Main index --- Minerals list --- Elements index Graphite
Name:Graphite
Derivation:From "graphein" (Greek) to write
Formula: C
Description: Graphite is a dull grey lump, with a slight sheen to the surface. It is very soft, and tends to rub off on your hands.

Graphite is very soft. It is used in the "lead" of pencils, which contain no lead at all, but are made of graphite and clay. Strangely enough, graphite has exactly the same chemical formula as diamond, the hardest substance known to mankind. They are both carbon. In diamond, the atoms of carbon lock together into an incredibly strong structure. In graphite, the atoms are arranged in a different way, in layers. This means that one layer can be rubbed off quite easily, which is what happens when you write with a pencil. If you tried to write with a diamond pencil, you would gouge holes in the paper, and the table underneath!

Graphite is a pigment.

Larger pictures of Graphite:

Graphite

Graphite