Tibetan Jewelry – Types and History of Eastern Silver Jewelry
While western society considers silversmiths from Italy to be the main source of inspiration for silver jewelry, in east Asia when it comes to spiritual Tibetan jewelry Newari artisans from Nepal are the prominent figures. They have acquired these skills from their ancestors who have been experts since fifth century. There is a significant difference between western designer jewelry and these traditional eastern Tibetan silver jewelry. Western silver jewelry is often classy and bold in themes together with artistic magnificence yet basically no sacred symbolism anyway. The silver ornaments handmade by Newar artists tend to be full of sacred symbols making religious or philosophical statements.
Wearing Sterling silver Jewelry can make you look elegant. Different people have different preferences when it comes to wearing silver jewelry. There are many types of silver jewelry. Sterling silver jewelries are exceptionally sort after and desired by many people around the world. As sterling silver stay free of deterioration and rust most people prefer silver jewelry over other materials. Also, the shine and original appeal of authentic sterling silver has got a stunning splendor that last for a long time. Affordability is another major factor why people desire wearing silver jewelry as silver is relatively cheaper than gold or platinum.
In the context of Tibetan Jewelry listed below are different types of Traditional silver jewelry:
Tibetan pendants or charms :
Tibetan pendants are the most popular form of silver jewelry in Asia. They usually consist of symbols or designs that convey message based on different viewpoints or philosophy. This is why they are also considered also as Tibetan charms. Sacred symbols are referred to when making such religious charms. Generally there is a deep meaning or teaching behind every sacred symbol. Like Tibetan mantra “Om mani peme hum” is a famous symbol among Tibetan and Nepalese Buddhist gifts. They can come in a form of single letter or full form of 4 to 5 letters.
The pendants or charms can come in plain 925 silver or in combination with other semi precious gemstones like turquoise ,coral, lapis lazuli, amber, coral, turquoise, amethyst or black onyx etc. It is ideal for those who look for modest looking accent. Here are the few examples of Tibetan pendants or charms that you will find in our store.
Tibetan Bracelet :
Tibetan bracelets are often free style unisex jewelry that can be adjusted according to your desired or needed size. Having said that it is also a fact that specific designs just for male or bracelets for women are also made. Examples of men’s Tibetan bracelets are shown below.
Buddhist holy chants (mantras) are almost always adorned on the surface of Tibetan Buddhist bracelet also called Buddhist prayer bracelet that delivers certain Buddhist philosophical message or teachings. Some believe that wearing these sacred Tibetan jewelry leads to render safety and even tranquility and harmony. These bracelets can be given as Buddhist gifts to your loved ones or dharma friends or girlfriends. Occasions like Christmas, thanksgiving and specially father’s day and mother’s day would be suitable for these spiritual gifts.
Prayer Box Tibetan Jewelry :
Prayer box jewelry are unique Tibetan jewelry that can either come in the form of prayer box charms or prayer box pendants. They can come in the form of prayer box bracelets, Tibetan prayer box necklaces. These prayer boxes have an enclosure inside which usually accommodates prayer mantras or prayer inscribed fabrics. Also healing herbs and other semi precious stones are kept inside the box. These religious amulets are also called “Tibetan Gau” or “Ghau” in Newari language. There are certain beliefs that these prayer box jewelry are supposed to be worn on lifelong basis in order to remove wicked spirits or attain enlightenment.
Tibetan “Ghau” prayer box charms are blessed with relevant or desired mantras by Tibetan priests or monks or in other words these Tibetan prayer box jewelry are ritually sanctified or blessed. Below are the perfect illustrations of these Tibetan prayer box pendants. These are suitable Buddhist presents to gift your dharma friends, loved ones or even a Buddhist monk on the occasions like thanksgiving, father’s day, mother’s day or Christmas.
Tibetan earrings :
Tibetan earrings are perfect Buddhist gifts for her. Since these Tibetan earrings are specifically designed for Tibetan Jewelry for women you can gift them to your girlfriend, wife, daughters or even your mother. So mother’s day, valentines day, Christmas eve are the perfect occasions to give Tibetan earrings as spiritual Buddhist gifts to your loved ones. Regarding designs and symbols used, again sacred symbols like Tibetan mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum”, love knot, kalachakra etc. are used.
Traditionally Tibetan earrings used to be very large in shape, generally worn by conjugal females in order to demonstrate their particular ancestral identification. At present, craftsmen manufacture identical designs in reduced sizes, well suited for modern ladies.
Tibetan Rings :
Tibetan rings are the most unique ring bands that are adored by not only eastern Buddhist devotees but it has taken a mainstream fashion and moreover western people really adore the ideas of Buddhist prayer rings. Ring bands started by Italian couples during the fifteen centuries, ordinary silversmiths of Nepal and Tibet started using identical nuptial bands to make their own religious version in distinct handmade efforts.
Tibetan rings have the Buddhist Prayer mantras carved on them. There are many types of rings. They can come as adjustable free style rings or come in different fixed standard sizes. Materials used to make these rings are mostly 925 silver. But nowadays other metals like copper brass and white metal are mixed in making these Buddhist rings.
One of the most popular form of Tibetan rings is Tibetan spinner ring. This Buddhist Spinner Ring is there to remind us of the Buddha’s teaching in the form of mantra. Generally “Om Mani Padme Hum” Tibetan mantra is carved on the surface of the ring. This mantra is the most prominent chanting of Tibetan Buddhism. It simply reminds you to be compassionate which is the main philosophy and message of Mahayana Buddhism.
Buddhist prayers are there to strengthen your own spirituality. They are not there to blindly worship God or Buddha. Mantra is the synonym to Buddhist prayer which basically helps in your meditation practice and helps you in realizing that it is the eyes of yourself that see the world. The world reflects what you see and feel from inside.That is why you need to purify your mind and soul. And by repeating this mantra either verbally reading out loud or silently within yourself or by spinning the mantra helps you in purifying your soul.
Generally Tibetan spinner ring’s outer surface is carved with Tibetan mantra, “Om Mani Padme Hum”. That is why it is also called Om Mani Padme Hum spinner ring The outer layer of the ring is spun so that the mantra is being recited on every single rotation. This comes handy in applying the mantra in your daily life as it can be done while working, resting, waiting somewhere or waiting for someone.
Tibetan Beads Bracelets and Tibetan Mala :
Tibetan malas and Tibetan beads bracelets are wonderful tools for meditation. Each individual bead is counted while personalized mantras are recited. Due to the natural variation of the sizes and shapes of the beads each mala is unique. And the little imperfection on the surfaces of the natural stones or wooden materials of the beads adds natural beauty to the malas.
Standard Tibetan Mala is made up of 108 beads. Length of the malas however ranges from 30-34 inches long. A mala can be worn as Tibetan necklace around the neck. Different beads taking from different stones such as turquoise, lapis lazuli, Tibetan dzi beads etc to wooden beads such as sandalwood and rosewood are used to make beads bracelets and Tibetan necklaces. They look stunning on their own ways on your hand while you count the beads and meditate. The Tibetan beads mala always contains a Guru bead which is bigger than the rest of the beads that helps you keep track of you counting and let you know when the full circle is reached.
Tibetan beads bracelets are mini versions of Tibetan prayer beads malas. The bracelets are made of 18 – 27 beads with a big single guru bead in the centre which helps you track your counting while reciting your mantra. The diameter of the beads can vary from 6 mm to 12 mm. Most common size however is 8 mm. Bracelet is loosely wooven and the thread used is flexible so it can be stretchy and can be adjusted to varying wrist sizes. These are all handmade by Tibetan artisans in Nepal in a traditional way so slight variation and imperfection adds to the beauty and uniqueness of the malas. This is in fact the speciality of the product that each one of them in unique unlike machine made products. They are handmade.
Bracelets in particular need to be loosely worn on your wrist. Wrapping it too tightly may affect on your blood circulation. On the other hand constant tightness may even cause the mala to break. Also, it will cause difficulty when counting as the beads will not have free space to move around.
Color of the Tibetan malas and beads bracelets varies naturally according to the different beads used to make them. Sometimes silver along with beads are linked together delightfully to make the mala even more beautiful silver Tibetan beads jewelry.
If you would like to know more about How to Identify Authentic Genuine Tibetan Jewelry check here.