Amulet contests in Thailand play a significant role among Thai and foreign amulet collectors and traders. Originally, they were organised to confirm genuineness and completeness of amulets circulating in the markets. However, as values of amulets increase with public popularity and demand, the contests become commercialized and most contestants are pricing the contesting amulets according to the contest prizes or results. Therefore, two main drives for bringing amulets to a contest are (1) to enhance the amulet prices (2) to achieve owner’s self-esteem. Therefore, contests are now organised by various enterprises with largely diversified standards. Thus the problem is not with the drives for contest but instead with the choice of which contest to concentrate. If one goes to many contests, one may lose balance because various contest committees do have different level of knowledge/skill, objectives, responsibilities, and most importantly integrity.
I would like to give some basic observing precautions that whether (1) the contest is conducted regularly – if not, forget the gypsy contests as their certificates will not be traceable and recognized as future certificates (2) a right to replace the turned down amulet with another amulet(s) until submission right takes place without any additional contest cost – if not, forget the rip-off contests (3) the contest committee in average spend time to review each contesting amulet more than one minute – if not, forget the contest organised by dishonest judgement. (4) the committee given valid explanation on how they reject your amulets and on the reason why your amulets did not earn a a prize – if not, forget the dishonest contests as top prizes are already set for themselves through their nominees or their associates’ amulets. But worst of all, your genuine original amulets are likely to be changed with fake amulets by some committee members. It is fair to say that most contests are organised for organizers to earn money from contest admission fees and to upgrade amulets of their associates from fake amulets of no value to real amulets of high value.
I would like to suggest all newcomers to walk around and observe the above 4 precautions before making a decision to enter the contest and (1) taking photos of your contesting amulets both front and back side (2) do not send too many amulets in one contest because you will find it difficult to remember all of them which will “readily” expose you to the risk of your amulets being swapped. Key caution is to be aware that most contests are organized by (dishonest) amulet traders pretending to be knowledgeable on amulets.
If the amulet contests are to serve as award-hunting objective only, it is fair to say that the objective is unnatural. We should aim at whether our amulet appears to be genuine and original. The award should be treated as a bonus. I personally trust only one contest organizer named Bunamulet” of monthly Thai amulet magazine because (1) the contests are organized every two months (2) the contest results are published in the following issues of magazines (3) the contest is fairly done in both the acceptance and the prize decision as clear explanation can be given to the “rejected” amulets in both stages (4) the certificate can be reprinted later upon change of amulet holder because the organizer is here to stay, providing the evidence of change is proven correct.