Published May 2018  •  Updated March 2024  •  Read Time: 7 minutes
Shungite is an unusual form of carbon, the same substance that forms Graphite, the soft lead in pencils, and Diamonds, the hardest substance on Earth.  Shungite is closer to Graphite, it is a very soft and crumbles easily.  In its purest form, known as Noble Shungite, it is bright silver.  In its less-pure form, it is a black, lightweight mineral similar to Jet.  The healing crystal industry often veers into pseudoscience when trying to explain how crystals healing.  This issue is not a problem for Shungite! It has a scientifically-proven anti-bacterial property.  Metaphysically, it helps to clear up negative energy in our surrounds as well as any negative trapped inside us.

Shungite Noble shungite meaning

Shungite Meaning

Spiritual Healing Properties

Shungite is an incredible stone for grounding, purification, and transformation. It teaches us how to stay in full balance, in our body, mind, heart, and spirit. Shungite asks us to release any silly beliefs about “perfection” we might hold, and instead embrace a life that simply feels Good. Shungite clears our auras and other energy fields, and helps us to stay more firmly centered in our Personal Power. It is a powerful protector against all types of negative energies as well as electromagnetic smog. Shungite is highly recommended for all healers who regularly come in direct contact with patients and clients who have dark or heavy energy.  It also helps the healer’s own personal energy stay clean and clear, so they can continue to do beautiful work.

Metaphysical Properties Shungite
Chakra Root
Element Earth
Numerology 1
Zodiac Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn

Emotional Healing Properties

Shungite is a unique heart-healer. It helps to draw out negative energy, old emotional pains, and outdated beliefs which bring us down. It gently washes all of that out of our system, and replaces it with pure, clean energy. Shungite encourages us to actively engage in acts of self-care and self-love, and be more discerning about which type of people we invite into our lives. It helps us to recognize and move away from people and activities that are toxic to our emotional health. Likewise, it helps us to accept more good energies into our life and to believe, in our heart-of-hearts, that we deserve to be happy, peaceful, and truly loved.

Mental Healing Properties

Shungite calms and grounds the mind, helping us to stay focused and on track. It pierces through confusion and mental clutter, revealing what is truly most important in this moment and where/how to best direct our energies. Shungite helps us to find balance, between our work and personal life, as well as between our relationships/other responsibilities and our own need for self-care. It teaches us that there is time enough for everything, as long as we prioritize correctly and don’t waste time on unimportant and uninspiring activities. It also reminds us that it is important to take time to rest and relax, just as it is important to be active and engaged.

Physical Healing Properties

Shungite has been used for centuries for its purifying qualities in water, and is recommended by metaphysical healers both for bathing and drinking elixirs. Noble Shungite is known for its anti-bacterial qualities and all varieties are said to boost the immune system and encourage cell regeneration. It is also believed to help ensure a better night’s sleep, and reduce obsessive thoughts and worrying.

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Shungite Mineralogy

Where does Shungite come from?

Shungite is located in the Karelia Republic, a federal state of Russia, bordering Finland.  Shungite is a hydocarbon mineraloid and similar rocks have been found in other countries.  In most cases, it is unclear whether or not any of these stones are actually Shungite.

Following the invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the supply chains coming out of Russia have been disrupted and in some case banned.  In 2023, Shungite from Columbia began to be marketed.  From a scientific perspective, there’s several important differences.  Shungite from Karalia, Russia is notable for its high electrical conductivity – it’s almost as conductive as metal.  By contrast the “Shungite” from Columbia has low conductivity as well as a lower specific gravity.  Another interesting difference is that the rocks in Karalia are almost twice the age of those in Columbia.

Mining and Treatments

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.

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Mineral Family

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.  It is sometimes described as being a Pyrobitumen, a widespread carbon mineraoloid.  This may account for descriptions of “Shungite” found in deposits outside of Karelia.

Shungite’s energy works well with its family – other elements and other mineraloids.  Try it in combination with Amber, Bumblebee Jasper, Jet, Obsidian, Opal, Pearl, and Tektite

Shungite Formation and Crystal Associates

Shungite was formed in evaporating shallow water, on top of a shelf of pure Carbon. As the water evaporated, the carbon 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 it is found in mushroom shaped structures, a shape thought to have been caused by mud volcanoes. Today, the most important deposits are found near the shore of Lake Onega.

Shungite’s energy works well with its “friends” – crystal associates formed in the same geological environment.  Try it in combination with Chrysoberyl, Hematite, and Kyanite

Mineralogy Shungite
Chemical Formula C
Cleavage None
Color Black, brown
Crystal System Amorphous
Form/Habit Cubic
Fracture Uneven
Hardness – Mohs Scale 3.5-4
Luminescence None
Luster Greasy
Mineral Family Native Element
Specific Gravity 1.85-2
Streak Brown, black
Transparency Opaque

History of Shungite

While Shungite is well-known in Russia, it is a relatively new crystal to the rest of the metaphysical community. It isn’t included in any of the ancient or medieval lapidaries, texts that describe gemstones and their powers. It may, however, be included in some of the newest lapidaries. Shungite’s name honors the Shun’ga Area and Village, the region in which it was first scientifically described. The Shun’ga area is located on the coast of the Lake Onega, in the Republic of Karelia.

The earliest historical reference to Shungite dates back to 1706, during the reign of Peter the Great (1682-1721), who ordered Ivan Mateev to bring aspidniy stone (an older name for this stone) from its deposit to his Summer Palace. The Tsar wanted the stone placed inside his water fountains because of its reputation for healing and purification. While this is the first known reference, it is clear from the document that the stone had already been mined for some time and its properties were well known within the Russian Empire. In 1719, Peter the Great founded the first healing mineral spa in Russia, Marsial Waters, in Petrozavodsk, Karelina. This water flowed over Shungite deposits, giving the water its marvelous healing qualities. The Tsar visited the spa personally on three separate occasions and swore by its powers. Today, the original spa location has been preserved as a historical site, while nearby a new, modern spa continues to delight visitors.

Peter The Great, Shungite

Peter the Great

According to another story, Peter the Great also ordered his soldiers to carry a piece of Shungite and use it to purify their drinking water during military campaigns. The Battle of Poltava (June 7, 1709) was a decisive victory for the Russian Army over Sweden, and marks the beginning of Imperial Russia’s rise as the most powerful nation in north-eastern Europe. Prior to the battle, the Swedish army had already been decimated by water-born infections, while the Russian army remained largely healthy. Today, modern testing has confirmed that the noble variety does indeed have anti-bacterial properties when used in an elixir, adding credence to the story.

The name “Shungite” was first used in 1879 to describe what is now known as Noble Shungite. They are 98% pure Carbon, silver colored, and is too soft and crumbling to be carved or tumbled. Today, the name Shungite is also given to Shungite-bearing rocks, including Petrovsky Shungite (70-80% Carbon, silver-colored, and can be shaped and polished) and Black Shungite (30% Carbon, pure black, and easily shaped and polished).

In 1992, Noble Shungite and Petrovsky Shungite were found to be sources for fullerene, a unique Carbon molecule, sometimes also called “Buckyballs” since they resemble a soccer/football. The only other known sources for fullerene is in lightning strikes in the upper atmosphere and from meteorites. Fullerenes seem to have existed for eons throughout the universe, leading to some speculation among astronomers that life on Earth may have originally been “seeded” by this special Carbon molecule.

Additional References:

  1. Cornelius S. Hurlbut, Jr. “Mineralogical Observations on the Northern Excursion of the XVII International Geological Congress” in American Mineralogist, 24 (1939) p. 134-144
  2. I.F. Volfson et al. “Medical Geology in Russia and NIS” in Medical Geology: A Regional Synthesis, ed. Olle Selinus, Robert B. Finkleman, and Jose A Centeno.  (New York: Springer, 2010) p. 223
  3., “Marcial Waters,”
  4., Message Board: General, “Shungite,”
  5., “Pyrobitumen,”
  6. Sajo, Ma et al.  “Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Shungite against Ultraviolet B Irradiation-Induced Skin Damage in Hairless Mice.” in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, (2017)

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