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There are cracks in my Shungite!

This article is Human written with zero A.I. collusion. So if there are spelling mistakes, grammar errors that sort of thing. Just think of it as Rustic Writing and enjoy as best you can, after all we are all only Human...aren't we? Paul

My intention in creating the "Shungite - Rocks" Blog and the Certified Guardian Newsletter is to be able to share what I have learned about Shungite and to help increase the available knowledge of this remarkable stone online. I want to add something new to the mysterious, black, lustrous narrative so common about Shungite on the net and to that end for this blog entry a short word about Shungite and 'Cracks'.

Having worked with Shungite since 2017 I have become very familiar with this "mysterious, black, lustrous stone." I have become accustomed to its nuances and its aesthetic in its many forms, its weight and its feel. Whether raw, elite, polished or powdered; Shungite has a look that is unique and to those unfamiliar with the stone, a look that can sometimes be misleading causing some to think that there are 'cracks' in their Shungite.

Take a look at these photos

Certified Shungite and Pyrite
Image enhanced to illustrate Pyrite seams.
Certified Shungite and Pyrite
Image enhanced to illustrate Pyrite seams

What you see here are images of a Genuine Shungite 30mm Diameter Pendant (Top), a Genuine 50mm Shungite Car and Truck Cab Plate (Middle) and a Genuine 50mm Shungite Laptop Plate (Bottom). Each of the pieces you see has been Certified as Genuine Shungite by us here in New Zealand.

As you can see all three pieces have been engraved with the Flower of Life design, a very popular design enjoyed by many customers. At the top is a 30mm Pendant , in the middle a 50mm Car and Truck Cab

Protection Plate ( to help keep the vibes happy on the road ) and at the bottom a 50mm Laptop Plate.

As well as sharing the same engraving, the Flower of Life Design; they all also share a common chacteristic of Shungite, that being, traces of Pyrite that can appear as seams or marks. It is not always easy to see these seams in photos so we have enhanced these three images to make the feature more obvious for our readers. These seams are often more evident in etched items, they are random, sometimes clustered and occasionaly barely visible.

Certified Shungite and Pyrite
Image enhanced to illustrate Pyrite seams

As well as sharing the same engraving and the unique characteristic of Pyrite seams, each of these three pieces also shares its geological lineage. All three were cut and shaped from a larger piece of shungite that itself was a smaller chunk of a yet larger still boulder of Shungite that had been forming in the earth for 2 Billion years.

Each been extracted under license and local controls in Russia. More specifically from the Zazhoginsky Shungite deposit in Karelia, a region you will find in the very North Western area of Russia very close to Finland

Now Look at this photo

Certified Shungite and Pyrite
Image not enhanced

This is a 2.5kg Block of Shungite. As with all of our stock it was Certified as Genuine by us here in New Zealand.

You will notice the random nature of the Pyrite seams here, and also the difference in their appearance to those in the previous three images.

This block of Shungite was extracted from the same deposit as the threee pieces shown above.

Certified Shungite and Pyrite
Image enhanced to illustrate Pyrite seams.

Here is that block enhanced to really bring out the presence of Pyrite. You notice that the seams here are much smoother looking than those in the engraved pieces above. They have been polished with the face of the shungite block and as there has been no engraving the seams have not been disturbed in any way.

The more often lighter appearance of pyrite found in polished shungite is a result of the finishing processes.

In raw tumbled unpolished shungite the true 'false gold' colour of the Pyrite really shines through. As you can see in this next image, again enhanced, to really show off the 'goldness' and the contrast.

Over time, if polished stones are handled or carried frequently, loved and used so to speak; the whiteness will abate and the gold colour will pop through.

This next image is a composite photo showing both sides of the same stone which is my pocket stone, a polished and tumbled piece I received in 2017. When I first held it (and examined it with a curious mind not really knowing a great deal about Shungute back then) there were very slight , almost im perceivable signs of Pyrite on the surface with the stone exhibiting a lovely black polished surface. I still own this stone, it can be found in my pocket most days, occasionally it will have a stint in the centre console of my car , some days it sits next to me at my computer but almost every day it is handled.

Certified Shungite and Pyrite
Pauls Shungite Pocket Stone

As you can see, overtime and through almost seven years of daily handling it has revealed its Pyrite secrets more fully. The 'gold', lines, dots and well blotches (for want of a better word that no doubt ChatGPT would come up with) you can see over the surface in the images.

These were revealed over time as the stone has been smoothed more and more as it has been handled. This will only happen if polished ( or unpolished ) shungite is handled frequently and over years. For size reference here is the piece in my hand.

Certified Shungite and Pyrite

Below is another image of pyrite seam, this time in a 100mm Certified Shungite Polished Pyramid. To my mind this is a truly beautiful example, in fact I liked it so much that I witheld it from sale and it now sits on our lounge bookshelf.

To me the pyrite seams give a sense of the stones origin and add character to the finished piece. They provide a uniqueness to each piece making no two pieces of Shungite exactly the same. But for certain these are not cracks, I like to think of them as beauty lines.

Certified Shungite and Pyrite
Certified Shungite 100mm Polished Pyramid

Does Pyrite affect the Shungite in anyway? a good question to ask.

The short answer is no.

The reasoning of that short answer is as follows. When we investigated Shungite we became aware of its very rare ( in the mineral world ) ability to allow the free flow of an electrical current. In fact the cornerstone of our Certification process is to check that the material we are holding and received as shungite can conduct electricity. We do this by measuring the electrical resistance of the piece.

To share from my own experience; all the materials that we have tested as shungite that did not test as a material that could conduct electricty had, on first inspection, no traces of pyrite whatsoever. In and of itself this is not a defining observation to prove fake shungite but none the less its worth considering if you are inspecting in a shop for purchase. ( another really quick and easy way to help check if the stone you are holding conducts electricty is to hold the piece between your finger and your thumb and see if you can scroll your phone screen )

Testing Shungite for Authenticty
Certifying various Shungite items at Certified Shungite

Pyrite and FAKE Shungite

The photo below shows a sphere pendant that arrived in a gift box subscription to a friend, it was clearly labelled as Shungite. When he showed it to me I was immediately curious about its authenticity. Apart from it becoming a thing for me to test as much shungite as I come across 'in the wild' this particularly piece seemed off at first glance and on closer inspection testing proved it to be Fake.

The thing that caught my eye initially was how perfectly and somewhat unaturally the 'black and lustrous' surface of the sphere looked. On testing the stone it was found to have a high level of resistance to electricty, definitely not shungite. I still have no idea what it is, it could be one of a number of materials that almost looks like shungite to an untrained eye.

I show this here to illustrate that Pyrite signs are a good indicator that your shungite is genuine if you are shopping around and holding it before you buy. It is not a definitive test but it is certainly something to bear in mind when in the mnarket for genuine shungite. Of course you can always take all the risk out of buying genuine shungite by purchasing from our online store where every single item we sell is tested for authenticty.


One last thing. The piece in this below image is a very extreme example of the geological relationship between Shungite and Pyrite and illustrates the nature of how the two minerals have formed together underground for 2 Billion Years.

Certified Shungite and Pyrite
A very extreme example of the ralationship between Shungite and Pyrite.

I hope that helps anyone curious about shungite and pyrite but as I am only human (honestly) I acknowldege that there is a chnace for some readers that I may have written a piece that provides more questions than answers. If that is the case please feel free to leave a comment or question below and I'll do my best to help out or answer it.

In summary

Pyrite in Shungite can appear to an untrained eye as cracks.

In Smaller tumbled pebbles pyrite is quite often barely noticebale but not unusual to see in some batches.

Pyrite seams in Polished Shungite may appear whiter/paler than you would expect Pyrite to look.

Pyrite in Unpolished Tumbled larger stones will show its true colouration of 'fools gold'

Pyrite can appear as cracks to the untrained eye, especially in items that are engraved but also in polished items.

Pyrite is often visible to some degree in phone plates, laptop plates, pyramids, router tiles, pendants.

In beads between 8mm and 13mm Pyrite, when visible, usually appears as 'gold' dots.

It is not that unusual to have no visible signs of pyrite on the surface, but it will be present within the piece if it is genuine.

Fake Shungite may have a slightly more 'shiny' appearance to genuine shungite but will definitely no signs of Pyrite.

Thank you for Reading this far. If you would like to learn more about us and our products have a look through our website and if you have any questions please feel free to send us a message. Our online store only displays items that have been tested for authenticity and nearly every single one of them has signs of Pyrite in some form or another :)


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