /end

I am genuinely curious where you got this information regarding gems having to be harder than a 7 on the mohs scale for jewelry due to airborne silica.

I have always understood “Precious gems” to designated upon fabricated “rarity”, not hardness. Those gems that go in rings are typically harder because of day to day wear that occurs every time that you do anything with the ring on. Dishes, pockets, keys etc.

I’m certain you know this, however, I just want to point out that many many materials can be used as the gemstone under 7 mohs for jewelry. Including very soft materials such as bone, coral, shell, etc.

Others gave you a better response regarding silica.

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