Shungite vs. Obsidian: A Comparison of Two Unique Stones

Shungite and obsidian are both fascinating stones with distinct properties and origins. Here's a comparison to help you understand the differences between these two remarkable minerals:

Origins and Geological Formation:

Shungite Raw

Shungite: Shungite is a rare carbon-based mineral found primarily in the region of Karelia, Russia, near Lake Onega. It is believed to have formed around 2 billion years ago as a result of the transformation of organic matter. Shungite is mainly composed of carbon, and it is unique due to the presence of fullerenes, a special form of carbon molecules.

Obsidian Raw

Obsidian: Obsidian is a volcanic glass that forms when molten lava cools rapidly without sufficient time for crystallization. It can be found in various parts of the world where volcanic activity has occurred. Obsidian is primarily composed of silica, and its color and appearance can vary depending on the impurities present.

Physical Appearance:

Shungite:Shungite is typically black and has a lustrous appearance. It can range from a shiny metallic look to a more matte finish. Some shungite may also have silver-colored streaks or inclusions.

Obsidian:Obsidian comes in a range of colors, including black, brown, red, green, and even rainbow varieties. Its texture is typically smooth and glassy, with conchoidal fractures that give it a characteristic curved and sharp appearance when broken.


Shungite:Shungite is composed mainly of carbon, with a high concentration of fullerenes. Fullerenes are unique carbon molecules with remarkable properties, including powerful antioxidant capabilities.

Obsidian:Obsidian is primarily composed of silica (silicon dioxide). It lacks the complex carbon structure and fullerenes found in shungite.

Metaphysical and Healing Properties:

Shungite Metaphysical Properties:Shungite is believed to have a range of metaphysical properties, including protection against negative energies, electromagnetic radiation, and spiritual purification. It is often used in energy work and believed to promote physical and emotional well-being.

Obsidian Metaphysical Properties:Obsidian is known for its grounding and protective properties. It is associated with shielding the aura from negative energies and promoting self-awareness and inner growth. Different types of obsidian, such as snowflake obsidian and mahogany obsidian, may have additional metaphysical properties.

Historical Significance:

Shungite: Shungite holds significant cultural and historical importance in the Karelia region of Russia, where it has been used for centuries as a protective stone and a symbol of life.

Obsidian:Obsidian has a long history of use by ancient civilizations, including the Aztecs, Mayans, and ancient Egyptians, who crafted it into various tools and weapons.

In summary, while both shungite and obsidian are intriguing stones with unique properties, they have different origins, compositions, and cultural significances. Shungite stands out with its high carbon content and fullerenes, making it a sought-after stone for its metaphysical properties, EMF protection, and water purification capabilities. On the other hand, obsidian's appeal lies in its wide range of colors and its long historical use for practical and metaphysical purposes.

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