from Shunga, Lake Karelia, Russia
Height - 2.2 cm
Width - 1 cm
Length - 2.9 cm
In its purest form, Shungite is known as Grade 1, Elite or Noble. Grade 1 Shungite is a black, lustrous semi metallic looking mineraloid and is almost 99% by weight made of organic carbon. This grade 1 Shungite is mined in the village of Shunga, Russia after which it is named.
Shungite is also often available in two other grades known as grade 2 and grade 3. These have a lower percentage by weight of organic carbon which may be between 30 and 70%. These lower carbon content versions are sometimes referred to as "Shungite Bearing Rock” which is probably a very accurate description.
How was Shungite formed?
Shungite is thought to be billions of years old, it can only be found in one place on Earth - This is on the North side of Lake Onega in the republic of Karelia which is located in North West Russia. For many years this remarkable stone was known locally as Black Slate and takes its name from the nearest village to where it was first discovered, Shunga..
The deposits of Shungite are both Sedimentary and Volcanic. They are extremely highly enriched with organic carbon and the deposits cover a huge area of around 9000 square kilometres. These deposits are believed to have formed between 2.5 and 1.6 billion years ago as the Earths crust first stabilised.
Scientists believe that the Shungite was formed from the very first signs of life on Earth, those organisms that lived in the oceans and waters long before any pollutants formed. The lagoons which existed in what is now Karelia were extremely organism rich and contained many minerals and salts. as these organisms died, their remains settled on the bottom and mixed with the silt and mud, forming layers of sediment which as the Earths temperature rose were transformed into a petroleum or bitumen form of hydrocarbons which over long periods of time, metamorphosed into the Shungite we have now.
The lesser grades of Shungite bearing rock were formed by these hydrocarbons seeping into the surrounding bedrock which had the effect of enriching it with Shungite. This process is believed to have taken place over a billion years before the creation of petroleum and coal 300 to 600 million years ago.
So, whats the history behind this?
The material we now know as Shungite has been well known in Karelia for a very long time. In the 1700”s copper was refined near Lake Onega. Often the labourers at the factory would be made ill by the process and also by the copper itself. Local legends describe hoe the workers would recover in just a few days simply by drinking the natural spring water of the area which had passed through the layers of Shungite deep below ground.
The very first spa in Russia was built on the command of Czar Peter the Great (1672-1725) so that He could benefit from the purifying and antiseptic properties of this amazing "Shungite Water”. Peter the Great went on to order that each of his soldiers should carry a piece of Shungite in the flask they used to carry their water in order for them to benefit from disinfected, clean water. Sadly, after Peter the Great died in 1725 the spa was closed and the knowledge of the amazing Shungite was pretty much lost by all apart from those living in Karelia.
In the early 20th century research began again and new medical studies were carried out. These studies were halted by the second world war and research did not really re-start until the 1960’s when local clinical research was carried out. Shungite became known internationally in the 1990’s when the possible existence of Fullerene molecules in the Shungite was investigated.
In 1985 a new discovery was made regarding a previously unknown chemical structure of Carbon. This structure consists of at least 60 atoms of pure Carbon forming a hollow, sort of cage like structure in hexagonal and pentagonal shapes joined together in a shape somewhat like a football. This structure was reminiscent of the geodesic domes designed by the architect Richard Buckmaster Fuller and led to them being known as Fullerenes and "Buckyballs”. although there has been much published about the work on Fullerenes and many questions remain to be answered.
What are the properties of Shungite?
Scientists in Russia have been studying Shungite for years and it was a Russian who first proved the existence of Fullerenes within the Shungite and that the presence of the Fullerenes gave rise to the specific properties of Shungite. Gregiry Andrievsky , a Bio-Organic chemist was conducting research into the water which came from the Shungite deposits which was being used in the health spas and as home remedies. From this research he developed a theory that as the water passed through the Shungite it was being enriched with the naturally occurring Fullerenes in the rock and it is widely accepted that the Natural Fullerenes in water are one of the most powerful antioxidants known. These Fullerenes have a longer lasting and stronger effect on reducing free radicals than any other antioxidant. Further work has confirmed that Shungite has Anti-Bacterial properties and since the 1990’s Shungite has been used commercially in Russia for water purification. When used in this manner it is claimed that Shungite can remove contaminants from water such as microbes and bacteria, heavy metals, nitrates, pesticides chlorine, fluoride and more.
Metaphysically it has also been suggested that simply holding a piece of Shungite close to the body can help with pain reduction.
One of the greatest attributes given to Shungite metaphysically is its ability to shield or protect us from the various forms of electromagnetic radiation we are constantly exposed to in modern life. Small self adhesive disks of Shungite can be fixed to mobile phones and other portable equipment to provide this shielding. Some sources recommend using a piece of Shungite weighing over 20 grams adjacent to our WiFi router or cordless phone base station.
Shungite is regarded as a very powerful, protective stone. It may offer protection from just about all forms of negativity allowing only beneficial forms of energy to penetrate our aura. As with a lot of black coloured stones, it is also a strong stone to use for grounding, assisting us to stay focused, maintaining our centre.