Chemical Composition: C Cleavage: None Color: Black, brown Crystal System: Amorphous Form/Habit: Cubic Fracture: Uneven Gravity: 1.85-2 Hardness: 3.5-4 Luminescence: None Luster: Greasy Streak: Brown, black Transparency: Opaque
Where does Shungite come from?
The most important Shungite location is located in the Karelia Republic, a federal state of Russia, bordering Finland. Additional Shungite deposits have been found in Austria, the Congo, India, and Kazakhstan.
What is Shungite?
Shungite is one of the four forms of Carbon, along with Coal, Diamond, and Graphite. Carbon is a Native Element, a chemical element that appears in nature uncombined with anything else. Native Elements are typically divided into three groups: metals such as Copper, Gold, Silver, and Platinum; semi-metals like Arsenic; and nonmetals like Sulfur and Carbon. Shungite is technically a mineraloid, a mineral-like substance that does demonstrate crystallinity. Other mineraloids include Jet, Obsidian, Opal, and Pearl.
How is Shungite formed?
Shungite was formed in evaporating shallow water, on top of a shelf of pure Carbon. As the water evaporated, Shungite was laid down and became concentrated. It was most likely created during active rifting, when the Earth is being pulled apart due to plate tectonics. Shungite deposits can have a sedimentary structure of layered deposits, or may be found in veins after undergoing metamorphism. Occasionally Shungite is found in mushroom shaped structures, a shape thought to have been caused by mud volcanoes. Today, the most important deposits of Shungite are found near the shore of Lake Onega.
Shungite deposits are important mining sources for Carbon. The main Shungite deposit, the Shungskoe, has been closely studied and today is largely played out. Three other deposits, Maksovo, Nigozero, and Zazhogino, all located in the Republic of Karelia, continue to be actively mined. Shungite is used for a variety of industrial purposes, including metallurgy, water filtration, and to make rubber products such as tires.
All Shungite may be considered fully natural, enhanced only by tumbling, cutting, or polishing.
Julie Abouzelof is the owner of Moonrise Crystals and an advocate for responsibly sourced gems and minerals. Her first career was in education teaching history, geology and anthropology, as well as working with special-needs students. She is now a heart-centered entrepreneur who encourages mindfulness and positive action to heal ourselves and the world. Julie lives in Hawaii with her lover and a little parrot named Darwin.