Tibetan singing bowls derive from a very ancient culture and tradition of healing modalities used by the people of Tibet; having been used for thousands upon thousands of years in both ceremony and ritual, as well as for the purpose's of facilitating meditation and other contemplative practices.
The "ancient" bowls (being 100 years old or more), were made from a consecrated seven metal alloy consisting of such precious metals as gold, silver, iron (collected from meteorite deposits found in the upper regions of the Himalayas), tin, mercury, lead, and copper. These materials were all collected in raw form, smelted, amalgamated together, cooled, and hand hammered into their own unique shape and sound by groups of metallurgists living within monastic communities.
These monks would then recite various mantras and blessings into them during their formation with the intention of being used as tools for consciousness transformation, physical healing, and to complement and deepen the practice of meditation of the members within that particular community; bestowing upon them a very unique and sacred quality which sets them apart from other similar sound healing instruments (particularly crystal singing bowls and the newer, machine crafted "Tibetan bowls" made in India) that are more recently made and commonly used today.
The sheer level of mastery, craftsmanship, purpose, and technique that went into the creation of these ancient instruments is an art form that has been lost in time.
The Unique Vibratory Signature & Quality Of Each Instrument:
As far as the ancient singing bowls are concerned, no two are exactly the same; each having its own unique vibratory signature and quality. Every singing bowl has a primary note, or fundamental tone, that can easily be discerned, but there are also several other harmonics and overtones present which all interact with the fundamental tone of that instrument giving that particular bowl its own special voice and quality. These unique overtones are one of the many qualities which make each singing bowl so magnificent, however, it is in this synergistic interaction between several different bowls being played together at once which brings out the true magic of each individual instrument and is what lifts them to their full potential, beauty, and expression.