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 Chinese 19th Century Jade Carved Citron PendantAntique Chinese White Jade Plaque W Stand, Rare!18th Century Chinese White Jade Butterfly Plaque, Carved Two SidedAntique Chinese Jade Butterfly Pendant Mounted In Gold, Victorian EraVery Rare Antique Chinese Carved White Opal Carving Of Bird And MelonGreat Vintage Ruesri Tafi Temple Cast Thai Collectible Amulet Rare Sacred CasedAntique Chinese Walnut Carved PendantAntique Chinese Jade Carved Boy, Excellent ConditionAntique Chinese White Jade Plaque, Mounted In SterlingOld Tibetan Prayer Necklace Turquoise Beads Elephant Chinese ? 15" Long33 Mm Authentic Old Coloured Glaze Dzi Beads Amulet Pendant Necklace BeadsTemple Hall Mark Base Lp Tuad Wat Chang Hai Custom Case Thai Collection AmuletThai Amulet Phra Somdej Pim Jae Dee Wat Rakung Rare38mm Antique Tibetan Worry Dzi Old Agate Amulet Bead, 7 Eyed, #a8650Old Vintage Buddha Roll Takrut Wat Rahanrai Temple Artifact Collection Amulet Collect Chinese 10pc Old Jade Carving Amulet Statue Pendants H429Phra Somdej Wat Rakhang Real Old Thai Buddha Amulet Very Rare 100%genuineFallen Star Antique Magical Stone Amulet Very Rare And Powerful Old Hajar Nayzak38mm Antique Tibetan Worry Dzi Old Agate Amulet Bead, Da-peng, #a8174Magic Real Amulet 2556be Takrud Phra Pidta Prok Naga Lp.kloy Wat Poo Khao ThongMing Xuande Blue White Bowl10 Thai Buddhist Buddha Antique Clay Amulet Medallions Old Phra Lp Pern Talisman Amazing Rider Tiger Lucky Rich Thai Buddha Amulet Phra Khonglamphun,thailand,black,the Old,thai Buddha Amulet.Superb Rahu Om Moon Hindu Wealth Coconut Shell Craft Pendant Thai AmuletOld Tibet Silver Statue Of Buddha Thangka Nepal Amulet 如来佛祖Bell Shape Sky Iron Thogchag Very Rare Old Tibetan Amulet100% Genuine Thai Amulet Natural Magic Rainbow Leklai Sacred Rock Buddha Leklai Leathernecks Bracelet Bead Waves Holy 59 Types Relics Gem Charm BuddhaLek Lai "lek Nam Phi" Necklace 100% Natural Thai Amulet Uttaradit ThailandCollection Phra Somdej Wat Rakang Be 2485 Pim TransamReal Sacred Ring Amulet Phra Lp.ruay Wat Tako Old Powerful Wealth Rich Size 13Rare Amulet Phra Somdej Toh Wat Keschaiyo 7-storey,powerful Buddha Sacred OldTiger Maha Aum Naj,lp Sa Wi,wat Pridaram,thailand ,the Genuine Thing, Full Yant,Bullet Takrut Sat 5 Lp Kui Lp Bua Tong Wat Tung Re Rai Thai Buddha AmuletPerfect! Old Thai Buddha Amulet Phra Rod Over 1000 Years Real Bracelet Elephant Hair Bangle 5 Silver Joints Handmade Protect Life100% Genuine Phra Lp Ngern Wat Bangklan Be.2553 Copper Statue Thai Buddha AmuletPhra Lp Ngern Wat Bangclan By Wat Tainam Old Brass Statue Thai Buddha AmuletThai Antique Amulet Rare Removed, Bronze Tang Dynasty #1Antique Lek Lai "lek Nam Phi" Necklace Lp Thai Buddha Amulet Lucky Potectio #2Old Antique Hanuman Buddha Phra Khunpaen Wat Rahanrai Thai Collectible AmuletThai Antique Amulet Rare Removed, Clay Tang Dynasty #1Thai Antique Amulet Rare Two Sided, Clay Tang Dynasty #2'lek Lai' Black Natural 100% Thai Amulet Micron Case Gold Good Grade Relic ProtThai Amulets Phra Luang Pu Tuad Wat Huay Mongkol Right From The TemplePratad Ong Pha Thom Pendant Or Leklai Shee Pha Khaow Stone Amulet Buddha 111715 Thai Buddhist Buddha Buddhism Clay Amulet Medallions Charms Pendants Set15 Thai Buddhist Buddha Buddhism Clay Amulet Medallions Charms Pendants SetThai Amulet Phra Somdej Kaiser Wat Rakang Bangkok.15 Thai Buddhist Buddha Buddhism Clay Amulet Medallions Charms Pendants SetNatural Hetian Nephrite Jade Carving: Flower Fan PendantLek Lai Praying Mala Beads Bracelet Lucky Thai Buddha Amulet Talisman New Real Thai Amulet Love Phra Khunpaen Loum Dong Ajahn Suang Ya Na Long PendantLek Lai "lek Nam Phi" With Wax Cord Barcalet Thai Buddha Amulet Lucky PotectionExtreamely Rare Pra Chaiwat Mhommitr Watsutad 2483 (1940) Holy Thai Amulet BuddaTakrut Thai Amulet Bracelet Life Protection Buddhism ReligionPhragring Lp Tim,wat Rahanrai,thailand,b.e.57, Have Code ,thai Amulet .Buddhist Devotional Bronze Prayer Scroll Temple Engraved Takrud Maharud LpTalisman Holy Powerful Natural Leklai,lp Ping,protection Thai Buddha Amulet