it has an ability to conduct that electricity really well (as does silver, gold + copper from that list above). By the way, notice a pattern? — the good conductors are metallic looking, but not always.
So, conductivity is one mineral id’ing characteristic we can use to eliminate other possibilities that may look similar.
More on that later.
Opposite from conductors, insulators are materials or minerals that do not conduct electricity. For instance; any quartz, calcite + fluorite are good examples.
Then you’ve got the semi-conductors. Just as the name implies, these minerals do a semi-good job of conducting electricity.
A physical characteristic of some semi-conductors is that they have a slightly metallic look, so not as hi-shiny as, say, silver or copper. But in some rare cases, they do not shine at all; which can be the case with carbon, which in certain forms, can conduct electricity quite well but not very shiny at all.
Skip if not interested/Geek-Speak Warning: I run the risk of boring the hell of out you for sneaking this in here but because I know some of you will ask — I’ll take the chance. To be a good conductor, it needs un-used electrons to carry the electrical current. So in a diamond (another form of carbon), there ain’t no spare electrons due to its molecular structure. So, that means that diamond is an insulator, not an electrical conductor. Now, on the other hand, you’ve got graphite, yet another form of carbon and it’s a good electrical conductor. Why? Say it with me now; it has lots of free electrons bopping around. And as is the case with most semiconductors, it has properties of both non-metals and metals.
OK, enter Shungite (mainly a carbon mineral in yet another form)!
Notice I said Shungite is “mainly” made up of carbon.
In my above video, you see me checking shungite using a digital multimeter.
These are relatively inexpensive and many households have one hanging around in the garage or tool shed. I like using the multimeter way better than using the flashlight method I’m seeing a lot of on YouTube because, as I mentioned in the above video, it’s just more reliable.
Galena or Hematite Often Passes for Shungite – Watch out!
Some may confuse (or purposefully try to trick you) into thinking that something is Elite Shungite when in reality it’s Galena (another semi-conductor) or even polished Hemeatie (an insulator, not conductor).
As I mentioned above, Elite or Noble shungite has a pretty good shiny metallic look to it so you can see why it’s often confused for galena and polished hematite. But learning a bit of easy-at-home mineral ID methods (as I teach in my Crystal Savvy Class Elective) you can learn to quickly eliminate these two imposters.
One quicky way to ID galena is that it’s really heavy (being lead) when compared to shungite, which should be quite light.
What Else to Look for to Avoid Fake Shungite:
Is your shungite 100% pure black?
Real deal shungite is NOT going to be pure black through and through.
Raw Shungite Stone. By Amrith.de (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The reason is that, as is the case with most minerals, it has inclusions. That means that some other minerals will be mixed up in there in varying amounts. With shungite, you often have some little metallic specks or veining of pyrite or even mica in there.
Keep in mind though, the purer (Elite or Noble) it is, the less of this you’ll see.
Now, depending on what’s in the composite material, this greatly alters the ability of the stone to purify, conduct electricity or block EMFs. So, many of the reasons you may be working with shungite now go out the window!
Sometimes, they’ll even claim it’s real shungite powder but that’s not always the case. So, to be safe, personally, I just prefer to completely stay away from reconstituted or composite shungite.
Always use your common sense and the best protection from this is to be well-informed yourself.
*Please SHARE this info with other crystal lovers so that we all stay in-the-know and well-informed. No duping us with FAKES or misinfo!!!*
As I always mention in my “Fakes” posts, if you choose to work with man-made or altered stones and you enjoy them or it’s been working for you:
“keep on ‘truckin’”. Don’t change a thing!
I just want us all to have the geo-knowledge first. Then you can make an informed decision regarding how you choose to work with these stones.
And as always, the moral of the story here is…
Buyer Beware: Who are you buying from? Are they reputable? Do they know what they’re talking about? Are you doing your own due diligence + research? The best way to protect yourself is through education.