Absorption of laser light is a fundamental and important mechanism of heat transfer into molybdenum which is used extensively in high intensity lasers. This paper discusses properties of molybdenum and the effects of surface finish on the absorption of bare, silver coated, and gold coated molybdenum mirrors. Mirror characterization includes 10.6 micrometer absorption and/or reflectivity, surface roughness, phase-contrast microscopy, pulse and preliminary carbon dioxide CW laser damage studies. Interferometric versus stylus instrument measurement of surface roughness is discussed. The polishing and coating procedures are described. Some limited characterization of high intensity laser operational mirrors is also included.