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Ghau Pendants

Updated on January 16, 2015

Jewelry with more being

Ghau (also known as Gao, Gau, and Prayer Box) is a small prayer box used traditionally by Tibetan Buddhists as portable shrines where prayers and sacred relics are kept and used during their travel to hold their sacred deity inside. Now, "prayer box" pendants are often used as jewelry or personal adornment. They are used to carry prayers or prayer concerns (of any religion) or photos, poems, small items, or memories.  I have even seen them being used to carry wrapped up medicine.

Ghau pendants can carry your prayers near to your heart throughout the day.  They are jewelry that has a history. 

As an added bonus, Ghau pendants are an amazing bargain.  You'll get amazing bang for your buck with ghau.  They are often large pendants (so as to hold a decent amount inside), and are beautifully and sometimes ornately decorated with stones, especially turquoise, coral, and lapis, and onyx.  For the same price you can have an authentic piece of jewelry with far more meaning and character then junk from the mall.

Ghau Pendants with Turqoise

Turquoise is known as "Gyu" (pronounced "yu") in Tibet. Since it is indigenous to that area, turquoise is important to the culture and used in a lot of Tibetan jewelry.

What is Tibetan Sterling or Tibetan Silver?

a.k.a. White metal, Tibetan Sterling, Tibetan Sterling Silver, or Bali Sterling

Well to start with, it is not pure 925 sterling silver.

White metal is a term by jewelers given to an alloy of tin and antimony. It is a silver tone in its colour and in tin plate.

So, if you have a problem with allergic reactions to metals that aren't 925 sterling, check with the seller about exactly what the metal is. If it is truly sterling silver, it will have 925 stamped on it.

There have been problems with some white metal recently where not only does it not contain any silver at all, but that it contains dangerous materials like lead and arsenic. Purchase wisely, and check out the seller first.

Genuine Tibetan jewelry, an artist expression of Tibet's Buddhist tradition, is usually made of an alloy of silver and copper and sometimes with the addition of gold, nickel or brass ornamentation.

Tibetan Jewelry

Tibetan jewelry is among the most finely crafted in the world today. Skilled artisans use the same techniques that have been used for generations to create the most gorgeous silverworks and gem cuts when producing Ghau pendants.

Asia is home to some of the worlds finest gemstones, so grand master artisans have a wide variety of stunning stones to work with. Ghau pendants are often set with green turquoise, red coral, butterscotch yellow amber, carnelian and deep blue lapis lazuli. Stunning emeralds, rubies, sapphires, amethysts, citrines and garnets are common as well. Look for Ghau pendants featuring hand-carved Buddhas and other ornate designs.

Ghau pendants often includes gemstone inlays. Artisans often use shells, like stunning abalone or mother of pearl, as well as turquoise, lapis lazuli and coral in intricate inlay designs.

A Few Shops with Ghau Pendants

(These shops were found online; I have not personally made purchases from any of them)

Ghau Pendants (non-silver)

Copper and bronze were metals often chosen to make ghau pendants from. They are lovely and have that aged and loved feel to them.

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    • bechand profile image

      bechand 5 years ago

      pretty cool :O)

    • profile image

      grannysage 5 years ago

      These are awesome. Each one is so different. Great idea to include the warning on the white metal. I'm very allergic to most metals so have to be careful

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 5 years ago

      I had no idea what these were called, though I did recognize them. Very interesting and educational lens, imho. Nicely done!

    • CrossCreations profile image

      Carolan Ross 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I learned something new here today, and I do love to learn new words, had never heard of GHAU pendants even though I'll betcha I even own a few among my collections of vitage jewels. Gives me ideas ... might create a prayer box with a ghau pendant on top today, how cool is that? Smiles to you :-) :-) :-)

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 5 years ago from Liverpool, England

      Very nice collection of prayer boxes and pendants,

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 5 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Very pretty. I saw some Tibetans selling these while I was in Nepal.

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 9 years ago

      Wow. You collected some real interesting products here. and I had no idea about the 'white metal' thing. I have a hope I know when metal will get me an allergic reaction, but it's always safer to have an idea up front. Thanks for the info on that specifically.

      Lensrolling to my lens about Tibetan Buddhism :)

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 9 years ago

      Hi, I saw some awesome ghau on my trips to Nepal and Bhutan. I rated it a 5 - well done.

    • NicholeB LM profile image

      NicholeB LM 9 years ago

      Welcome to the "Shopping for Accessories" group! Very nice lens - I LOVE ethnic jewelry.

    • one SquidAddict profile image

      one SquidAddict 10 years ago

      Welcome to the Group! Excellent lens 5*!

      Jewelry-Jewellery

    • profile image

      anonymous 10 years ago

      Very NICE lens, lovely *stuff*, and great info!! You've got it all, and a remarkable product too! I gave you 5 stars, lensrolled you and added you to my group. Keep up the good work!