People are easily offended when one is talking about imitations of Buddha’s statues and amulets because religious issues are always sensitive. Even if you are an expert in the trading of Buddha’s statues and amulets, one good advice is not to meddle in the issues of originality of the statues that people have bought. It may cause discontentment among friends and families and worse come to worst, relationships will be strained or even cut off all together.
There are some differences between the so-called originals and the imiatation staues and amulets. The original ones are made by the monk in the temples itself while the imitations are mass produced by factories. Of course, the original ones will have a more ‘real’ feeling to it because it is hand-made and care is taken is taken to produce it. On the other hand, the imitations are usually cheaply made and will not be as beautiful as the hand-made ones.
Very often, the monks will produce statues in sets of 99 or 999 pieces. This is because it symbolizes eternity.
One way to know whether the Buddha statues or amulets that you possess is an imitation or an original one is to take part in the Buddha statues and amulets competitions which is held frequently in different parts of Thailand. Some of these places are Bangkok, Yala and Haadyai. There is a registration fee involved but it is considered to be worth it because the judges will be able to determine the authenticity of the statue or amulet.
Friends and family members are not to be trusted in the case of Buddha statues and amulets’ purchasing. This is because there is a very high possibility that they were deceived by the shop keeper as they do not have a very good general knowledge about the authenticity of the pieces that they hold. Instead, you should go to a reputable specialist who has done a lot of research in this particular area and will be able to point out the authenticity of the statues and amulets. They should have traveled to many different temples and study the different markings that each temple has adopted to mark their products. this will be safer than to buy a statue or amulet that might not be original and yet, you end up paying a lot for it.