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Tibetan rings and other types of Tibetan jewelry
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
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.