As our range of Tibetan jewellery increases, I thought I'd go over some of the most common gemstones used and offer a brief explanation of their physical appearance and significance. I first encountered these vibrant gemstones as a teenager growing up in Boudha, Kathmandu. Home to the world's largest Buddhist stupa, Boudha is a wonderful melting pot where Nepali and Tibetan people and cultures come together. I loved their colours and the way these stones were set in silver using beautiful local designs. The artisans there have done a fantastic job in interpreting traditional gemstones and jewellery and bringing it to a larger, mainstream crowd.
Turquoise: Turquoise is one of the most popular gemstones used in traditional Tibetan jewellery. Elaborate pieces like the 'gau' (prayer box/amulet) often feature old turquoise which are treasured and worth thousands of dollars. In many culture, turquoise is believed to offer protection, making it popular in amulets and religious objects.
Tibet Shop Sydney stocks turquoise and silver pendants in small and large sizes, turquoise bracelets, and more.
- Coral: Coral has been a prized gemstone in Tibet for several centuries and is also an ingredient in Tibetan medicine. This gemstone is frequently used in religious artifacts, such as mandalas and mala beads and is also regarded as a protective amulet. Coral is also used as a gemstone to boost the energy of Mars in Vedic astrology. Have you seen our traditional coral and turquoise necklaces?
- Amber: Amber is easily distinguished by its yellow colour and is often used to make necklaces, headdresses and malas in Tibet. A fossilised tree resin, amber has been appreciated for its vibrance and beauty since neolithic times. It was burned for its fragrance in ancient China and is also part of folk medicine in several cultures.
Lapis Lazuli: Distinguished by its deep blue colour, lapis lazuli is the colour of the Medicine Buddha's body. It has been used since ancient times and was part of the jewellery worn by women from the ancient Harappan civilization in the Indian subcontinent. Lapis (mineral) pigment is also used in thangka paintings and prized for its beautiful intense blue colour.
Have you seen our Tibetan necklaces featuring lapis lazuli?
- Moonstone: This gemstone has been a personal favourite of mine due to its intriguing milky appearance. Moonstone is found in a range of colours (blue, yellow, grey, pink, peach, cream) although the blue variant is the most popular. It has been used since ancient times to signify female energy and deep passion. Moonstone is found and mined in Bihar (India) and Sri Lanka in the Asian region. Have you seen our popular moonstone and silver bracelets?
- Labradorite: Also called rainbow moonstone, labrodorite has traces of peacock blue, gold, pale green, and copper hues. This stone is composed of many layers that refract light, which gives its distinctive colour. Labradorite is also popular for crystal healing and is believed to help with both physical and emotional well-being. Have you seen our labradorite and silver Tibetan pendants?
- Dzi Beads: Dzi beads are used as protective amulets and are often depicted as the jewellery worn by deities in Tibetan thangkas. Price for individual beads can go to hundreds of thousands of dollars, and original beads are extremely rare. They are also prized possessions that are passed from generation to generation in aristocratic families. Unfortunately/fortunately, we only have jewellery with replica dzi beads in stock.
- Jade: Jade has been used as part of Tibetan jewellery and are highly prized for their age and colour. Tibetans often make bangles, brooches, pendants, malas and even drinking cups from this precious stone.