Shungite is a rare and relativley unknown material which is highly regarded in the world of crystal healing. It's graded 4 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness, has a very unique appearance, is surprisingly light weight and rough stones give off a soot-like residue.
Shungite lacks any significant crystal structure so it's correctly classified as a mineraloid, these are substances which cannot truly be categorized as minerals because they do not form crystals. A naturally occurring material which is not crystalline lacks the ordered atomic structure which is a prerequesite for crystals to form. Other mineraloids are obsidian which is volcanic glass, precious and common opal and the curious green glassy object known as moldavite. The colour of shungite can vary from a deep shade of bronze to virtually black, it's an opaque material with a lustre that's best described as being vitreous.
Known to be at least two billion years old, shungite is believed to be a type of carbon which came about because of the metamorphism of crude oil. It is found almost exclusively near Shun'ga village, Lake Onega, Karelia in Russia and was named after this location soon after being discovered. Although said to have formed before organic life was established on earth, this is questionable because most carbon based minerals came about because of decayed organic matter such as ancient forests. It has been suggested that the impact from an enormous meteorite caused the crater in which Lake Onega later formed and over time, the sea-bed formed the deposit. Although the lake is highly polluted, its supply of water is purified by the shungite and it has been used as a healing spa for hundreds of years. The very first healing spa in Karelia was set up by Peter the Great.
Shungite is known to contain fullerene which was first discovered in 1985 and it's the only molecular from of carbon. It's highly sought after for use in crystal healing and is sometimes referred to as the Stone of Life. When ingested through water it's said to be a powerful antioxidant and can help with resistance to stress, it has exceptional anti-inflammatory capabilities and works as an antihistamine so can also help with the relief of pain. It boosts physical well-being and helps strengthen the immune system so may be useful for HIV patients and its many other medicinal benefits are still being explored and analysed. This mineraloid contains virtually all of the minerals in the periodic table and is used for its shielding properties which come about because of its unique formation. As well as being carried, it can be placed on computers and attached to cell phones to eliminate the detrimental effect that they have on sensitive human energy systems but stones must be cleansed regularly. Psychologically it clears out mental or emotional pollutants and encourages keeping the wisdom of the past and applying it to the present to create a new future and when it comes into contact with water, it disinfects and kills almost all types of bacteria whilst removing harmful micro-organisms and other pollutants. Shungite has been used as a water purifier in Russia since the early 1990's. Research has shown that it absorbs a variety of hazardous matter (to health) whether it be pesticides or bacteria or other vibrational emissions such as those given off by microwave ovens.
Although known for its high carbon content, the exact amount does vary depending on the reference that you read. All known life forms on Earth are made up of carbon and in humans, it's the second most common element accounting for 23% of our total body weight. It is for this reason that shungite is revered for its curative powers and it's known to have been used as a healing crystal since the early 18th century.
Wikipedia's page on Shungite
Stone Mania on Shungite (1)
Stone Mania on Shungite (2)