What metals are Used in Singing Bowls?
One of the unique qualities of antique singing bowls is the peculiarity of their composition. Historically, singing bowls are made by combination of several metals, anywhere between five to nine and sometimes even twelve types of metal. The most common combination is of seven metals and each of these seven metals represented the heavenly body or a planet. Gold (Sun), Silver (Moon), Mercury (Mercury), Copper (Venus), Iron (Mars), Tin (Jupiter) and Lead (Saturn). These metals were smelted and purified prior to being cast, reheated and hammered into form. Old singing bowls were believed to have been imbued with wishes, usually through singing chants or mantras.
Few traces of other metals being used are also found. Some of the old singing bowls were made of Bronze which was the mixer of copper and tin. The combination of these two metals produced harder yet elastic metal which creates better reverberation. These metals have been used in making of bells in Hindu culture from many centuries ago. In India and Nepal these bronze metals were also used to create cookware and eating utensils and believed it possess potent antibacterial properties and is still in use in many households today.
The manufacturing of more modern singing bowls typically involves only five metals at most, and oftentimes only two. Due to cost, gold and silver are typically no longer used, but the new singing bowls are still of excellent quality.