The smooth, tumbled black stone feels cool in your hand. You’re holding shungite, a stone older than many other minerals on earth! Ranging from matte black to silver, shungite is a lesser known stone that is especially popular for its supposed healing properties, linked both to carbon content and the existence of mysterious molecules known as fullerenes.
Said to be about two billion years old, shungite can tell us plenty about the early earth. Discovered in the Karelia region of Russia near the Shun’ga village, shungite is the only known source of naturally occurring fullerenes on the planet.
With an unusual color range and an intriguing history of healing, this lustrous black gemstone is poised to entrance a generation of collectors with its dark and captivating allure. No wonder shungite is attaining a reputation as a miracle stone of the 21st century.
Determining Shungite Value
Is shungite valuable? The value of colored stones is typically determined by a combination of its color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. It is no different when determining what shungite is worth. These guidelines will help you choose stones for your collection.
- Shungite Color
Color is the most important quality factor in selecting shungite. Shungite color ranges from a satiny, matte black through a gleaming metallic silver. Varying levels of carbon are responsible for giving shungite its fascinating range of color.
The value of this attractive stone depends mostly on color saturation. Shungite color is attributed to the amount of carbon in its chemical composition. A higher percentage of carbon produces the metallic version of the stone. Meanwhile, minute amounts of sulfur lend a matte black finish. There are three notable grades of shungite, but only two are commonly used as gemstones.
The Type I grade, known as silver shungite, is composed of about 90 to 98-percent carbon and has a high luster and silvery finish. Having the highest amount of carbon in its structure, it is the most distinguished form of shungite. It is the rarest and most valuable color of shungite, as less than one-percent of collected material is this color. Silver shungite may also be known as elite shungite or noble shungite.
Type II shungite is known as black shungite. It is the most commonly available shungite. It typically contains 50 to 70-percent carbon. Black shungite is popular for a variety of purposes beyond jewelry. Shungite carvings, like shungite spheres or shungite pyramids, are frequently crafted from this material. Type II black shungite may also be known as Petrovsky shungite, named for Peter the Great, who helped popularize its use.
Gray shungite, known as Type III shungite, has a carbon content of 30 to 50-percent. Often known as shungite rock, it’s not often used for lapidary work.
- Shungite Clarity
Shungite is opaque, with the matte charcoal version of the gem appearing to drink in surrounding light. Alternately, a highly polished gunmetal gemstone reflects like a mirror, drawing attention without saying a word.
Shungite doesn’t commonly show imperfections. Finished shungite stones should display a smooth surface, free of blemish. Polishing marks or other flaws can lower the value of the stone.
- Shungite Cut
Shungite can be formed into various cabochon shapes. It is commonly crafted into round, oval, octagon, cushion and pear shapes. Cutters must carefully position these gems so that the stone looks its best when viewing it face-up. Symmetry is the most important quality when shaping this gem, and finished cabochons should be well proportioned.
- Shungite Carat
The better the cut, color, and clarity of the stone, the higher the value. Black shungite is readily available in larger sizes. These hunks of material are great for shaping into carvings such as pyramids and spheres. Metallic noble shungite does not typically occur in larger sizes. As a result, the price per carat tends to increase dramatically with larger stones.
Shungite undergoes no additional known treatment.
Caring for Shungite
Shungite ranks 3.5 to 4.0 on the Mohs scale of hardness, making it a soft gemstone that can be scratched or damaged more easily than other stones in your collection. With a low toughness, it is recommended to avoid activities that might result in accidental blows that can cause chipping or breaks.
It is common for shungite to have a black powdery residue on it even after it is cleansed. Rough and unpolished shungite is more likely to have a little residue, while polished forms may or may not have it. Wipe the residue away with a clean, soft, damp cloth.
The best way to clean shungite is with a solution of mild dishwashing liquid soap and lukewarm water. Scrub your stone or jewelry gently with a soft bristled brush. Rinse with cool, fresh water. Dry your shungite with a soft, lint-free cloth.
Avoid the use of harsh household chemicals and prolonged exposure to extreme heat when cleaning shungite. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners are not recommended for this gem.
Always store these black crystals in a soft pouch or cloth, or a lined jewelry box. They should be stored separately from other jewels in your collection to avoid scratches or other damage. Avoid wearing the gem when sleeping, exercising or doing any strenuous activity to prevent any accidental breakage.
Who Can Wear Shungite?
Being a versatile gemstone, shungite gems and jewelry go great with any outfit, day or night. They look great alongside most metal tones but are predominately paired with silver hues or gold and silver finish. It can be worn in many forms such as a ring, earrings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets, and many other beautiful ornaments.
How Does Shungite Compare to Other Black Gemstones?
Anyone who obsesses over the inky darkness of Thai Black Spinel or the dark luster of Australian black tourmaline will adore shungite. Black shungite provides a more subdued experience with its satiny, matte finish. For someone who enjoys jewelry, but wants a minimal experience, black shungite is a great option.
Connoisseurs of marvelous meteorites will appreciate the gleaming finish that gunmetal shungite provides. Elite shungite favors a more brilliant luster than many meteorites, often favoring a likeness to freshly poured mercury. Whereas meteorite often shows a duller finish in comparison.
Where Does Shungite Come From?
Shungite is found in only in Russia. Shop LC sources our supply from a trusted partner who supplies us directly from Russia.
How is Shungite Mined?
A combination of intricate machinery and specialized techniques are required for extracting shungite gemstones from the earth. Since the source exists in Northern Russia, the harsh temperature and climate limit digging to the spring and summer. Rough shungite quickly whittles down as expert gem cutters shape stones. Only around 4-percent of rough ever becomes polished gemstones! Unfortunately, the original shungite mines have since closed, and the status of future production is unknown. Shop LC works very closely with our mining partner to ensure a regular supply for as long as this stone will last!
What Does Shungite Mean?
Over its lengthy history, shungite is a stone that has been said to cure, rescue, purify, heal, protect, normalize, restore and even stimulate the growth of the wearer.
Shungite is the only known natural mineral known to contain fullerenes, which are effective anti-oxidants. Believers say this stone shields the wearer from electromagnetic radiation, balances cosmic energies, and aids us in attaining a higher state of consciousness.
It is believed that if shungite spheres or eggs are placed where one lives, it cleanses that environment, filling it with overwhelming positive energy by providing optimism and stability to your living space. Wearing, carrying, or even using a shungite pillow during long-distance travel is believed to balance one's energy levels and provide the wearer with the stone’s grounding benefits.
Gem therapists believe this gem carries strong purifying, cleansing and detoxifying properties that can be used to clear our bodies of dysfunctional energy patterns, emotional difficulties or even certain diseases. Placing a couple of shungite stones on an affected area supposedly induces recovery and speeds up the healing process.
According to these stone healers, shungite pendants or belts could be worn by those who experience pain due to arthritis or aging. Therapists sometimes experience energy drain during therapy sessions. They can mitigate this feeling by wearing a shungite pendant or using a shungite cushion while administering therapy as a quick and effective way to reinstate lost energy.
Simply holding a shungite stone in hand during meditation is also believed to be very beneficial for relieving stress, soothing insomnia, and boosting the overall energy level of the wearer.
Disclaimer: For informational purposes only. These remedies, approaches, and techniques are not a substitute for professional medical care or treatment. They should not be used to treat any ailment without prior consultation with a qualified health care professional.
Is Shungite a Birthstone?
Shungite is not an official modern birthstone. If the entire notion of birthstones is unappealing, or you simply don’t care for the color options, then shungite makes a fun ‘protest’ stone.
- Shungite ranks 3.5 to 4 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
- Shungite color is matte black to a gleaming gunmetal finish.
- Shop LC sources our supply of shungite from Russia.
- Shungite undergoes no additional treatment.
- Black shungite may be known as Petrovsky shungite, and silver shungite is also known as noble shungite, or elite shungite.