Shungite

Shungite is a carbon based mineraloid that has recently exploded in popularity with new age and crystal healers. It has been used in folk medicine in Russia since the 18th century, as a water purifier.

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Appearance, Uses and History

Named after a Karelian town, Shunga, Shungite is an extremely unusual material. It is a mineraloid with a high percentage of Carbon, which is non Graphite based.

It is used in industry to produce pigments for black paints, for oxidation reduction, in blast furnaces and iron alloy productions, in the production of yellow phosphorus, and in carbide and nitride production.

It is also an effective water purifier, used for the treatment of drinking water, and the removal of contaminants from sewage. It is often sold online for water purification, but like most things, I prefer to allow readers to do their own research rather than take claims from other websites about the efficacy of things – especially when they relate to minerals or materials with a lot of claims being made about them.

They may also have a role to play in nanotechnology – however, I am simply not qualified to talk about that! 🙂


Locales

Shun’ga area, Karelia Republic of Russia is the main locale.


Mineralogy

Chemistry
A semi-metallic material containing a large percentage of non-graphitisable Carbon.
Colours and Variations
Black! Pieces with higher concentrations of Carbon are referred to as ‘elite’, ‘noble’, or ‘Type 1’ in crystal healing circles.
Streak
Luster
Submetallic or pearly, sometimes dull, earthy.
Fracture
Conchoidal to subconchoidal, sometimes irregular or uneven.
Transparency
Opaque
Crystal habit
Mohs hardness
3.5-4.0
Specific Gravity
May vary based on Carbon content; piece I tested was 2.3-2.4
Fluorescence
N/A
Easiest testing method
Common Treatments
None.

Photos of Shungite

SCHUNGIT AMRITH-DE
Shungite (Zaonezhskaya Formation, middle Paleoproterozoic, 1.98-2.09 Ga; Shun'ga River area, northwestern Russia) 5 (48645890042)
Shungisite sand KarRC RAS 2015 from collection of Kalinin

Karelian Horizon Souvenir
Shungite (Zaonezhskaya Formation, middle Paleoproterozoic, 1.98-2.09 Ga; Shun'ga River area, northwestern Russia) 7 (48645753761)
Шунгит


Hazards and Warnings

Almost all rocks, minerals (and, frankly, almost all other substances on earth) can produce toxic dust when cutting, which can cause serious respiratory conditions including silicosis.

When cutting or polishing rocks, minerals, shells, etc, all work should be done wet to minimise the dust, and a suitable respirator or extraction system should be used.


Translations

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  • Schungita
  • Shungita

German:

  • Schungit
  • Shungit

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Further Reading / External Links