10-29. Graphite #1.
Graphite – not sexy, but very timely to celebrate Halloween and the Day of the Dead. German mineralogist Abraham Gottlob Werner gave it its name in 1789 after the ancient Greek word for write – or draw.
Graphite is the choice mineral of designers and draughtsmen. More than a million tons of graphite were extracted in the world in 2016. Around 7% of the 1.1 million tonnes produced in 2011 was used to make pencils. Quite an interesting fact in the age of text-messaging!
Graphite is the most stable form of carbon and has a unique layered, planar structure. The individual layers are called graphene. In each layer, the carbon atoms are arranged in a honeycomb lattice. Its system is hexagonal and its symmetry P6.
In the 4th millennium B.C., during the Neolithic Age, the Mariţa culture in southeastern Europe, already used graphite to decorate pottery. It has been used ever since to produce wonderful art on clay, paper, textile, and all material that support and fix graphite.