Amulets are typically worn as pendants that hang around the neck to bring good luck to the wearer and ward off evil or physical harm. Chinese and Thai amulets are made of everything from bronze and brass to bone and ivory. Japanese amulets called omamori are more like pouches, with intricate embroidery on the outside and religious writings within. Indian artisans treated their amulets like pieces of fine jewelry, favoring gold inlaid with rubies, diamonds, and emeralds. Regardless of their origins, amulets share numerous common shapes—most prominently, the Buddha—and routinely depict animals such as cats, horses, and elephants.

Thai amulets of the Buddha are still produced by monks who use age-old recipes thought to imbue the objects they make with magical, talismanic powers. Even a contemporary amulet made of molded plastic can protect the wearer, as long as the monk who produced it included, for example, ashes from burned sacred texts in his molten material.

The most jewelry-like amulets are those from India, whose rich resources of precious stones were often lavished on these pieces. One popular technique among Indian goldsmiths was kundan, in which sections of gold were bonded together, without the use of heat, by pressure alone. In some of these pieces, gold served almost as a latticework for the gems, so that an amulet’s color was achieved by raw materials alone. In others, the gold was unadorned by gemstones, its surface hammered and chased instead.

Unlike the deity shapes favored by their contemporaries in China and Thailand, Indian artisans also chose forms that served their aesthetic visions. Thus, Indian amulets took on the shapes of common items such as barrels and eggs.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Asian Art Museum

Asian Art Museum

You can get happily lost searching through the 10,000 or so objects on the Asian Art Museum's website. For example,… [read review or visit site]

Jan-Erik Nilsson's extensive reference on antique Chinese porcelain. Jam-packed with information (e.g. on porcelain… [read review or visit site]

Most watched eBay auctions    

Antique Vintage Jade Amulets - Old China - Ching Dyn 1644-1911Antique Chinese Sterling Silver Carnelian Pendant Amulet Very Rare Thai Buddha Amulet Phra Somdej Lp.toh Wat Rakang Silver Case 3 HoopRare Qing Pale Jade Toggle Pendant Cat 1 3/4"Perfect! Old Amulet Phra Kring Lp Kasem Very Rare From Siam !!!Phra Kring Jomsurin Lp Dul Be:2513 Thai Buddha Amulet With CaseOld Chinese Hongshan Culture Old Jade Stone Hand-carved Frog Amulet Pendant H356Antique Chinese Carved Banded Agate Cup Bowl & Amulet Toggle Bead On Silk QingLp Tuad Wat Changhai Be.2505 Code Elephant Silver Case Rare Thai Buddha AmuletRean Archan Fan First Generation Be: 2507 Silver Case 3 HoopPhra Pidta, Luang Phor Kron (tok Raja), Wat Uttama Ram Temple,be2558 Thai AmuletTop! Real Lp Tim Phra Pidta Phong Phri Kuman Old Thai Buddha Very RareOld China Xinjiang Han Dynasty Hetian Jade Amulet Necklace Pendant DecorationThai Talisman Phra Pidta Buddha Amulet Yant Origin Unknown Collection # 01Thai Buddha Amulet Old Phra Khunpan Ayutthaya Buddha Sacred 500 YearOld Thai Buddha Brass & Charm Tacrut Protective Amulet Pendant #Phra Kring, Cerebration 84 Years Old Of King Bhumibol,serial Id 2080,thai AmuletRare Antique Sacred Thai Amulet Magic Leklai Old Phra Buddha Phim Samathi 2 SideKing Bhumibhol Copper Medal, Blessed By Lp Koon Wat Banrai Temple, Thai Amulet12pcs Old Chinese“chinese Twelve Zodiac" Tibet Silver Bullion Thanka AmuletPhra Kring, Cerebration 84 Years Old Of King Bhumibol,serial Id 3385,thai AmuletOld Thai Buddha Amulet Phra Somdej Lp.toh Wat Rakang Very Rare Silver Case.Rean King Taksin Power By Lp Tim Wat-lahanrai-silver-case Thai Buddha AmuletPhra-khunpan-lp-tim-wat-lahanrai 1 Trakrud-silver-case-3-hoops-thai-amuletNice Amulet Phra Somdej 2 Side Leklai Psychic Elemental Wonderful Buddha HolyPerfect Amulet Pidta Leklai Eye Rhino Sacred Phra Buddha Close Eye Lp.watcharaPhra Kring, Cerebration 84 Years Old Of King Bhumibol,serial Id 1946,thai Amulet Thai Buddha Somdej , Tacrut, Robe & Rama 9 Coin Amulet Pendant Thai Buddha Somdej , Tacrut, Robe & Rama 9 Coin Amulet Pendant 12pcs Old Chinese“chinese Twelve Zodiac" Tibet Silver Bullion Thanka AmuletRare Phra 5 Buddha Lp Boon Wat Klangbangkaew Thai Buddha Amulet For Wealth Old Statue Antique Lp Ngern Pim Ni Yom Maestro Silver Case Thai Buddha Amulet Old Collectible Decorate Handwork Copper Silver Lucky Pi Xiu Amulet PendantHoly Talisman Amulet Leklai Psychic Elemental 7 Color Buddha Sacred Lp.watcharaRare Amulet Magic Talisman Fangs Kaew Boar Lp.swai Powerful Buddha Sacred OldPowerful Amulet Phra Lp.tuad Leklai Psychic Elemental Ancient Buddha Sacred OldRare Chinese Jade Medallion Chinese Carved Deity Circle Drilled ThruAntique Chinese Buddha Apple Green Sculpted Jade Amulet Bead 19 By 10 By 5mmPhra Ruang Rangpuen B.e.2515 Amulet Thai Buddha. Blessed By108 MonksBuddha Medal, Brass Material, Wat Pa Suan Thammajak Temple, Genuine Thai AmuletUnique Hongshan Culture Old Jade Carved Amulet Pendant Jp193Thai Kring Throned Buddha Protective Amulet Shrine Temple PlugChinese Buddhism Eyes Old Tibet Agate Dzi Beads Amulet Necklace S589Chinese Old Tibet Silver Amulet Bullion Statue Thangka Netsuke Fine Chinese Old Jade Collectable Handwork Carved Cloisonne Ornament PendantDoll Ghost Baby Skeleton Kuman Thong Thai Magician Protection Evil Voodoo AmuletRare-phra-somdej-toh-pim-yai-wat-rakhang-silver-casethai-buddha-amuletsPhra Khun Paen Coyote Lady Lp Eung Charm Phallic Sex Thai Love Buddha Amulet Thai Buddha Amulet Phra Somdej Lp.toh Wat Rakang Very Rare Silver Case 3 HoopOld Silver Thai Phra Somdej Phim Song Kaiser Buddha Amulet Talisman #Old China Xinjiang Han Dynasty Hetian Jade Amulet Necklace Pendant DecorationMagic-powder Phra Pidta Lp Kron Wat Bang Sae Malaysia Thai AmuletRare Lp Ruay Wat Tako Ayutthaya Chicken Thai Amulet Luck Rich Wealth ProtectingHematite Leklai Magnetic Yant Thai Amulet Prevent Black Magic Relieve Illness Rare Holy Antiques Old Thai Amulet Nang Kwug Grade A+ Magic Phra Buddha Lp.hiengPowerful Thai Amulet Old Phra Pidta Lp.boon Magic Buddha Rich Windfall WealthCollectible Deco Copper Silver Handmade "money Boy" Lucky Amulet PendantsPhra Sarika Lp Koon Wat Ban Rai Year 2006 B.e.2549 Magic Amulet Thai BuddhaPalad Khiks Sao 5 By Lp Mun Wat Ban Jan 2000 Thai Aumlet Buddha LuckyLp Ngern - Old Thai Buddha Amulet