There is no exact answer to this question. The majority of examples are charcoal black, which is made by burning all of the carbonated waxy carbon fibers in the ink, and then allowing the waxy material to come out of the tip of the metal. Most, if not all, examples of graphite black pencil are made with a graphite tip and a black nib and pencil body.
How many pencils are there?
There are thousands of different pencils sold today. But according to the most reliable source, there are at least 500 million. That’s the number found on the internet, which is more than double the number in any other source on the web.
So how many pencils do we use in a year?
According to the manufacturer of the popular Japanese ink, Hikari-kuni, about 50,000-100,000 of each of the 500,000-500,000 pencils will be sold in an average year. Of those, approximately 20,000 will be of an older style.
Do graphite pencils rust?
Yes. Graphite, as can be seen in the graphitic material itself, is fairly resistant to rust (see graphite #2). However, modern pencils made with graphite (the most recent being Graphite #6), tend to oxidize rather quickly as they age due to the heat and pressure that the manufacturers have to deal with. As a result, modern pencils can wear rather quickly. In short, it’s best to only use “premium pencils” made with graphite-based inks.
What causes rust on my graphite pencil?
You might be wondering how the pencil itself gets rust on its tip. Well, the answer is pretty obvious, once you realize that it’s graphite. When graphite is exposed to air, it oxidizes rapidly. When it becomes graphite oxide, the chemical bonds between a metal and the graphite in it are broken and the metal is removed from the pencil. The oxidized powder becomes a powder, and there it sits on its own. There’s no way the pencil maker can tell that it’s the pencil that’s gone and that it’s been exposed to air. The problem is that the metal is a powder, the rust is an oxidized powder, and so the rust ends up on the graphite in the same places on all of the pencils sold. It’s not just my pencil, yours isn’t
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