Mineral Hardness Lab

Name____________________________ Date _______________ Period 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Mineral Hardness Identification Lab


Purpose: The lab you are about to do is a mineral identification laboratory. This lab will help you to understand how the hardness of a mineral can be used to determine the identity of the mineral or rock.



  • Lab observation sheets and Booklet
  • Safety goggles
  • Tweezers
  • Copper pennies
  • Window glass
  • File
  • Gypsum
  • Calcite
  • Quartz
  • Plagioclase Feldspar
  • Talc
  • Fluorite
  • Pencil



You are going to perform a variety of tests on each of the rock/mineral samples above. You are to follow the chart for each sample on the Data observation pages. Each mineral sample will involve 5 tests. One will be the Fingernail test. The next will be the penny test. The third will be the tweezers test. The fourth will be the glass test, and the fifth will be the steel file test. You are to record what happens in each case in the spaces provided on your observations sheets. ( Mr. Andrews will give a classroom demonstration of proper technique). When you are done with the observations you should answer the analysis and conclusion questions.

Click here for Hardness Lab Data Sheets

Click here for Hardness Lab Conclusion Sheets.