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Tibetan rings and other types of Tibetan jewelry

Updated on November 23, 2015

Tibet the land of mystery

High in the Himalayan Mountains, Tibet has long been viewed as a land of mystery where lamas practised austere lives of religious devotion. Many are the stories of the miraculous powers these holy men have been known to achieve and of their supernatural powers.

In literature and books, Tibet, has always been portrayed as a tiny country high up in the mountains where few Westerners ever trod and archaic and esoteric secrets were held. It has been a stronghold of Buddhism to such a degree that Tibetan Buddhism is a separate branch of the religion.

Tibetan lamas are known to chant for many hours and to use prayer-wheels. Sacred mantras and Bodhisattvas are very important in the Tibetan spiritual world. It is not at all surprising that from such a place a range of very attractive and almost mystical jewelry should come. Tibetan rings often look as if they are, indeed, from some ancient and far off kingdom.

Tibetan ring photo

Tibetan ring
Tibetan ring

Why Tibetan rings are so different

Tibetan rings are often made from silver and are ornamented with semi-precious stones that include turquoise, red coral, carnelian, red jade, Mila amber, moonstone and black agate and obsidian. The stones are showy but not flashy and cheap looking, rather the opposite effect is achieved with the rings looking of great value, workmanship and antiquity.

The semi-precious stones used don't just look mystical but often have some traditional supernatural belief attributed to them, such as the ability to protect the wearer against some adversity.

The metalwork may have carvings in it or be otherwise decorated. Possibly Sanskrit characters or the OM mantra could be inscribed into the metal if it is a simple band ring. The well-known mantra of Chenrizig spells out OM MANI PADME HUM.

Some rings display the Buddha or other deities as carved figures on the front of the piece of jewelry. Many Tibetan rings are quite chunky and large. Some Tibetan rings depict dragons and even turtles and fish. There are also knot rings from Tibet.

Yak bones rings are also made, and again these can be decorated with carvings or religious symbols and letters. Many items of Tibetan jewelry make the viewer wonder about what they are looking at.

They encourage reflection and meditation, almost aptly mirroring the religious devotional practises of the Buddhist monks. There are Tibetan prayer rings and Tibetan mantra rings with the letters and vowels spelling out the mantra inscribed into the metal.

Tibetan style and Buddhist emblem jewelry by Tara Wangchuk

My own Tibetan ring

I have a Tibetan ring myself that was given to me by a friend who brought it back from Kathmandu back in the early '70s. I seem to remember that he told me it had been fashioned out of a mixture of metals. I don't know what it is made of really but I do know that many people seem to like the ring.

It has a red stone in it as you can see in the accompanying photograph. I am not sure what the stone is either but I really like my Tibetan ring.

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    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thanks for your comments!

    • profile image

      Flickr 

      6 years ago

      free tibet!! thanks for writing such an interesting article. i didn't no they produced jewelry.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you for posting!

    • roc6 profile image

      Rose 

      7 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      I have some Tibetan jewelry and a ring with Om Mani Padme Hum on as well as earrings with the OM sign on. I love all this jewelry, slightly antique look, I even have a bracelet with this sanskrit writing on not sure what it says, I did try to see. Thanks for a lovely hub.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you again, pmccray!

    • pmccray profile image

      pmccray 

      7 years ago from Utah

      I love the exotic look of this jewelry. Voted up, marked beautiful.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank YOU for your comments!

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Bard of Ely,

      Love this Hub - brought back memories of my trip to China. I fell in love - was absolutely mesmerized by a piece of Tibetan artwork. Oh, how wonderful. And what a great gift you were given.

      Thank you!

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you for posting!

    • profile image

      anonball 

      7 years ago

      Love these rings and I love jewelry like this.

      It is very unique compared to what I can get in the average shopping mall here in the US. You are lucky to own some Tibetian jewelry.

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you for your comments, aneesharyan and The Phoenix! Yes, I am sure the person who gave me it said he had been told it was a mix of metals.

    • phoenix482010 profile image

      phoenix482010 

      7 years ago from Cobourg Ontario Canada

      Hi there, that ring seems to be made of brass ,or a mixture of metals, i took a close look at it , and here,s what i feel it is ,to me it seems to be a ring of protection and safety while in your pocession ,like mine it is now the time to wear it ,that,s all i could feel looking at it from the picture , the Tibetan people were a fascinating people ,way ahead of there time ,as a lot of people are finding out, and great healers, Like the Mantra ,om mani padme hun ,pray saying of the tibetan people for thousands of years going back many years ... Great ring ,there,s more to it than i can write , at this moment ... And to you Steve take care ....The Phoenix

    • aneesharyan profile image

      aneesharyan 

      7 years ago

      the ethnic jewelry charged with the spiritual mantra OM MANI PADME HUN....Amazing

      Great share..

    • Bard of Ely profile imageAUTHOR

      Steve Andrews 

      7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Thank you, Lynda! Well, I have kept it all these years but for some reason only just decided to start wearing it again!

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 

      7 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Oh how I wish I could wear rings, but with rheumatoid arthritis, it is out of the question. I love them. But, alas, I can't even wear a wedding band anymore. The ring you show here is lovely, and very masculine looking. I hope it is one of your treasures. Lynda

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