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    

Rare Antique Vintage Chinese Figural Carved Black & Red Cinnabar Amulet PendantA Wonderful 19th Century Chinese €Chinese Antique White Jade Dragon Belt Buckle Hook Qing Dynasty Jade Belt BuckleVery Early Anitque Thai Buddhist Relic Amulet Set In Gold W/ Silver Case & ChainAntique Chinese White Jade Bell Plaque Amulet 7" Wide Qing Well CarvedLeklai 59 Types Leathernecks Buddha Lp Som Phon Excellent Thai Amulet L07011Wealthy Leathernecks Leklai 59 Types Lp Som Phon Magic Thai Amulet L06003Natural Colorful Rainbow Leklai Powerful Magic-rare Amulet-93g #sc741-stomuletChinese Wood Carved Guan Kwan-yin Statue Mala Prayer Beads Amulet Pendant W181Antique Large Chinese Jade Cabbage Pendant Amulet 3" X 2" Amazing Find -stunningSuperb Boxwood Buddha Kwan-yin Statue Hand High Difficult Sculpture Amulet Box2.67" Charm Fire Red Phoenix & Magic Elixir Of Life Kettle Amulet Jade PendantKing Rama I, Pod Duang 1 Baht Silver Bullet Money Thailand.Old Collection Thai Amulet Phra Somdej Lp Tim Real Relics Sacred BuddhaTenaga Dalam Inner Power Occult Book100% Genuine Phra Lp Ngern Wat Bangklan Be.2553 Alpaca Statue Thai Buddha AmuletPhra Lp Koon Wat Banrai Coin Pendant Thai Buddha Amulet Collection Be 2514 Pha Yan Rahu Lp Puen Thai Buddha Amulet For Lucky And Money Trade Thai Amulets"lp.waen Sujinno"be.2517,rare!!!King Rama I, Pod Duang 1 Baht Silver Bullet Money Thailand.Thai Amulet Buddha Pendant Men Gold Case Phra Lp Lee Pray Coin Real Magic PowerPhra Khun Paen Lp Tim Wat Lahanrai Pim Yai Thai Amulet One Takrut Be 2517 #2Antique Ganesh Back Kmer Deity Statue Bronze Hindu Ganesha God Thai Amulet16g Colorful Rainbow Leklai Pendant-powerful Amulet #sd993-stomulet35ct. Real Leklai Umklum-rare Asia Amulet-powerful Good Magic #se007-stomulet Old Pra Somdej Toh Wat Phra Kaew Beautiful Yr2512 Buddha Amulet From ThailandLp Koon Millionaire Multiply Money Rich Thai Real Amulet Buddha Pendant NecklaceJade Phra Somdej Wat Rakang Thai Buddha Amulet For Lucky ,money,Talisman Tiger First Model Lp Thongdam Wat Thamtapieanthong Be2548 Buddha AmuletRare Old Phra Somdej Toh Kru Wat Phra Kaew Thai Buddha Amulet Power Holy Ancient Statues Sangkajai Budai Thai Buddha Amulet Leveraged Plenty Of Money.Old Antique Lp Pina Gambler Star Old Antique Thai Buddha Amulet Ring Leklai Yant Lp Doo Wat Sakae Talisman Thai Buddha AmuletThai Amulet Lp Ngern Wat Bangkran B.e. 2515 (2007)Authentic Genuine,copper Coin Phra Sangkajai,wat Sangkajai,1976ad Thai AmuletA Coin Is Lp Koon, Wat Banrai,thailand, Year 2014, Have Code,thai Buddha Amulet 5 Hooks Gold Brass Necklace For Add Phra Or Amulet Charm ,thai Buddha AmuletBuddha Thai Amulet Power Of The Universe Coin 3cm. Wat Naitao Be 2548 No CasingPhra Somdej Jitlada Leklai Wat Boworn Temple, 1987 A.d. Authentic ,thai AmuletMagic! Silver Elephant Art Of Phra Ganesh Thai Amulet PandentShaman Talisman Islamic Amulet BoxBronze Pendant Vishnu Buddha Phra Narai Kru Lopburi Wat Pra Sri Rattana Mahatat1 Hook Gold Brass Necklace For Add Phra Or Amulet Charm ,thai Buddha Amulet Phra Khun Paen Lp Tim Wat Lahanrai Pim Yai Thai Amulet One Takrut Be 2517 #1Lp Tuad Wat Changhai Ring Size 10 Talisman Buddha Powerful Thai Amulet Antiques Old Phra Somdej Lp Sod Wat Paknam Batch 1 Thai Buddha Antique Amulet PendantThai Amulet Buddha Pendant Men Phra Boar Charm Magic Talisman Powerful Tribal 2Old Phra Khun Paen Kru Ban Krang Supanburi Thai Buddha Amulet For Men Luck LoveRare 18th.c Chiang Saen Burmese Opium Weight Elephant Animal Shaped BuddhistThai Buddha Duo Twin Nagaraj Snake Dragon Holy Thai Amulet Talisman Yellow Jade Carving ~ Happy Buddha With BeadsAntique Alaskan Carving Ivory Color,inuitPhra Khunpan Prai Kuman Nuea Wan 108 Lp Sin Wat Laharnyai Be.2556 Buddha AmuletPhra Rian Jao Sur,takrut,yun ,l P Boon ,wat Klang Bang Kaew BuddhaTop! Real Lp Chui Old Thai Buddha Amulet Very Rare !!!The Gold Ganesh,thai Buddha AmuletAuthentic Lp Mian Magical Close Eyes Buddha Phra Pidta Protection Thai Amulet!!certificate!! Winner! Lp Tuad Thuad Thai Sacred Legend Real Buddha Amulet RareCertificate! Rare Antique Phra Pong Supan Pim Na Num Sacred Buddha Thai Amulet !!certificate!! Phra Rod Benjapakee Thai Buddha Lucky Rich Money Antique Amulet