Soapstone is a relatively soft material because of its high talc content. Softer grades have a tendency to feel soapy when touched, hence the name.
What makes soapstone softer or harder, is basically how much Talc is in it. Due to the stone being softer, it is easier to scratch or chip. If a soapstone counter scratches, you can easily use sandpaper and wax to hide it. Most scratches, however will only occur if one purposely tries to scratch their stone.
Soapstone is available in very few colors-black, green, grey.