Can Limestone Scratch Glass? (ANSWERED)

No, limestone cannot scratch glass.

In the article that follows, we’ll explain the why and the what, and in the end, you’ll know a lot more about limestone.

Can Limestone Scratch Glass? (EXPLAINED)

In 1812, a mineralist named Friedrich Mohs created a scale to evaluate minerals for their hardness. 

The scape is known as the Mohs Scale of Hardness. 

This scale is a technique to measure the hardness of one piece of matter and its ability to scratch another based on its hardness.

For instance, the Mohs scale goes from one to ten based on hardness, ten being the highest and hardest.  

A mineral ranked at a six could easily scratch another material rated at a two because it is higher on the scale. 

On the contrary, a mineral with a hardness of two couldn’t scratch a six. 

While this scale is not totally absolute, it measures a mineral’s hardness at its simplicity.

It was created based on observations found while using the ten most common minerals found.

Just to give an idea of where a few common minerals rank. 

Diamonds are a ten on the hardness scale, fingernails are a two and a half.  

A majority of granites rank at a seven, while a penny made of copper, a three.

Glass is ranked as having a hardness of five and a half. 

Limestone is at a three, so based on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, Limestone will not be able to scratch glass.

About Limestone

Limestone is mainly composed of calcium carbonate or a combination of two carbonate materials, calcium and magnesium dolomite.

Limestone is also usually seen as a mixture of tiny fossils, fragments of shells, and other debris that have been fossilized. 

It is not always the case, but these fossils are usually visible to the eye under close examination of the stone’s surface.

These provide scientists with data on life’s evolutionary processes, going back to ancient times over 540 million years or more.

Limestone is primarily grayish in color but can also be found in a brown, white, or yellowish hue. 

Though it is unusual, Limestone rich in organic matter can appear dark, almost black in color. 

Traces of magnesium or iron in Limestone give it a red, white, or yellow appearance.

Limestone is one of the softer minerals on Mohs’s chart and can be easily scratched. 

Although it is a relatively soft mineral according to Mohs Scale, rating it at a 3.

Dense forms of Limestone can have a crushing strength of up to 180 MPA or 26106.793 pounds of force per square inch compared to concrete crushing abilities at 40 MPA or 5801.51 pounds of pressure per square inch.

Many varieties of Limestone have a very fine granular texture.

It reacts by fizzing and bubbling up because it is very solvable when placed in acid.

Limestone is less resistant to erosion than most igneous or magmatic rocks but more resistant than several sedimentary ones.

Limestones can come in several forms and textures.

For example, it may come as in pieces or even a whole seashell that has been somewhat cemented by calcite.

Also, this mineral can come so finite that a magnifying glass or microscope may be needed to see all of its layers and textures.

Limestone itself is many variations of sedimentary rock and makes up 20 to 25% of it. 

This mineral is primarily made of calcium carbonate. 

Limestone may come from an endless algae population, or they form as seashells from marine creatures and organisms with only one cell.

Therefore, it is commonly associated with hills and downlands and is found in regions with other sedimentary rocks, typically variations of clay.

With the biological origin of Limestone made up of sedimentary deposits, each different classification of Limestone finds its category based on its content like mud or grain.

The best places to find deposits of Limestone are in warm waters rich in organic productivity and high saturation of calcium carbonate. 

This is due to low concentrations of carbon dioxide that have been dissolved.

Consequently, Limestones in their purest form are discovered in areas without much silica sedimentation.

Limestones found in grains are skeletal fragments of marine organisms. 

A few of them are organisms such as foraminifera or coral.

These marine organisms secrete aragonite or calcite. 

They leave these deposits behind when they die. 

Ooids, peloids, and limecasts (also known as intraclasts and extraclasts) are examples of other grain composted limestones.

Tufa limestone, a type of sedimentary rock, is the product of natural spring water deposits chemically forming calcium carbonate on nearby rock surfaces.

Tufa is a light mineral with a spongy texture. 

It was used in ancient architecture on the facings of buildings in Rome and in the vaulted, high arching ceilings in cathedrals in Europe.

When tufa is compacted, it forms travertine. 

Travertine, also called Mexican onyx, forms in environments near natural springs. 

This type of Limestone is constructed out of years of crystallized calcium carbonate. 

Small plants and animals grow on and even die upon it. 

All of this causes small empty pockets within the rock to be formed.

Many homeowners use travertine as a path in their gardens, but it gets worn down because of its softness. 

Others use it to tile floors, but if the walkway is often trodden upon, it will wear out quickly as well.

Typical Uses of Limestone

While unable to scratch glass, Limestone is commonly used architecturally to decorate walls.

For example, you find it in wall trim and veneers. 

Another everyday use for this limestone material is to create sculptures because of the softness of the material.

Limestone’s uses include building materials, an aggregate base for roadways, paints, a significant part in cement, a soil conditioner, rock garden decor, white pigment in toothpaste, and an essential chemical found in lime.

In addition, 30% of the world’s Petroleum reserves are contained in limestone deposits.

In conclusion, while Limestone cannot scratch glass, there are many uses for this multifaceted material. 

If you are interested in what minerals will scratch glass, minerals that rate higher than glass (rated at 5.5) on the Mohs scale, here they are in the chart below.

Rating:        Material: 

10Diamonds
9Rubies and Sapphires (Corundum)
8Topaz
7Quartz
6Feldspar
can limestone scratch glass