Disclosed is a composite abrasive particle comprising a core abrasive crystal and a silicon carbide coating inherently bonded to substantially all of the exterior surfaces of said core crystal, said silicon carbide coating characterized by silicon carbide crystals having a random orientation substantially independent of the structure of the core crystal, the outer surface of the coating being conformationally irregular. Aggregates of the composite abrasive particles are interconnected by a matrix of silicon carbide which has an open structure. Preferred core abrasive crystals are diamond or cubic boron nitride. The composite abrasive particles preferably are made by infiltrating core crystals coated with non-diamond carbonaceous material with fluid silicon to produce a mass of core crystals bonded together by silicon carbide and elemental silicon, leaching substantially all of the silicon from the bonded mass with a silicon leaching agent, sub-dividing the resulting leached mass, and recovering the composite abrasive particles.
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