What is Shungite?
There are three main types of Shungite.
Elite, which is also called Noble or Type 1 Shungite :
1. Elite is the scarcest form of Shungite and accounts for around 1% of all Shungite mined. It contains a higher quantity of Fullerenes per mass than type 2 Shungite. It is 98-99% carbon compared with around 70% carbon for type 2 Shungite.
Elite is the most beautiful type of Shungite. It does not lend itself to being polished or shaped so is always kept in the raw form in which it is found. Each piece is unique and will be characterised by a shiny semi-metallic look often highlighted with conchoidal patterns.
Another common feature of Elite is Ochre coloured inclusions. These are Jarosite, a basic sulphate of iron formed from the oxidation of Pyrite. Elite is sometimes called crystallised Shungite because of its naturally faceted but this term is incorrect since Shungite is an amorphous mineral and never crystallises into any geometrical shapes.
Type 2 Shungite :
2. Type 2 Shungite is easily shaped and polished so all, spheres, cubes, pyramids etc that you see will be this type. The colour will be dark grey for unpolished, with visible lines of Pyrite often seen, to black for polished items and generally has lines of pyrite less visible throughout. Either polished or unpolished Shungite works in the same way. The only difference is how they look. Type 2 Shungite is approximately 70% Carbon. This is the most common form of Shungite.
Type 3 Shungite :
3. Type 3 Shungite is the lowest grade of Shungite and has approximately 25% Carbon content. Even though it has the lowest carbon content it is the main one used for water purification. Most studies carried out on creating Shungite water use Shungite shards/crumbs. It is also the preferred choice of Regina Martino in her book ” Shungite – Protection, Healing and Detoxification. Regina calls this Shungite ” black Shungite ” and specifically mentions it as the one to use. Some Russian cities have added Shungite shards to their water supply systems as it does such an amazing job purifying water!
Fullerenes in Nature
Fullerenes are a recently discovered allotrope of Carbon (others being Diamond & Graphite). They form as hollow molecules with the most common being made up of sixty Carbon atoms (C60).
Fullerenes were discovered in 1985 by Robert Curl and Richard Smalley. Together with Harold Kroto, they synthesised these three-dimensional forms of carbon while trying to simulate the high-temperature, high-pressure conditions necessary for the formation of stars. Their discovery won them the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1996.
The natural occurrence of fullerenes remained unclear until they were verified in deposits of Karelian Shungite in 1992.
Discovery of C60: Wikipedia
In 1985 Harold Kroto of the University of Sussex, working with James R. Heath, Sean O’Brien, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley from Rice University, discovered fullerenes in the sooty residue created by vaporising carbon in a helium atmosphere. In the mass spectrum of the product, discrete peaks appeared corresponding to molecules with the exact mass of sixty or seventy or more carbon atoms, namely C
60 and C
70. The team identified their structure as the now familiar “buckyballs”.
The name “buckminsterfullerene” was eventually chosen for C60 by the discoverers as a homage to American architect Buckminster Fuller for the vague similarity of the structure to the geodesic domes which he popularized; which, if they were extended to a full sphere, would also have the icosahedral symmetry group. The “ene” ending was chosen to indicate that the carbons are unsaturated, being connected to only three other atoms instead of the normal four. The shortened name “fullerene” eventually came to be applied to the whole family.