The experimental characterization of the coherence properties of hard X-ray sources is reported and discussed. The source is described by its Mutual Optical Intensity (MOI). The coherent-mode decomposition is applied to the MOI described by a Gaussian-Schell model. The method allows for a direct, quantitative characterization of the degree of coherence of both synchrotron and laboratory sources. The latter represents the first example of characterizing a low coherence hard x-ray source.