Shungite is a rare carbon-based mineral primarily found in Russia, known for its black, lustrous appearance and unique properties, including electrical conductivity and the presence of fullerenes. It has various applications, such as water purification, alleged electromagnetic radiation protection, and holistic healing practices.


Origin and Geological Formation: Shungite is primarily found in Russia, particularly in the Karelia region near Lake Onega. Its formation is closely associated with the Precambrian period, which dates back billions of years. Shungite’s origin is still a subject of scientific debate, but one theory suggests that it formed through the metamorphism of ancient organic material, such as ancient underwater sediments and microorganisms. This organic material underwent a complex transformation process over geological ages, leading to the formation of shungite deposits.


Shungite is classified into three main types, based on its carbon content:

  1. Type I Shungite: This type has the highest carbon content, often exceeding 98%, and contains a significant amount of fullerenes, making it the most sought-after for its potential health benefits.
  2. Type II Shungite: Type II contains a lower carbon content, typically ranging from 35% to 70%. It is still considered shungite but has fewer fullerenes and may not exhibit the same properties as Type I.
  3. Type III Shungite: This type has the lowest carbon content, usually less than 35%. It is often used in industrial applications, such as water purification and construction materials, due to its lower carbon concentration.

Historical Significance: Shungite has a long history in Russia, where it has been used for various purposes for centuries. Its documented use dates back to the 18th century when Peter the Great established the first Russian spa, known as “Marcial Waters,” in Karelia. The spa utilized the water from Lake Onega, which was believed to have healing properties due to its contact with shungite rocks. Peter the Great even ordered shungite to be used in the construction of his palaces.


In the 20th century, Russian researchers began to study shungite’s unique properties more intensively, leading to the discovery of fullerenes in the mineral. Fullerenes are carbon molecules arranged in a unique cage-like structure, and their discovery in shungite contributed to the material’s growing scientific and industrial significance.

Today, shungite continues to be used in various applications, including water purification, energy protection, and healing practices. It has gained popularity in alternative and holistic medicine for its purported ability to shield against electromagnetic radiation and its potential health benefits. While the scientific community continues to explore these claims, shungite remains an intriguing and historically significant mineral with a wide range of potential uses.

Composition and Physcial Properties


Composition: Shungite is primarily composed of carbon, and its unique properties are attributed to the presence of fullerenes, a specific arrangement of carbon atoms. The exact chemical composition of shungite can vary, but it typically contains a mixture of carbon and various minerals and trace elements. The carbon content in shungite can range from about 30% to over 98%, depending on the type of shungite (Type I, II, or III).

Physical Properties: Shungite exhibits several distinctive physical properties that set it apart from other minerals:

  1. Color: Shungite is usually black, with a deep, lustrous black color. Its surface can be polished to a shiny finish, enhancing its visual appeal.
  2. Luster: Shungite has a shiny or semi-metallic luster, giving it a unique and attractive appearance when polished.
  3. Hardness: Shungite is relatively soft on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, with a hardness ranging from 3.5 to 4. However, it can be easily carved, shaped, and polished.
  4. Conductivity: One of the most remarkable properties of shungite is its electrical conductivity. It is a natural conductor of electricity due to its carbon-rich composition. Some people use shungite to make electrical devices and EMF (electromagnetic field) protection products.
  5. Density: Shungite is relatively dense, with a specific gravity ranging from 1.9 to 2.3, depending on its carbon content and mineral impurities.
  6. Cleavage: Shungite does not have a distinct cleavage, meaning it does not break along well-defined planes like some other minerals.
  7. Fracture: Shungite typically exhibits a conchoidal fracture, meaning it breaks with curved, shell-like surfaces.
  8. Streak: The streak of shungite is black, matching its external color.
  9. Magnetism: Some shungite samples can exhibit weak magnetic properties, although this is not a universal characteristic of the mineral.
  10. Fullerenes: Shungite is known for containing fullerenes, which are unique carbon molecules with a cage-like structure. These fullerenes are responsible for many of the mineral’s purported health benefits and unique properties.

It’s important to note that the physical properties of shungite can vary depending on its type (Type I, II, or III) and the specific location from which it is sourced. Type I shungite, with its higher carbon content and fullerene concentration, is considered the most valuable and sought-after for its potential healing and protective properties.

Uses and Applications


Shungite has a variety of uses and applications due to its unique properties and potential benefits. While some of these uses are based on traditional practices and anecdotal evidence, others are supported by scientific research. Here are some of the common uses and applications of shungite:

  1. Water Purification: Shungite is widely known for its ability to purify water. It is used in water filtration systems to remove impurities, including chlorine, heavy metals, bacteria, and organic compounds. Shungite filters are considered effective and are used for both drinking water and aquariums.
  2. EMF Protection: Some people believe that shungite can absorb and neutralize electromagnetic radiation (EMF) from electronic devices like computers, Wi-Fi routers, and cell phones. Shungite plates, stickers, or pyramids are often used for this purpose, although scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness is limited.
  3. Healing and Metaphysical Practices: Shungite is used in alternative and holistic healing practices. It is believed by some to have healing properties that can help alleviate physical and emotional ailments. It may be worn as jewelry, placed near the body, or used in meditation practices.
  4. Protection and Energy Balancing: Shungite is thought to have protective properties against negative energies and influences. Some people use shungite to create energetic shields around their homes or workplaces, promoting a sense of balance and well-being.
  5. Skin Care: Shungite-infused cosmetics and skincare products are available on the market. These products may claim to improve skin health, reduce inflammation, and promote a youthful appearance.
  6. Antioxidant Properties: Fullerenes found in shungite are known for their antioxidant properties. Some studies suggest that fullerenes can help neutralize free radicals, potentially contributing to overall health.
  7. Grounding and Spiritual Connection: Shungite is associated with the root chakra and is believed to help ground individuals, providing a sense of stability and connection to the Earth. It is used by some in spiritual and energy work.
  8. Craftsmanship and Jewelry: Shungite’s attractive appearance and unique properties make it a popular choice for crafting jewelry, sculptures, and decorative items. Shungite jewelry is believed by some to offer protection and healing benefits when worn.
  9. Construction and Building Materials: Type III shungite, with lower carbon content, is sometimes used in construction materials, including concrete and coatings, for its antimicrobial and protective properties.
  10. Scientific Research: Shungite’s carbon-rich composition and the presence of fullerenes have attracted interest from scientists. Research into the potential applications of fullerenes in nanotechnology, medicine, and materials science continues.

While shungite has gained popularity for its potential benefits in various applications, it’s important to approach its uses with a critical and balanced perspective. Scientific studies on shungite’s effects are ongoing, and some claims may lack robust scientific support. Users should exercise caution and consult with healthcare professionals for specific health-related concerns.

Occurrence and Locations


Shungite is a relatively rare mineral, and it is primarily found in specific regions of Russia, particularly in the Karelia region. Here are some key locations and occurrences of shungite:

  1. Lake Onega, Karelia, Russia: Lake Onega and its surrounding areas, located in the Republic of Karelia in northwestern Russia, are the primary and most famous source of shungite. The villages of Shunga and Zazhoginskoye, near Lake Onega, are known for their shungite deposits. The shores of Lake Onega are where significant shungite deposits are extracted.
  2. Zazhoginsky Deposit: This deposit, located near Lake Onega, is one of the largest and most important sources of shungite. It produces various grades of shungite, including Type I, Type II, and Type III shungite, depending on the carbon content and quality.
  3. Petrozavodsk, Karelia, Russia: The city of Petrozavodsk, the capital of the Republic of Karelia, is another area where shungite is found. The city has a history of using shungite in construction, and shungite products are widely available in Petrozavodsk and the surrounding regions.
  4. Other Russian Locations: While Karelia is the primary source, shungite has also been found in other regions of Russia, albeit in smaller quantities. These include areas in the Leningrad Oblast, Tver Oblast, and Vologda Oblast, among others.
  5. Global Availability: Shungite is primarily associated with Russia, but there have been reports of similar carbon-rich rocks in other parts of the world, such as Canada, the United States, and Kazakhstan. However, these deposits are not as extensive or well-known as those in Karelia, Russia.

It’s important to note that shungite quality and purity can vary significantly depending on the location and deposit. The shungite found in Karelia, especially near Lake Onega, is considered the highest quality and is known for its rich carbon content and fullerene concentrations. This high-quality shungite is typically referred to as Type I shungite and is the most sought-after for various applications.

Due to its unique properties and potential benefits, shungite has become a popular export from Russia, and products made from shungite, such as jewelry, water filters, and decorative items, are available worldwide. However, when seeking high-quality shungite, it’s important to ensure its authenticity and origin, as there are sometimes imitations or lower-quality materials marketed as genuine shungite.