Shungite gets its name from Shun’ga village in Russia, where a deposit was found and a specimen was extracted and described. Other names for it include “shungit,” “stone of life” and “black ochre.” This lustrous black mineraloid consists of over 98% carbon by weight and is claimed to contain “fullerenes,” which are carbon molecules that take the forms of  hollow tubes, ellipsoids, spheres or other shapes. It is believed to be more than two billion years old and exhibits an amorphous or non-crystalline habit, an opaque transparency, a matte or metallic luster, a Mohs scale hardness of 3.5-4 and electric conductivity properties. It resembles coal and is found in the earth’s crust, among very ancient layers that formed before the existence of other life forms. Though shungite mainly occurs in Russia, deposits have also been described in Kazakhstan, India, Austria and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This mineraloid possesses great water purifying properties and has been used in the purification of water for the Russian army and for spas. Its antibacterial properties have also made it an effective tool in medical treatment as far back as the beginning of the 18th century. Additionally, shungite has been used as a pigment for paint (under the names “shungite natural black” and “carbon black”) and in the production of the insulating material “shungisite.”

In the metaphysical world, shungite is associated with the base or root chakra and healing and protection. As previously mentioned, springs near shungite have been used for their healing properties as far back in history as Czar Peter the Great. Bathing in, drinking, or using water purified by this crystal in the form of an elixir is said to bring about energy and healing. Shungite is also commonly used in mystical and magical work, as it may ground spiritual energy and bring light into one’s auric energy field. It is believed to bring both physical and psychic protection, warding off negative energy and the evil eye. Wearing shungite, meditating with it and/or keeping it near seems to calm and relax everyone in its vicinity, making it a beneficial stone to keep around the house.

In the world of physical healing, shungite is regarded as a “miracle stone” and is used by crystal healers to address issues of the immune system (including the AIDS virus), skin deformations or diseases, cancer, osteoarthritis, rheumatic arthritis, kidney disease, liver disease, musculoskeletal disorders, headaches, insomnia, gastrointestinal problems, spinal problems and back pain, infections, respiratory system issues, and more. It is also believed to promote hair growth, fight free radicals, keep blood pressure at its ideal level, purify the blood, protect its wearer’s body from electromagnetic radiation, provide pain relief and rapid healing, serve as an anti-inflammatory, and have antibacterial properties. It is considered to be an extremely useful, or even downright essential, crystal to have in one’s medical bag for obvious reasons.