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AMONGST the many properties of solids which are the subject of measurement, none are less satisfactorily specified than that of hardness. Two kinds of hardness may be distinguished, namely, surface hardness and body-hardness, though the distinction is often disregarded. Mineralogists deal with surface hardness, and of any two bodies call that the hardest which will scratch, but not be scratched by the other. On this system an arbitrary scale has been evolved having diamond (Hardness 10) at one end and talc (Hardness 1) at the other.

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