Singing Bowl Materials

Metal vs Crystal

Traditional Tibetan singing bowls were made from metal and you can still buy these today, both as antiques and their modern equivalents. However it's becoming increasingly common to find crystal singing bowls for sale. What are the differences between them? Does it matter which you choose to buy?

7 Metals

According to legend the original bowls were made from an alloy of seven metals representing the seven planets then known. However metallurgical analysis suggests that the original bowls were made from a complex alloy of up to twelve different metals, giving them their distinctive rich sound. Modern versions are usually made from a much simpler alloy, mainly copper, and do not have the same complexity of tone and harmonics.


A more recent innovation is the popular quartz crystal singing bowl. These produce a single clear tone rather than the complex harmonics of their Himalayan counterparts.

Unless the symbolism or specific musical signature is of particular importance to you, neither crystal nor metal singing bowls can said to be "better" or "worse" than the other type - although they are undeniably different. As with most things in life, what matters is what works best for you.