The first thing you notice is the fragrance of sandalwood. Just amazing. The spacer beads and Guru bead (where the tassel is) are made of Jasper wood.
The mala is a rosary in the Buddhist tradition. It has 108 beads made of seed, wood, gems or crystals. It is used to recite mantras and to count the repetitions to a particular deity. The more you go around the mala, the more effective are the mantras. When used to intone the recitation, the right hand holds the beads. At rest, it is usually worn as a bracelet around the left wrist.
Many malas have spacers, a metal ring or colored bead, to let the practitioner know where he is in the count. Some like to use a mala counter, at the 36th bead or every 27th bead. They hang down, have ten rings, with a dorje and a bell on the end. We have heard that with earnest devotion the practitioner can charge each bead with spiritual energy. Some beads are more effective at holding a charge. Quartz, pearls, lapis, amethyst, lotus seeds and bodhi seeds are a few that come to mind.