How Scratch-Resistant are Platinum, Gold and Silver?

How Scratch-Resistant are Platinum, Gold and Silver?

You can find the answer on the Mohs Scale

Is silver more resistant to scratching and wear than gold is? And how does platinum compare to them both?

Knowing the answers to those questions can help you visually distinguish between precious metals like platinum, silver, and rhodium. (If a piece you are looking at shows more signs of abrasion, it is a softer metal.)

How can you get info on how soft or hard metals are? You can find the answers to those questions, and more, on the Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness, which was created in 1812 by a German scientist named Friedrich Mohs. His idea was simple but very useful. He simply tried to scratch a number of minerals, metals and other substances in exactly the same ways under laboratory conditions and compared their resistance to abrasion. His Scale proved to be a very useful way to compare the hardness and durability of different substances, including metals.

So, How Abrasion-Resistant Is Your Precious Metal?

The Mohs Scale rates the hardness of different substances on a scale of 1-10. The higher the number, the harder the substance is. That explains why diamonds, which are very hard, rate a 10 on the scale and why talc, a mineral that crumbles to the touch, rates only a 1.

Here are ratings of metals from the Mohs Scale, starting with the softest . . .

  • 24 karat gold, silver, aluminum, and zinc - 2.5-3.0
  • 18 and 14 karat gold - 2.7-3.0, depending on the hardness of the secondary metals they contain. (24k gold is close to pure, but lower-karat golds contain one or more other metals that have been added make the resulting alloy harder, or to change its color.)
  • Copper - 3.0
  • Platinum - 3.5
  • Iron and nickel - 4.0
  • Steel - 4.0-4.5, depending on the other metals that are used to create common alloys like stainless, high-carbon, etc.
  • Palladium - 5.0
  • Beryllium and molybdenum - 5.5
  • Titanium, germanium and rhodium - 6.
  • Osmium -
  • Tungsten - 7.5-8.
  • Chromium - 8.5

How Hard Is It to Profit from Precious Metals?

It is easy to turn scrapped precious metals into dollars and cents. Our experts are at 800-426-2344. One call to us will get the process started.  

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