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Semiprecious minerals that are opaque, colorful and polish to a high gloss. Hardstones typically fall in the 6-7 range on the Mohs' hardness scale. They have been used since prehistoric times for personal objects. Later uses include architectural decoration, mosaics, seals, cameos, gemstones, boxes, vases, small sculptures and furniture (tables, cabinets, altars, reliquaries, etc.). Examples of hardstones includes agate, rock crystal, jasper, onyx, jade, chalcedony, lapis lazuli, carnelian, bloodstone, turquoise, and petrified wood.

Synonyms and Related Terms

hardstones; pietre dure

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • The Dictionary of Art, Grove's Dictionaries Inc., New York, 1996 Comment: "Hardstones"
  • Tom Rowland, Noel Riley, A-Z Guide to Cleaning, Conserving and Repairing Antiques, Constable and Co., Ltd., London, 1981