Singing bowls are made from bell metal bronze, a combination of 77-80% copper and 20-23% tin. All antique singing bowls and all new handmade singing bowls are made from the same high quality bell metal bronze. A small percentage of antique singing bowls contain up to 1% iron.
Bell metal bronze is a special preparation with an unusually high percentage of tin. The high percentage of tin improves the tone and resonance of the bronze. The best bells, gongs and cymbals from around the world are made of the same high-tin bronze.
For thousands of years, musical instruments have been made from bell metal bronze. Bronze is the oldest alloy; the first combination of metals made by human beings. Bell metal bronze has been prized for thousands of years by every culture. Virtually all metal percussion instruments are made from bell metal bronze. This pure alloy is difficult to make, very hard to work with and expensive. It is used because it sounds the best.
While many people believe and claim that singing bowls are made from “7 metals” or even “9 metals,” the truth is they are made from bell metal bronze, a pure alloy of copper and tin. Singing bowls are made today from this very refined metal as they have been for many centuries.
Cheap machined singing bowls are made from brass, which is an alloy of copper and zinc, with small amounts of nickel and lead. These cheap bowls are made with a lot of impurities in the metal. The metal does not ring long and does not have the wonderful tone of bell metal used in our singing bowls.
Pure bell metal bronze is the best sounding metal and is the height of the instrument maker’s art. Bell metal is another secret to the special sound of singing bowls.