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Graphite

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Formula:
C
System:HexagonalColour:Iron black to steel-grey
Lustre:Sub-MetallicHardness:1 - 2
Name:Named plumbago in 1739 by Magnus von Bromell, but in a different sense than previous authors such as Agricola and Conrad Gesner. Also called molybdaena, but molybdaena was shown to represent two species, molybdenite and graphite - as known today, in 1781 by Carl Welhelm Scheele. Named graphite in 1789 by Abraham Gottlieb Werner from the Greek "graphein", "to write".
Polymorph of:Chaoite, Diamond, Lonsdaleite


Graphite usually occurs in flakes in metamorphosed rocks rich in carbon, but it can also be found in veins and in pegmatites. Where large deposits are found it is mined and used as an industrial lubricant and for 'lead' in pencils.

Classification of Graphite

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:1/B.02-10
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:1.CB.05a

1 : ELEMENTS (Metals and intermetallic alloys; metalloids and nonmetals; carbides, silicides, nitrides, phosphides)
C : Metalloids and Nonmetals
B : Carbon-silicon family
Dana 7th edition ID:1.3.5.2
Dana 8th edition ID:1.3.6.2

1 : NATIVE ELEMENTS AND ALLOYS
3 : Semi-metals and non-metals
Hey's CIM Ref.:1.25

1 : Elements and Alloys (including the arsenides, antimonides and bismuthides of Cu, Ag and Au)
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Physical Properties of Graphite

Lustre:Sub-Metallic
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Opaque
Colour:Iron black to steel-grey
Streak:Black to steel gray
Hardness (Mohs):1 - 2
Hardness (Vickers):VHN10=7 - 11 kg/mm2
Tenacity:Flexible
Cleavage:Perfect
{0001}
Fracture:Micaceous
Density (measured):2.09 - 2.23 g/cm3
Density (calculated):2.26 g/cm3

Crystallography of Graphite

Crystal System:Hexagonal
Class (H-M):6mm - Dihexagonal Pyramidal
Space Group:P63mc
Cell Parameters:a = 2.461Å, c = 6.708Å
Ratio:a:c = 1 : 2.726
Unit Cell Volume:V 35.18 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Morphology:Hexagonal platy crystals, often bent.
Twinning:{1121}
Crystal Atlas:
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Graphite - Dipyramidal {101}
Graphite - Tabular {001}

About Crystal Atlas

The mindat.org Crystal Atlas allows you to view a selection of crystal drawings of real and idealised crystal forms for this mineral and, in certain cases, 3d rotating crystal objects. The 3d models and HTML5 code are kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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Structure
  Reference
Wyckoff R W G (1963) Second edition. Interscience Publishers, New York, New York. Crystal Structures 1:7-83.

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More Crystal Structures
Click here to view more crystal structures at the American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Horizontal Axis: ° to ° Vertical Axis: % Source Data: Filtered Data:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
d-spacingIntensity
3.354 (100)
2.131 (3)
2.031 (14)
1.800 (3)
1.677 (5)
1.543 (4)
1.231 (3)
1.155 (5)
Comments:Calculated from crystal structre.

Optical Data of Graphite

Type:Uniaxial (-)
Anisotropism:Extreme
Colour in reflected light:Iron black to steel gray
Pleochroism:Strong
Comments:Deep blue in transmitted light.

Chemical Properties of Graphite

Formula:
C
Essential elements:C
All elements listed in formula:C
CAS Registry number:7782-42-5

CAS Registry numbers are published by the American Chemical Society

Relationship of Graphite to other Species

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
1.CB.05bChaoite
C
1.CB.05cFullerite
C
 
60
1.CB.10aDiamond
C
1.CB.10bLonsdaleite
C
1.CB.15Silicon
Si
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
1.1Copper
Cu
1.2Silver
Ag
1.5Gold
Au
1.6Auricupride
Cu
 
3
Au
1.7Tetra-auricupride
AuCu
1.8Zinc
Zn
1.9Cadmium
Cd
1.10Danbaite
CuZn
 
2
1.11Zhanghengite
CuZn
1.12Mercury
Hg
1.13Kolymite
Cu
 
7
Hg
 
6
1.14Moschellandsbergite
Ag
 
2
Hg
 
3
1.15Eugenite
Ag
 
11
Hg
 
2
1.16Schachnerite
Ag
 
1.1
Hg
 
0.9
1.17Paraschachnerite
Ag
 
3
Hg
 
2
1.18Luanheite
Ag
 
3
Hg
1.19Weishanite
(Au,Ag)
 
3
Hg
 
2
1.20Indium
In
1.21Aluminium
Al
1.22Khatyrkite
(Cu,Zn)Al
 
2
1.23Cupalite
(Cu,Zn)Al
1.24Diamond
C
1.26Chaoite
C
1.27Lonsdaleite
C
1.28Silicon
Si
1.29Tin
Sn
1.30Lead
Pb
1.31Anyuiite
Au(Pb,Sb)
 
2
1.31Novodneprite
AuPb
 
3
1.32Leadamalgam
Pb
 
0.7
Hg
 
0.3
1.33Arsenic
As
1.34Arsenolamprite
As
1.35Paxite
CuAs
 
2
1.36Koutekite
Cu
 
5
As
 
2
1.37Domeykite
Cu
 
3
As
1.38Algodonite
(Cu
 
1-x
As
 
x
)
1.39Novakite
Cu
 
20
AgAs
 
10
1.40Kutinaite
Ag
 
6
Cu
 
14
As
 
7
1.41Antimony
Sb
1.42Stibarsen
AsSb
1.43Paradocrasite
Sb
 
3
As
1.44Horsfordite
Cu, Sb
1.45Cuprostibite
Cu
 
2
(Sb,Tl)
1.46Allargentum
(Ag
 
1-x
Sb
 
x
)
1.47Aurostibite
AuSb
 
2
1.48Dyscrasite
Ag
 
3
Sb
1.49Bismuth
Bi
1.50Maldonite
Au
 
2
Bi
1.51Sulphur
S
 
8
1.52Rosickýite
S
1.53Selenium
Se
1.54Tellurium
Te
1.55Chromium
Cr
1.56Rhenium
Re
1.57Iron
Fe
1.58Chromferide
Fe
 
3
Cr
 
1-x
(x=0.6)
1.59Ferchromide
Cr
 
3
Fe
 
1-x
1.60Wairauite
CoFe
1.61Nickel
Ni
1.62Kamacite
(Fe,Ni)
1.63Taenite
(Fe,Ni)
1.64Tetrataenite
FeNi
1.65Awaruite
Ni
 
3
Fe
1.66Palladium
(Pd,Pt)
1.67Potarite
PdHg
1.68Paolovite
Pd
 
2
Sn
1.69Stannopalladinite
(Pd,Cu)
 
3
Sn
 
2
1.70Cabriite
Pd
 
2
CuSn
1.71Taimyrite-I
(Pd,Cu,Pt)
 
3
Sn
1.72Atokite
(Pd,Pt)
 
3
Sn
1.73Rustenburgite
(Pt,Pd)
 
3
Sn
1.74Zvyagintsevite
(Pd,Pt,Au)
 
3
(Pb,Sn)
1.75Plumbopalladinite
Pd
 
3
Pb
 
2
1.76Osmium
(Os,Ir,Ru)
1.77Iridium
(Ir,Os,Ru)
1.82Platinum
Pt
1.83Hongshiite
PtCu
1.84Niggliite
PtSn
1.85Isoferroplatinum
Pt
 
3
Fe
1.86Tetraferroplatinum
PtFe
1.87Tulameenite
Pt
 
2
CuFe
1.88Ferronickelplatinum
Pt
 
2
FeNi
1.89Rhodium
(Rh,Pt)
Related Minerals - Dana Grouping):

- +
1.3.5.1Diamond
C
1.3.5.3Lonsdaleite
C
1.3.5.4Chaoite
C
1.3.5.5Fullerite
C
 
60

Other Names for Graphite

Synonyms:
Black LeadGraphitoid (of Shepard)MelangraphiteMica des PeintresMica Pictoria
PlombaginePombaggineReissblei
Other Languages:
Arabic:غرافيت
Basque:Grafito
Belarusian:Графіт
Bosnian (Latin Script):Grafit
Bulgarian:Графит
Catalan:Grafit
Croatian:Grafit
Czech:Grafit
Danish:Grafit
Dutch:Grafiet
Esperanto:Grafito
Estonian:Grafiit
Finnish:Grafiitti
French:Graphite
Crayon
Galician:Grafito
German:Graphit
Grafit
Melangraphit
Hebrew:גרפיט
Hungarian:Grafit
Icelandic:Grafít
Indonesian:Grafit
Italian:Grafite
Japanese:グラファイト
Korean:흑연
Latin:Graphitum
Latvian:Grafīts
Lithuanian:Grafitas
Lojban:Pistabno
Lombard:Grafiit
Norwegian (Bokmål):Grafitt
Persian:گرافیت
Polish:Grafit
Portuguese:Grafite
Russian:Графит
Serbian (Cyrillic Script):Графит
Simplified Chinese:石墨
Slovak:Grafit
Slovenian:Grafit
Spanish:Grafito
Graphita
Melangraphita
Swedish:Grafit
Thai:แกรไฟต์
Turkish:Grafit
Ukrainian:Графіт
Vietnamese:Than chì
Varieties:
CliftoniteUraniferous Graphite

Polytypes for Graphite

Polytypes:
Graphite-2HGraphite-3R

Other Information

Other Information:Greasy feel
Health Warning:No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.
External LinksSearch for toxicity information at the United States National Library of Medicine

References for Graphite

Reference List:

- +
Cirkel, Fritz (1907), Graphite: its properties, occurrence, refining and uses: Department of Mines, Mines Branch, Ottawa, Canada, 307pp.

Alling, Harold L. (1917), The Adirondack graphite deposits, New York State Museum Bulletin 199: 7-150.

Spence, Hugh S. (1920), Graphite Mines, Branch Report No. 511: Canada Department of Mines, Ottawa: 202pp. + photos.

Wesselowski and Wassiliew (1934) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie: 89: 494.

Palache, Charles (1941), Contributions to the mineralogy of Sterling Hill, New
Jersey: Morphology of graphite, arsenopyrite, pyrite and arsenic: American Mineralogist: 26(12): 709-717.

Palache, Charles, Harry Berman & Clifford Frondel (1944), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Volume I: Elements, Sulfides, Sulfosalts, Oxides. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York. 7th edition, revised and enlarged, 834pp.: 152-154.

Cameron, Eugene N. and Weis, Paul L. (1960), Strategic graphite - a survey, U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1082-E: 201-321.

Taylor, R., Gilchris, Ke, and Poston, L.J. (1968) Thermal conductivity of polycrystalline graphite. Carbon: 6: 537-544.

Kwiecinska, Barbara (1980), Mineralogy of Natural Graphites: Zaklad Narodowy imienia Ossolinskich; Polska Akademia Nauk: 67: Jun-87.

Weis, Paul L. (1980), Graphite skeleton crystals - A newly recognized morphology of crystalline carbon in metasedimentary rocks: Geology: 8: 296-297.

Shafranovskii, G.I. (1981), New graphite twins: Zapiski Vsesoyuznogo Mineralogicheskogo Obschestva: 110(6): 716-720.

Shafranovskii, G. I. (1982), Crystallomorphology of graphite from the Ilmen Mountains; Mineralogical Research of Endogenic Deposits of the Urals: Academy Nauk CCCP- Uralskii Nauchnuri Tsentr: 44-53.

Shafranovskii, G.I. (1982), Graphite [growth] twins and triads: Mineralogicheskii Zhurnal: 4(1): 74-81.

Shafranovskii, G.I. (1983), Classical and non-classical twinning in graphite: Zapiski Vsesoyuznogo Mineralogicheskogo Obschestva: 112(5): 577-581.

Gohla, Karl-Heinz (1984), Graphit aus Kropfmuhl: Magma: 4: 26-51.

Jedwab, Jacques and Boulègue, Jacques (1984): Graphite crystals in hydrothermal vents: Nature: 310: 41-43.

Weinelt, Winfried (1984), Die Geologie der Graphit- Lagerstatte Kropfmuhl: Magma: 4: 52-56.

Weiner, Karl-Ludwig and Hager, Harald (1987), Growth spirals on graphite crystals: Lapis: 12(1): 31-33.

Rumble, D. and Chamberlain, C.P. (1988), Graphite vein deposits of New Hampshire: New England Intercollegiate Geologic Conference Guidebook: 241-255.

Pearson, D.G., Davies, G.R., Nixon, P.H. and Milledge, H.J. (1989), Graphitized diamonds from a peridotite massif in Morocco and implications for anomalous diamond occurrences: Nature (London): 338 210: 60-62.

Bernatowicz, Thomas J.; Amari, Sachiko; Zinner, Ernst K.; and Lewis, Roy S. (1991), Interstellar grains within interstellar grains: Astrophysical Journal: 373: L73-L76.

Jaszczak, John A. (1991), Graphite from Crestmore, California: Mineralogical Record: 22(6): 427-432.

Kvasnitsa, V.N. and Yatsenko, V.G. (1991), Spherical graphite from the Azov Sea region: Mineralogicheskii Zhurnal: 13(1): 95-101.

Lemanski, Chester S. Jr. (1991), Graphite in ore: The Picking Table: 32(1): 13-Nov, 1991.

Tsuchiya, Noriyoshi; Suzuki, Shunichi; and Chida, Tadashi (1991), Origin of graphite in the Oshirabetsu gabbroic body, Hokkaido Japan: Journal of Mineralogy, Petrology, and Economic Geology; Japanese Association of Mineralogists, Petrologists and Economic Geologists, Tohoku University, Sendai 980, Japan: 86(6): 264-272.

Kvasnitsa, V.N. and Yatsenko, V.G. (1992), Mechanisms of natural graphite crystals growth in the Ukraine: Doklady Academuu Nauk: 4: 73-76.

Dissanayake, C.B. (1994), Origin of vein graphite in high-grade metamorphic terrains: Role of organic matter and sediment subduction: Mineralium Deposita: 29: 57-67.

Jaszczak, John A. (1994), Famous graphite crystals from Sterling Hill, New Jersey: The Picking Table: 35(2).

Semenenko, V. P. and Girich, A. L. (1995), Mineralogy of a unique graphite-containing fragment in the Krymka chondrite (LL3): Mineralogical Magazine: 59: 443-454.

Tyler, Ian (1995), Seathwaite Wad and the Mines of the Borrowdale Valley "Blue Rock Publications, Carlisle, England": 220.

Jaszczak, John A. (1997), Unusual graphite crystals from the Lime Crest quarry, Sparta, New Jersey: Rocks & Minerals: 72(5): 330-334.

Kvasnitsa, V.N. and Yatsenko, V.G. (1997), Growth spirals on graphite crystals from Ukraine: Mineralogicheskii Zhurnal: 19(6): 43-48.

Jaszczak, John A. (1998), Unusual graphite crystals from the Lime Crest quarry, Sparta, New Jersey: The Picking Table: 39(1): 20-24.

Kvasnitsa, V.N.; Yatsenko, V.G.; and Zagnitko, V.M. (1998), Varieties of Graphite Spherulites from Deposits and Ore Occurrences of Ukraine: Mineralogicheskii Zhurnal, Akademiya Nauk Ukrainy, Kiev, Ukraine: 20(2): 34-39.

Hanna, George A. and Jaszczak, John A. (1999), A new find of spherical graphite from Sterling Hill, New Jersey: The Picking Table: 40: 27-30.

Kvasnitsa, Victor N.; Yatsenko, Victor G.; and Jaszczak, John A.(1999), Disclinations in unusual graphite crystals from anothosites of Ukraine: Canadian Mineralogist: 37(4): 951-960.

Jaszczak, John A. (2000), Palache's "Contributions to the mineralogy of Sterling Hill, New Jersey": The 900-foot level revisited: Matrix, A Journal of the History of Minerals: 8(3): 137-149.

Jaszczak, John A. and Robinson, George W. (2000), Spherical and triskelial graphite from Gooderham, Ontario, Canada: Rocks & Minerals: 75(3): 172-173.

Satish-Kumar, M. and Wada, Hideki (2000), Carbon isotope equilibrium between calcite and graphite in Skallen Marbles, East Antarctica: evidence for the preservation of peak metamorphic temperatures: Chemical Geology: 166: 173-182.

El Goresy, Ahmed; Gillet, Philippe; Chen, Ming; Künstler, Friedel; and Graup, Günther and Volker, Stähle (2001), In situ discovery of shock-induced graphite-diamond phase transition in gneisses from the Ries Crater, Germany: American
Mineralogist: 86: 611-621.

Jaszczak, John A. (2001), Palache's "Contributions to the Mineralogy of Sterling Hill, New Jersey", The 900-foot level revisited: The Picking Table: 42(1).

Jaszczak, John A. and Rakovan, John (2002), Growth spirals on graphite crystals from the Trotter Mine dump, Franklin, New Jersey: The Picking Table: 43(2).

Rakovan, John and Jaszczak, John A.(2002), Multiple length scale growth spirals on metamorphic graphite {001} surfaces studied by atomic force microscopy: American Mineralogist: 87: 17-24.

Jaszczak, John A.; Robinson, George W.; Dimovski, Svetlana; Gogotsi, Yury (2003), Naturally Occurring Graphite Cones: Carbon: 41(11): 2085-2092.

Santosh, M.; Wada, H.; Satish-Kumar, M.; And Binu-Lal, S.S. (2003), Carbon isotope "stratigraphy" in a single graphite crystal: Implications for the crystal growth mechanism of fluid-deposited graphite: American Mineralogist: 88: 1689-1696.

Stadermann, F. J., Croat, T. K., and Bernatowicz, T. (2004) "NanoSIMS Determination of Carbon and Oxygen Isotopic Compositions of Presolar Graphites from the Murchison Meteorite", 35th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, March 15-19, League City, Texas, abstract no.1758.

Internet Links for Graphite

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  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Graphite details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
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  • Localities for Graphite

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