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.
Allegedly, less than 1% of the Shungite found is the grade 1 material and so it is regarded as being quite rare. It is a material of often understated beauty and a particular "feel” to it. It looks similar to Obsidian in that it has the appearance of a solidified liquid and has no real crystalline structure that is visible to the naked eye. It also is very deceptive in that at first glance it looks quite heavy when, in fact, the opposite is true. The grade 1 Shungite is almost impossible to polish or shape because it is so brittle and therefore it is nearly always only available in its rough form. Large pieces of grade 1 Shungite are very rare and pieces over 100 grams are seldom available.
Shungite base sold separately
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. Over the years, scientists and geologists studying Shungite have debated how it was formed, very much like the continuing debate into the formation of Moldavite. And just like Moldavite, one theory is that it was carried to Earth by a giant meteorite. This theory came about because Shungite is rich in natural Fullerenes and other natural occurrences of Fullerenes have been discovered in some Meteorites. The current scientific train of thought seems to favour the origin from metamorphosed organic material.
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.
The grade 1 Shungite is said to have the strongest abilities in this area but, some people may find it a little strong and overpowering to begin with. It might be worth starting to work with one of the lesser grades if one exhibits sensitivity to the energy.
Shungite has been used in work with all the Chakras, not just the root where one might presume its best effectiveness.
My investigations are a long way from revealing all the answers to our questions about Shungite and I’m sure that many other researchers will have different ideas to mine. I would honestly say that as with all Crystals used metaphysically one should use the available information as a guide and develop your own theories and methods for use. I would also stress that should one decide to use Shungite as a medicine or elixir that it is done at your own risk and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.