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Singing Bowl: Is it Antique or New?


Whether you are an antique collector or not, there are guidelines for you so you could distinguish one from the newly manufactured or handmade ones. First of all you would notice a fading gold exterior for those antiques which are gold or have gold tones. There is a wear and tear especially on the rim of the bowl where the mallet is placed when playing it. This is quite common for that type of singing bowl. Old singing bowls are also of 10-12inch diameter. The new ones are bigger in diameter and heavier. Antique Tibetan singing bowls are also made up of bronze alloy with the seven holy metals – copper, iron, gold, lead, mercury, silver, and tin. The new bowls are just made up of bronze or some of the other metals mentioned. Since gold and silver are expensive, these are not commonly used anymore for the modern singing bowls. To be more scientific about your identification of antique singing bowls, it is advised that you get a copy of the book Indo-Tibetan Bronzes written by Ulrich Von Schroeder. Ulrich is an expert about dating bronzes around the Himalayas, including singing bowls. He documented the bronze items that have dates in them and made a standard as to what the other un-dated pieces of bronzes are. So when you buy an antique singing bowl, ask what the date it was made. If it was said that it was circa 500 BC, it means it’s sometime “around” 500 BC. It is best then to get a certification of the dating of this bronze to have a proof that it is indeed a true antique and not just antique-looking.