Buddhist prayer beads or malas (Sanskrit: mālā "garland") are used to count the number of times a mantra is recited, breaths while meditating, counting prostrations, or the repetitions of a Buddha's name.
They are similar to other forms of prayer beads used in various world religions.
Conventional Buddhist tradition counts the beads at 108, signifying the mortal desires of mankind.
Gemstone beads make great malas as they are smooth and equal in size. they flow nicely through the fingers whilst counting.
They are easy to wear and make organic beautiful jewellery as well as being an aid for spiritual meditation.
The beads are strung on silk cord and between each bead is a hand tied knot. The same technique as stringing pearls.
This structure is both practical and spiritual. The separation of the beads means that they are easier to count during meditation and also if the string were to break, you would only ever lose one bead.
Creating these lovely strings is in itself a very soothing process, like meditation itself.