Corundum is a crystalline form of aluminium oxide (Al2O3) with traces of iron, titanium and chromium. It is a rock-forming mineral. It is one of the naturally clear transparent materials, but can have different colors when impurities are present. Transparent specimens are used as gems, called ruby if red and padparadscha if pink-orange. All other colors are called sapphire, e.g., 'green sapphire' for a green specimen. The name ''corundum'' is derived from the Tamil word 'kuruntam' meaning 'ruby', and related to Sanskrit 'kuruvinda'. Because of corundum's hardness (pure corundum is defined to have 9.0 Mohs), it can scratch almost every other mineral. It is commonly used as an abrasive, on everything from sandpaper to large machines used in machining metals, plastics, and wood....'
Contributions by Vsmith, Materialscientist, and Plantsurfer.