Graphite ranges in color from gray to black and is both opaque and metallic in appearance. It is composed of carbon atoms and can be considered coal in its highest grade, though it is not typically used as a fuel.
Graphite has a hardness of 1 to 2 on the Mohs scale and has a streak color of black. It features a crystalline structure and a perfect basal cleavage, meaning that it breaks in plate-like pieces with hexagonal edges. Graphite is used industrially as a lubricant and in manufacturing batteries, steel and brake linings among other applications. It is also used in manufacturing synthetic carbon-based plastics.