What is elite shungite?

rare mineral shungite stone
Genuine silver elite shungite.

In this article we will talk about one of rarest rock which has a silver color and is often called as elite shungite. We will try to explain the situation that has developed around this silvery mineral. Many of our clients, as well as people who are interested in rare minerals do not fully understand what kind of mineral we are talking about in each case.

Many companies and other sellers around, is used by a variety of names and add-ons for a Shungite rocks. As a result, it becomes difficult for an ordinary person to understand what kind of mineral is in question and how it differs from other types.
However, it is with us that can always buy authentic samples of elite shungite stones in our online store. You can choose your personal sample of elite shungite stone in this section of of large samples.

What is Elite Shungite?

In short, elite shungite is a black mineral with high reflectivity, due to which it looks like silver in the light. Therefore, elite shungite is perceived as a silver-colored mineral that reflects daylight and has a smooth surface similar to glass. Luster of elite shungite can be described as diamond-like or metallic. The reflection index (R0 ) for elite shungite is from 3,5 to 10,5 %.

This rare mineral received an additional prefix in the form of the word-Elite or Noble. It emphasizes his personality and the benchmark.

From a scientific point of view, elite shungite is a rare and ancient mineral of the Precambrian period with an age of more than 2 billion years. Scientists attribute it to the class the highest anthraxolite or “Shun’gskiy” anthraxolite (highest anthraxolite from Shunga). Shunga is a deposit of elite shungite in Karelia, Russia.

Also, according to other classifications, elite shungite can be called shungite of the first type.

Elite shungite conducts electricity and is diamagnetic. The electrical conductivity of elite shungite is 4762 Sim/m.

It does not dissolve in organic solvents and chloroform, does not decompose, does not melt. When heated, it does not give liquid products, it cracks.

Elite shungite has black streak and black powder. Conchoidal fracture, metallic or diamond luster, bulk Density 1.7-2.0 gr/m3 . Hardness on the Mohs scale ranges from 2-3 to 4.5. Content of the allotropic form of carbon is 96-99%, hydrogen content about 1%. The composition contains heteroelements (N, S, O). Also, the elite representative of this mineral does not get his hands dirty and contains the largest number of fullerenes.

Where did the elite Shungite come from

To date, the exact origin of elite Shungite on earth has not been established. The age of elite shungite is a little over 2 billion years, and the age of the planet Earth is about 4.54 billion years.

There are many scientific theories about the origin of this mineral. One such theory suggests that this form of carbon came to earth with a Alland meteorite from space. This theory is based on the fact that such a form of carbon does not exist in other materials or rocks on earth. In addition, the only small corner on our planet where the noble shungite met until today is the Northern region of Russia-Karelia. This is the North-Western region of Russia on the border with Finland.

carbon c60 fullerenes

Deposit of this rare mineral

The Republic of Karelia is the first and only region where this rare mineral has been discovered. In addition, during the Soviet Union, this single large Deposit was completely exhausted. We were in this abandoned mine. This abandoned mine is located in one of the Karelian villages of Shunga. It is an extremely small mine with a depth of about 20 meters and a height of only about 1-3 meters.

Inside the Mine

The walls of the shaft is a rock which consists of quartz, plagioclase, potassium feldspar and mica. Including the world-famous mineral quartz and pyrite. It is this mineral that makes the walls of the mine rusty. In addition, the mineral Pyrite (has a Golden color if it has not been oxidized by oxygen under the influence of water) is an integral companion for Shungite. This same mineral leaves some traces and veins of rust on the surface of shungite. Now this abandoned mine is fenced with a cage because of the constant collapses inside the mine.

The tunnels inside the Mine

Shun'ga mine of rare mineral
Veins of elite shungite passed here. And now there are accompanying rocks at the top: dolomites, oxidized ferruginous rocks, which are inside an abandoned mine.

Unknown rare mineral

This mine could collapse at any moment. Because, a melt water flooded the mine in the spring of each year. Soil are made loose, in this connection there is a danger of collapse. It is more likely more likely every year. The story of where did go all this mineral from his Deposit was not puisblished in official source. Probably, in the past, there were any reasons for this. At present, this mineral has almost completely disappeared from nature and we have only small crumbs.

entrance to mine of shun'ga

A piece of accompanying stone at the price of a rare mineral

Currently, in this deposit of elite shungite in the village of Shunga you can find only what is left outside, because the veins of elite shungite have already been dug out. In turn, in this field, in free access from outside and around, only such rocks as lydites, dolomites and siltstones remained.

Section of the Shunga field 1933
Section of the Shunga field, geological scheme 1933 year. M.M. Filippov, Anthraxolites, St. Petersburg, VNIIRA, 2013, page 67.

Please look at this schematic map of the elite shungite deposit in the village of Shun’ga, sketched by N.I. Ryabov. Here you will see a schematic representation of the amount of noble shungite mineral (it is shown in red under the number 4) and associated rocks. Elite shungite in scientific literature is more called the highest anthraxolite. Meanwhile, you can estimate for yourself how small the inclusions of elite shungite veins were in 1933. And in our time, after almost 90 years, the field is practically depleted.

You can see a lot of those minerals and rocks that are in that deposit. Associated minerals include lidites (number 1), dolomites (number 2), as well as shales and siltstones. Some of them in a certain classification are called “shugite-bearing rocks” because they contain a couple of percent shungite carbon, for example, it is lydite.

You can agree with the conclusions of the geologists who evaluated this haft, that the quantity of elite shungite veins is less than 2% of the mine volume.

Dolomite or something similar instead of elite shungite stone.

Unfortunately, many of our buyers wrote to us that they received different products that other sellers passed off as real silver elite shungite. Thus, unscrupulous sellers could sell them samples of accompanying minerals or some others, similar in appearance. At the same time, the risk of counterfeiting increases when buying from other countries of the world or even other cities in Russia. At the same time, the sellers themselves can be sure that they are selling something real, because they were told that these stones are directly from that adit. But the question remains, how different are these samples from those that are under your feet in your country?

Now this genuine mineral exist in nature in the form of veins extremely small size. Above all, we note that fact every year to find such veins becomes more difficult. These veins are scattered along the shores of lake Onego and find such a vein is extremely hard and is a very good luck. It takes a lot of time effort and various resources. In other words, there were only soap crumbs of this rare mineral. It is most likely that in the near future to find such a mineral is no longer possible.

We would like to draw your attention to the fact that we use only verified samples of elite stones. For this, we made a geological examination of our specimens at the Geological Institute of Karelia in the city of Petrozavodsk. You can also familiarize yourself with it in the photos that are located below in this article.
We also constantly consult there with professional geologists from this scientific geological institute.

98% Carbon chemical composition of elite shungite.

Silver shungite is 98% unique carbon. The remaining 2% is a variety of chemical elements from the periodic table. Here is a list of these chemical elements that were identified in the analysis of elite shungite by x-ray fluorescence method in special laboratory conditions. We made measurements and chemical analysis of samples of elite shungite at the Institute of Geology of the Karelian Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Russian Academy of Sciences), the city of Petrozavodsk.

Chemical and physical characteristics of Elite shungite of the first type from Karelia.

We have prepared a table of physical and chemical characteristics of a general nature for samples of elite shungite of the first type from the Shungskoye deposit in Karelia, Russia.

What is the color of elite shungite?

This rare stone is actually black in color. But elite shungite can reflect sunlight well, so in the rays of light and in good light, real elite shungite will seem silvery to you. The reflection index (R0 ) for elite shungite is from 3,5 to 10,58 %.

Therefore, in good light this rare stone has a light gray smooth surface. The surface is like glass, it is smooth and pleasant to the touch. It reflects light well like a mirror. As a result, we see how elite shungite shines, it shines with a diamond or metallic sheen.

elite shungite rust

Electrical conductivity of authentic elite shungite.

Electrical conductivity is the most important characteristic of elite shungite. After all, elite shungite is the only mineral and non-metal that conducts electricity well. The electrical conductivity of elite shungite is 4762 Sim/m. The specific resistance to electric current for elite shungite is 2,18 ∙ 10-4 Om∙m.

Due to the ability to conduct electricity and its special structure, scientists have found that shungite is ability to absorb and reflect harmful electromagnetic waves of high frequency.

Thus, it is the ability to conduct electricity that puts elite shungite at the very top of the classification of rocks with carbon content. Therefore, in scientific circles, elite shungite is referred to the highest anthraxolites, it is a group of ancient minerals with the highest degree of carbon metamorphism.

You can check the electrical conductivity of elite shungite using a light bulb test or a multimeter. As a result, the electrical conductivity of elite shungite is the most important and the first sign by which one can distinguish genuine elite shungite from asphaltene fakes that do not conduct electricity.

Indeed, recently there have been many scammers who pass off ordinary asphaltene as elite shungite, which only outwardly resembles it. Please note that shungite fakes do not conduct electricity and may be hazardous to health.

Elite shungite and water.

Only genuine elite shungite contains pure (without impurities) and free carbon in the amount of 96-99%. And only such carbon can contain unique fullerene molecules. Therefore, fullerenes have not yet been found anywhere on Earth, except in shungite.

The relationship between elite shungite and water is truly exciting. After all, it has been noticed that shungite water, which is obtained after infusion of shungite in it, has unique properties. It becomes cleaner and mineralized.

After all, elite shungite has a special porosity, due to which there is an exchange with water. It has also been scientifically proven that fullerene molecules that end up in water have a hydrated form and they can last for many years. And the antioxidant properties of fullerenes are well known, primarily in the field of health improvement and treatment.

What is the difference between large and small pieces of elite shungite?

Due to the fact that the deposit of elite shungite is practically inaccessible and depleted, it is difficult to find samples in reality. As a result, large pieces of noble shungite are more valuable than small ones. Because, big pieces are much less common than small pieces. Therefore, large nuggets of real elite shungite have a high cost, which is much higher than that of small pieces. However, small shungite pieces have the advantage that they have a large area of contact with water.

Inclusions of quartz and pyrite in elite shungite.

On the surface of the silver mineral are small inclusions of rust color are possible. These are traces of other minerals that have oxidized under the influence of oxygen and water. These rust marks can be removed with a hard brush. Some inclusions go deep into the mineral and are difficult to clean.

Please note that the presence of some inclusions of quartz and pyrite in elite shungite also guarantees its authenticity. Because this rare mineral was formed over 2 billion years ago. For a long time after this process, microcracks formed in shungite, into which minerals of quartz and pyrite got. This property of real elite shungite distinguishes it from fakes that do not have these and other characteristics of elite shungite.

real elite shungite from karelia deposit shunga
Genuine elite shungite with inclusions of quartz and pyrite minerals.

Is rust on shungite stones harmful?

No, such rust is not dangerous. It’s just iron oxide. This chemical element is also used for food additives. Also, this chemical element is present in water. However, it is worth remembering that a significant content or large doses of any chemical elements that are conditionally safe can harm the health of humans or animals.

Why is called Elite?

The name – elite shungite as well as – noble shungite is absent in the official scientific terminology.
Most likely it is connected with modern public terminology. This unofficial term appeared among people when there was a need to distinguish two types of Shungite. It is black (classic) and gray (elite). Probably, the word “Elite” or “noble” means – the best. Due to the fact that it contains 98% of the unique carbon. Also, It also has a black color that appears light silver in the light and a shiny surface. It conducts electricity and is diamagnetic. Probably, these arguments were enough to assign such a weighty prefix to this mineral.

What is the difference between Shungite and Elite noble Shungite?

Point of view of science (shungite of the first type).

Science does not share this rock mineral on elite or normal. Scientific definitions differentiate the types of the rock by the areas of its Deposit and production due to the fact that the chemical composition of each Deposit is different from each other.

Currently, there are many different classifications of Karelian shungites from different authors. But in order to simplify, scientists geologists divide shungite into types from type 1 to type 5 according to Borisov’s classification. For example, according to this classification, the most famous type of shungite is black stone shungite of the third type. According to this classification, scientists attribute elite shungite to the first type of shungite.

Shungite of the third type.

If we are talking about shungite without adding the word – elite, it is Shungite which has a black color and is similar to coal. On its untreated surface are clearly visible veins of Pyrite and Quartz. The content of unique carbon for shungite type 3 is from 20 to 35% (very rarely this figure reaches 60%) depending on the field.
We are able to process this black stone. Beacuse, it contains other minerals and chemical elements. As a result, this type of mineral is not as fragile as its elite counterpart. In other words it makes possible a produce variety of geometric shapes, as well as plates, pendants and other products.

Shungite Pyramids
Pyramids made of classic black shungite type 3.

We produce shungite products only from shungite of the third type. Because it is easy to process. But to make, for example, a pyramid or a sphere of elite shungite is impossible because of its fragility and small quantity.

Shungite of the second type.

The shungite of second type or the so-called Petrovsky shungite.

Shungite of the second type includes the so-called Petrovsky shungite. It has a carbon content of 35 to 75% and also has a matte finish. Usually this shungite is a host rock for elite shungite. That is, in deposits of shungite of the second type there are small veins of elite shungite of the first type.

Elite noble shungite

Elite shungite on the contrary, is extremely fragile and specific mineral that is almost not amenable to processing. It is impossible to make a pyramid or other geometric shapes or products of the correct form, for example, shungite cubes.

But we make elite Shungite pendants. Above all, each our pendant has a natural unique natural shape. You can find them in our shungit store.

Above all, silver shungite are extremely rare stone. Has value for collectors, and also is used for infusion water. It is believed that such water has a positive impact on the human body.

Look at this picture it clearly shows the difference between the two types of this mineral. Note how distinct the inclusions of pyrite and quartz (quartzite) are on the surface of the black classical shungite. In addition, there is a difference between the shungite Karelian rocks depending on the carbon content and other characteristics.

difference between Shungite and Elite noble Shungite
On the left are samples of classic shungite stone. On the right is an elite shungite stone.
real shungite
The pyrite and quartzite (quartz) are on the surface of the black classical shungite .

Shungite deposits in Karelia, Russia:

Zazhogino field

Zazhoginskoye field view from above
Zazhoginskoye field view from above ( in Karelia, Medvezhyegorsky district, Russia).

The largest developed Deposit of the rare rock in Russia. The Location: Zaonezhye, Medvezhyegorsky district, Central Karelia, Russia Federation. This is the only mineral Deposit in which the content of unique carbon begins with a value of 30% and above. It is this rock that received the official scientific name shungite.

Shungite from this deposit is also called type 3 shungite, Zazhoginsky shungite, Zazhogino shungite.

It is this classic shungite that has been the subject of numerous scientists in the field of water treatment. After all, shungite has unique sorption and cleansing properties, thanks to which it is used for water purification.

Also, it was this type of shungite that was the object of research in the field of protection against harmful high-frequency electromagnetic radiation. These scientific studies were carried out by scientists from different countries. And as a result, the researchers found that shungite is able to protect against EMF radiation even with a layer thickness of tens and hundreds of microns. This is literally less than the thickness of a human hair. For this reason, shungite stone powder has a high EMF protection efficiency, which can be diluted with paint and completely cover surfaces with it for complete protection.

Zazhoginskoye field
Zazhoginskoye field in Karelia, Medvezhyegorsky district, Russia.

Nigozero Deposit

The largest developed shungite-containing shale. Location: Kondopozhsky district, South Karelia, Karelia, Russia. These are shungite-containing rocks where the percentage of unique carbon is extremely low. Such rocks are mined in many countries of our world and are given for genuine shungite. For example, this is a large field in one of the countries of the former Soviet Union, Kazakhstan.

Ston from the Nigozero shungite deposit
A stone from the Nigozero shungite deposit (Kondopoga city, Republic of Karelia, Russia).

Elite shungite mining

This rare mineral, called elite shungite or noble shungite, shungite of the first type, was found only in Karelia near the village of Shunga. This is an extremely small mining site for a planet as large as ours. Therefore its deposit was completely exhausted in the shortest time. Above all, it was done during the Soviet Union already. Now it is extremely difficult to find pieces of this silvery mineral. Each piece is assembled by hand. In this regard, the cost of this rare stone is relatively more expensive than other types of this rock. Now, there are only crumbs of this mineral and small reserves that have been collected over the years along the banks of Karelian lake Onego.

deposit of rare mineral elite shungite
Mothballed Shunga Deposit of rare elite shungite stone type 1 in the Karelia, Russia.

Unscrupulous sellers

However, many unscrupulous sellers from other countries or even Russia, sell various rocks that look similar to this rare mineral. Now, there are many different stones similar to each other, as well as production technologies of artificial stones and minerals.

For example, at present, there are many scammers who pass off some unknown solid hydrocarbon as elite shungite, which they allegedly found in Colombia. In fact, there are no Elite shungite deposits in Colombia.

We also did some research, in which we identified the most striking characteristics that distinguish this shungite fake from the original elite shungite.

In this regard, there is a huge risk of getting a fake. We have repeatedly received messages from our customers about it after as they received from us a sample of genuine elite shungite and had a comparison with obraztsvami from other sellers. You can learn more in our large article about fakes of shungite stone.

elite shungite rare mineral
Real samples of rare type 1 shungite minerals (or elite shungite) from the Shunga deposit in Karelia, Russia.

In conclusion, regardless of how the elite shungite appeared on our planet it still does not deprive it of the right to claim the category of one of the rarest minerals on earth. Above all, we are ready to give you the opportunity to get a particle of this mineral directly from us from the Republic of Karelia and give you absolute confidence that you are holding a genuine elite shungite!