You might have seen a mystical-looking Chinese bracelet advertised online. They are sold with the promise that they will "attract wealth and abundance, ward off evil spirits, and bring good luck." But how true are these claims, do they warrant the $45 price tag, and are the sites selling them legitimate?
Last night I was about to watch a video on YouTube, but an unusual advert played first which got my attention. Rather than hitting 'skip' I let it play just to find out what it was all about.
In the video ad uploaded by a channel called Buddha Power, a man named Noel talked about how he and his family used to live in poverty under a bridge in China, but now he owns 10,000 houses around the world. The man explains how a mystical bracelet changed his fate and helped him bring his family out of poverty.
At one point in his life, Noel was working tirelessly as a garbage collector, when one morning he was at the house of a local Feng Shui expert named Masters Xi. Noel found Masters Xi's wallet in his trash, but says he wasn't tempted by all the cash inside and instead returned it to the master.
Noel says "Master Xi was impressed by my honest action, in return he gave me a gift." The master promised that from this day on the sun will always shine on Noel. He told him "great things away to you, precious little one."
The gift Master Xi gave young Noel was a Feng Shui Black Obsidian Wealth Bracelet, apparently Noel was the 88th person to receive such a bracelet from him.
Noel said, "at first I didn't believe it, but just after three weeks my life has shifted just like turning one page to another in a story book." This was the start of Noel's rise from poverty and all his problems soon disappeared.
So, can these Pi Yao Obsidian Wealth Bracelets really bring wealth and good fortune? Well, it's possible, but there's nothing unique or special about it. The bracelet is made from "two powerful talisman," one of which is black obsidian which is used to make the 10mm beads.
Obsidian is a fairly common and naturally occurring volcanic glass, the man in the video tells us that it shields against negativity, promotes self-love and strengthens your root Chakra. Obsidian is said to help you find your inner strength and channel your intuition.
Many people believe in the power of crystals and natural substances to alter their energy and the energy they encounter in their day to day lives, so if you believe in this sort of thing, then this bracelet is no different to wearing something like a rose quartz bracelet to attract love.
The unisex bracelet also includes a gold coloured creature known as a Pi Xiu, Pi Yao or Pixiu, a powerful Chinese talisman. Of course this odd-looking beast isn't made from real gold, but the video claims that Pi Xiu is widely regarded as a dominant attractor of money, and a symbol of wealth and abundance.
Pixiu is a well-known mythological creature that resembles a strong, winged lion. For many years statues of this Pixiu have been used to attract wealth in Feng Shui - so this is at least true within the confines of Chinese mythology.
The video of course links to a website that advertises these bracelets at a cost of $45, but reduced on a limited time offer to just $19.95. The website constantly rushes those interested into buying with a permanently displayed message saying "13 bracelets left".
Although crystals are commonly used to bring good fortune and Pixiu is a real symbol, the truth is, the Feng Shui Black Obsidian Wealth Bracelet isn't a powerful mythical secret. It's merely an elastic strand threaded through some cheap obsidian beads - you can buy 100 loose beads for less than $4 on eBay, with a cheap plastic Pi Xiu covered in a gold coloured plating.
Even at $19.95 this is expensive. These bracelets can be bought in bulk from the Chinese wholesale website, Alibaba, for as little as $0.77 each. Of course this is a wholesale price and a retailer would add a markup to that cost, but even still you can get these bracelets much cheaper than $20. There are hundreds listed on eBay for as little as $3.
Our AdviceDon't pay over the odds for this bracelet when you can get exactly the same product on websites like eBay, Amazon or Etsy for much less. These known sites offer protection to buyers and will issue a refund if your purchase goes missing. Whereas buying from a website that makes grandiose claims of untold riches clearly comes with risks and reeks of a scam.
What's more, the Chinese company that makes the bracelet, Holykay Jewelry, don't list obsidian in the product's description, the stone they're using to make the product in their "powerful factory" in Shenzhen is black agate - another powerful crystal if you're into that sort of thing.
Of course the website warns about these cheaper items, "beware of others who sell cheap imitations. Our quality is by far the best on the internet," but the truth is, these bracelets are sourced from the same supplier.
For a cheap bracelet, the Feng Shui Wealth Bracelet is fairly good looking. Apart from the slightly tacky Chinese symbols, it does appeal to my taste as someone who's sat here writing this with a similar obsidian bracelet on my wrist right now. In fact, I've already bought a cheap $3 eBay version of the product just to see what it's like. Perhaps I'll update you on that once it arrives.
The product's description states that you should wear the bracelet on the wrist of your dominant hand, the hand that you use to write. When you are sleeping, bathing or in any other situation that you are not wearing it, you should place it in the living room, with the head facing towards the main door. Do not place it in your bedroom. So, perhaps I'll give it a go and see if I can bring some wealth into my life.
However, I'm not too hopeful. I think it's fair to say that Noel is an actor, his story is nothing more than a marketing gimmick. Owning 10,000 properties would make him a multimillionaire, yet we're not even told his surname. Of course many do believe in the power of crystals, perhaps Master Xi and Noel did, and perhaps either through the power of the bracelet or pure coincidence Noel's life did turn around after he was given the bracelet.
If you believe that's possible, then perhaps the Feng Shui Black Obsidian Wealth Bracelet is worth a try, but there is no reason to be paying through the nose for what is essentially an over-priced version of the same cheap bracelet.
We don't know about the legitimacy of Buddha Power, but there are several companies all making the same claims about these bracelets and sadly it appears that some are scams. Reading the comments below the ads shows a theme of people complaining that they've paid and received nothing.
It's not only much cheaper, but also much safer to buy one of these bracelets from a trusted website like eBay, Amazon and Etsy where you are likely to get greater buyer protection and a refund should your purchase not show up.
After all, this is kind of hard to believe, especially as the woman in the video is talking about wearing a Feng Shui bracelet "wherever you go," only she doesn't seem to be wearing her's in the marketing clip...