Friday, July 29, 2011

Bangkok Amulets

Most of the buying of amulets for foreigners takes place in Bangkok. There are more temples there and more markets, and most visitors spend at least a couple of days in Bangkok because they fly into the Bangkok airport and fly back out there as well.

If you are going to buy a Thai amulet in Bangkok - what should you know?

You should know that there are real amulets and fake amulets. You should know that monks don't sell amulets to foreigners, so if you see one doing so - he is likely not really a monk, or, is a bad monk.

You should know that the only place in Thailand where can be sure that the amulet you're buying has been blessed - is at a Buddhist temple. Most amulets bought in Thailand are not blessed, and are worthless to Thais and other Buddhists because of just this fact.

You should know that there are as many fake amulets sold as there are real ones. This is just a guess, obviously, but amulet making and faking is a very large enterprise and millions of Thai baht can be made from manufacturing and selling amulets that are not genuine - and made from cheap materials en masse by day laborers.

Thai amulets come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Few of the gold cased or silver cased amulets are waterproof - and this is important to some amulet buyers. If you want waterproof - you should buy either a metal amulet with ring that you can place directly on a necklace, or buy one wrapped in plastic that is 100% waterproof.

Amulets made at the temple can look just like fake amulets sold on the streets. There is no way for you to know which is the genuine article. Scams in Bangkok occur daily, and in many venues. If you are going to buy an amulet over 1,000 THB (about $30) - please don't risk it - and buy directly from a Buddhist temple.

Subjects of amulets can be a multitude of gods, goddesses, monks, animals, and past Kings and Royal Family Members. There are mythical as well as factual people from the past represented in amulets.

Solid gold Thai amulets don't really exist except in rare cases. Solid silver amulets are found much more frequently, but are also rather rare. If you buy a metal amulet it is likely brass, copper, bronze, tin, pewter, iron, or stainless steel.

Metal Thai amulet cases are very nearly always plated gold, silver, or stainless steel. A solid gold case starts at $100 USD and higher (3,300 THB).

If you have questions about Thai amulets before you buy - we might be able to help. Write us at and see if we can help. If not -we'll tell you, not try to sell you something at our online store - or

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