This is a great question, as we sometimes deal with commenters on our FaceBook ads yelling at us for our higher priced selection :). Here’s the reason: They are not the same product.
But they’re both singing bowls, you may say. And you’re right, just as a table made from plywood or particle board and a table made from oak are both tables. In both cases, there’s no “right” or “wrong” choice. You pay for what you get.
Amazon tends to favor volume over quality, and this is especially true when it comes to crafted items and singing bowls. Until recent decades, singing bowls were handmade items made from high quality bronze. With the rise in demand from the West and the dominance of Amazon, people started mass producing brass bowls using machines and selling them in bulk. Today when you mention singing bowls to someone, they often think of a lower-quality brass bowl, as they make up the vast majority of singing bowls produced.
We have multiple mentions on the site about the difference between brass and bell metal bronze, so we’ll just provide a brief overview. Brass is a cheaper metal that is more conducive to bulk production. You “pay” for the brass bowl in quality. Brass singing bowls have a more dull, lifeless tone when struck. They lack the beauty and resonance of a handmade bronze bowl. Artisans in Nepal simply don’t spend their time and effort to handcraft bowls made of brass, as they aren’t worth it.
Bell metal bronze is the gold standard for musical metals. It’s higher tin content than regular bronze creates a wonderful resonance that can be instantly recognized when played side by side with a brass bowl. Rather than being popped out in great quantity, our handmade bowls are crafted one at a time by a team of experienced artisans who shape a bronze disc into a beautiful piece of art.
At Himalayan Bowls, we want to support these artisans who have passed down the handmade singing bowl tradition through many generations. They are the true heart and soul of the singing bowl industry. When you’re looking for an heirloom quality singing bowl that will last for centuries, you’ll see why the handmade bronze difference is worth the extra cost!