Shungite is an amorphous variety of graphite of intense black color. Found only in the Shunga region of Karelia, Russia, it exhibits excellent hiding power, and in mixtures with other pigments imparts a deep black tone with a cool tint.
Shungite (Carbon Black)
Color: Black Colour Index: Not Listed ASTM Lightfastness: Not Tested Hardness: 3.5-4 Density: 1.8-2.0 Chemical Formula: C
Shungite is an amorphous variety of graphite of intense black color, which outwardly resembles anthracite. Shungite is unique in its composition, structure and properties. It is a natural composite with a homogeneous distribution of crystalline silicate particles in a carbon matrix.
Origin: It is found only in the Zazhoginskoye deposit near Lake Onega in the Shunga region of Karelia, Russia. As a pigment it exhibits excellent hiding power, and in mixtures with other pigments imparts a deep black tone with a cool tint. In the former Soviet Union, an artist's colors manufacturer made high quality paint under the name of "Shungite Natural Black".
Permanence and Compatibility: Since shungite is carbon it is considered to be among the most permanent pigments in the artist's palette. It can be safely used in all techniques and combines well with all pigments.
Oil Absorption and Grinding: Shungite like its cousin, graphite, absorbs a low amount of oil during dispersion, speeds up the drying of oil films, and forms a good flexible film. It is used effectively in all aqueous mediums, such as egg tempera, watercolor and casein.
Toxicity: Shungite is not considered to be toxic but care should be used in handling the dry powder pigment so as not to inhale the dust.
Read cautions about handling pigments