Word of the Month: Shungite-fullerenes

David Zapatka

Shungite-fullerenes: a unique combination of carbon and silicate minerals found in an ancient deposit in Karelia, Russia.

Friend and fellow wisdom seeker book club member, Sandria (Joy) Valente, gave me a special gift recently—a shungite-fullerenes rock. I had never heard of these before. Joy explained shungite-fullerenes rocks have special properties and are called “miracle stones” or “stones of life” as they are a catalyst for growth, transformation, and positive change. I accepted Joy’s gift and began my research into this word. I could not find “shungite” in the dictionary, but I did find the spelling “schungite.” Apparently, this is one of those words where the spelling is in transition as there is very little to be found online when searching “schungite” and plenty found when searching “shungite.”

Schungite: noun, schun·gite | ˈshu̇ŋˌgīt

1. History and etymology: German schungit, from Schunga, Shunga, northwest Russia and Germany

Shungite-fullerenes: noun, shun·gite ˈshu̇ŋˌgīt ful·ler·enes | ˌfu̇-lə-ˈrēnz; a black, lustrous, non-crystalline mineraloid consisting of more than 98 weight percent of carbon. It was first described from a deposit near Shunga village, in Karelia, Russia, from where it gets its name.  – noun, ful·ler·ene | ˌfu̇-lə-ˈrēn; molecular hexagons and pentagons bound together in a hollow cage or tube (they look like miniature soccer balls).

Fullerenes are also called buckyballs. These were one of the first nanoparticles discovered. This discovery happened in 1985 by a trio of researchers, Richard Smalley, Harry Kroto, and Robert Curl, working out of Rice University. Buckyballs are composed of carbon atoms linked to three other carbon atoms by covalent bonds.

First known use of fullerene: 1987

History and etymology for fullerene: R. Buckminster Fuller from the resemblance of the molecules to the geodesic domes designed by Fuller (You can see where the name “buckyballs” came from).

Buckyballs, combined with nanotubes and polymers, produce inexpensive solar cells that can be formed by simply painting a surface. Buckyballs may be used to store hydrogen, possibly as a fuel tank for fuel cell powered cars. Buckyballs may be able to reduce the growth of bacteria in pipes and membranes in water systems.

Shungite is believed by some to have the ability to absorb and completely neutralize dangerous frequencies from electromagnetic field radiation. The reason that shungite is believed to be able to do this is due to the fullerenes inside. Almost no materials in the world contain these fullerenes, which are hollow, pure carbon molecules.

Shungite-fullerenes have been used as a natural way to purify water for centuries. Shungite drinking water is applied directly to the skin to treat psoriasis, eczema, and acne. It’s also used in compresses and for cleansing or soaking hands and feet.

Joy is moving back to California and will be sorely missed in our group. Joy, we all wish you well on your journey.

Please submit your experiences, thoughts on this month’s column, or any word you may like to share along with your insights and comments to dzapatka@wbhsi.net.