If you’ve read how Silent Mind makes singing bowls, you know the process requires equal parts meticulousness and traditional knowledge of the craft. However, that’s for our best-selling collection of Tibetan singing bowls, which are made of a metal alloy extracted from the Himalayas.
In the past few decades, a new type of singing bowl has become wildly popular - crystal singing bowls. Other than being made of a different material, are crystal bowls really that different? Are crystal singing bowls better than metal singing bowls?
What are crystal singing bowls used for?
Crystal singing bowls are more commonly used by people who focus on chakra work, aura cleansing, and other practices one might consider New Age. However, they are still fantastic for all of the same applications a metal bowl is - yoga, meditation, sound baths, and so on.
Those who love and collect crystal bowls may be more likely to work with energy in general - they often claim that the energy shift they feel from a crystal singing bowl is like nothing else.
How is a crystal singing bowl different from a metal one?
First, they are made from totally different materials. Fine quartz powder (sand, really) is exposed to high heat and essentially melted into the shape of a bowl. Of course, the process is more involved than that, but the art of making a crystal singing bowl from scratch is a whole other topic deserving of its own blog.
Playing is similar, but you will note that a crystal bowl sits on a rubber O-ring, not a cushion or solid surface. And given that a crystal bowl is technically glass, you must be more mindful of damaging it.
Now here comes the real difference - sound. If you already use a metal singing bowl, trying a crystal bowl can show you just how multilayered and complex your metal bowl is. That’s because crystal singing bowls emit a more singularly identifiable tone, and don't have the same vibration as a metal bowl. Crystal is often higher-pitched and, naturally, more glassy-sounding.
This is a key reason why chakra workers love crystal singing bowls. The tone is more targeted, so if you’re looking for a frequency to aim directly at a specific energy center, crystal bowls are worth trying.
Why should I buy a crystal singing bowl?
While it can be argued that a metal singing bowl produces a sound that is richer and more dynamic, you might find that the crystal singing bowl’s song lasts a little bit longer after you pull the mallet away.
Therefore, if you’re looking to play multiple bowls at once, such as during a sound bath, crystal singing bowls can make that easier.
That said, they’re not always the best choice for a first singing bowl. Metal singing bowls are better for beginners to learn on, both for durability and sound exploration.
Ultimately, if you want to be a singing bowl collector with a robust range of bowls, and/or are interested in chakra cleansing and balancing, crystal singing bowls are a must.
Now you know: crystal singing bowls are not better than metal singing bowls, they’re just a bit different. It’s not apples and oranges, exactly, but time and experience set them apart. A metal singing bowl is trustworthy, ancient, and provokes deep, gradual change on many levels. It's cousin, the crystal singing bowl, is ethereal, simple, and cuts right to the heart of the matter.
It should come as no surprise that we recommend both crystal chakra and metal alloy singing bowls. Silent Mind is always here to help you choose and use a singing bowl, so feel free to ask any questions you have about either.