Cleavage planes

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Cleavage planes are common in crystalline minerals. They tend to follow weaker bonded lines through the crystal matrix, and lend a characteristic appearance to many minerals when they are fractured naturally or by a mineralogist.

The art of diamond cutting exploits the many possible cleavage planes in the diamond crystal in order to create a beautifully refractive gem from the raw material.

Graphite, a pure carbon crystal like diamond, is so weakly bonded between its layers that the layers slide readily over one another; hence its use as a lubricant.