Shungite is a black, lustrous mineraloid that is made of up to 99% carbon. It was first discovered from a deposit near Shunga Village, in Karelia, Russia, and that’s where the stone gets its name from. Since ancient times, Shungite has been believed to be a purifying stone, and some of these claims have now been scientifically confirmed.
Have you ever wondered if shungite can go in the water? In this article, we are going to discuss just that. We will begin by looking at the properties of the stone. Then we will discuss its interaction with water, salt water, and sunlight.
Can Shungite Get Wet?
Yes, Shungite can go in the water. It has a value of 3.5-4 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, which is quite low, but it can still survive in the water. Shungite has anti-bacterial properties that help in cleansing water too, but it should not be immersed for too long as water can be damaging.
Since ancient times, shungite has been believed to purify water. This claim has now been verified by science: shungite has both anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties that help it clean water.
However, like all stones, shungite should not be immersed in water for long. Water enters the crevices of stones and expands their cracks. These fissures may not be visible at first but can slowly damage the structure of the stone, making the already-brittle shungite even more prone to damage.
Water also tarnishes the appearance of the stone. It strips off the polish from the surface, making it look duller. Water encourages fissures, which can affect the way light bounces inside the stone, thereby damaging the beautiful optical properties of the stone.
So, shungite is safe to go in the water for a short period, and later we will discuss how to clean the stone with water. Just remember not to immerse the stone for long.
Properties of Shungite
These are the properties of shungite:
Appearance: Shungite is a carbon-rich mineral that is black in colour. In terms of diaphaneity, it is opaque. It is divided into four classes based on its lustre (the way light interacts with the stone): bright, semi-bright, semi-dull, and dull. Shungite has a metastable structure, which is possibly incapable of graphitization.
Composition: Shungite is a pyrobitumen-like mineraloid that is rich in carbon. Essentially, it is noncrystalline carbon with trace amounts of fullerene (0.0001 < 0.001%). Fullerenes are 3D spherical molecules made up of 60 carbon atoms; these molecules are hollow and often called buckyballs. Besides fullerenes, shungite contains nearly all of the minerals on the periodic table.
Hardness: Shungite has a value of 3.5 to 4 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. This means that it is quite a soft mineral that can easily scratch and break. Its softness is one of the identifying properties of the stone. Because of its low hardness, shungite is mostly used for jewellery pieces that are less prone to impact, such as pendants and earrings.
Formation: Shungite was once regarded as an example of abiogenic petroleum formation, but its biological origin has now become widely accepted. Shungite formed billions of years ago when dead organisms mixed with mud and silt at the bottom of a salty water body. Geothermal heat and compression turned this accumulated organic matter into liquid hydrocarbons (like oil), which slowly solidified into rocks.
Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Microbial: The anti-bacterial properties of shungite have now been scientifically confirmed. Sand and stones act as natural filters on Earth, and carbon-based filters have also been used to purify water. As a carbon-rich mineraloid, shungite also removes impurities from water. Shungite is also anti-microbial, and it kills bacteria and germs in the water. This is why shungite can be used in water treatment.
Besides these, since ancient times, shungite has been believed to possess several other healing properties. It has been used as a folk medical treatment since the 18th century when Peter the Great established Russia’s first spa in Karelia. The purpose of the spa was to help others experience the water-purifying properties of shungite.
In 2017, research suggested that the fullerene-based compound within shungite has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and it can help against UVB-induced skin damage.
Can Shungite go in Sunlight?
Yes, shungite can go in the sunlight. Keeping stones out in the sun is a common way of recharging them, and it is safe for shungite. However, since shungite is a soft mineral, it should not be left out for too long.
Shungite has a value of 3.5-4 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, so it is quite a soft mineral that can be easily scratched or broken. Keeping it out in the sun is safe, but you should not overdo it, as softer stones generally get damaged by sunlight.
Is Shungite Rare?
Yes, shungite is a rare mineraloid that is made up of 99% carbon. It is prominently found near Shunga village in Karelia, Russia. The stone has a unique composition, containing fullerenes along with almost all of the minerals on the periodic table.