What do you look for in a rosary?


I went to the Cathedral gift shop to buy a new rosary yesterday, and I have to admit that I didn’t find one that I genuinely liked. I bought one anyway, because I lost my old one, but I don’t find the one I bought aesthetically pleasing. Here’s what I think a nice rosary looks like:

Matte - I don’t like shiny reflective beads. They should be matte.
Smooth - I don’t want multi-faceted, jewel-like beads.
Stone - I like nice heavy stone beads. Plastic feels cheap. Glass or jewels seem too ornate. Wood looks too much like the Buddhist meditation beads that so many people have here, and I want my rosary to be obviously Catholic.

Silver or steel - I don’t like the look of gold.
Matte - it feels wrong to have a shiny polished-looking crucifix, to me.
Well-made - I should be able to recognize Christ on the cross. So many crucifixes look like a cross with a human-shaped blob on them.

The color doesn’t much matter to me, but so far both my rosaries have been sea-green.
I should be able to feel the beads clearly - they shouldn’t run together.

Well, I didn’t find a rosary that I liked (I know, I’m picky) so I had to compromise. I went with a green rosary with matte plastic beads and a crucifix that’s not shiny, but Christ’s shape is barely discernable on it.

I’m going to get another one in a few months, when I go to the Philippines to see my boyfriend again. I might ask my boyfriend to get one for me - he has excellent taste in clothes, jewelry, and interior design, so I have no doubt that he’d pick out exactly the kind of rosary I’d like.

So, what do you look for when you’re buying (or making) a rosary? Are you as picky as I am?


I think we all have our preferences. I personally prefer cord to chain rosaries, the metal links tend to fall apart on me pretty easily, sometimes losing beads in the process. The chain type rosaries I have are wire wrapped for that reason. I generally prefer larger beads. The material of them is not important, but I also do not like “faceted” beads made of crystal or meant to look like it. I also like well defined crucifixes, it does not matter what “style” but I have to say I have never liked Trinity crucifixes so I do not consider those.

I purchased a Franciscan crown rosary that is the perfect rosary, as far as I’m concerned. The wooden beads are a little smaller than I like, but they are smooth and there is just enough “give” on each decade that you can slide each one a little away from the next one while you’re praying with it, helping to keep track a lot easier. This is the first rosary I have found like that. It is cord, so no issues with shoddy links, and it has a lovely San Damiano crucifix, of some silver metal, probably oxidized like many of them. No centerpiece, but that is fine, that is not a big deciding factor for me. It is, of course, seven decades rather than five.

My second favorite is just an inexpensive glow-in-the-dark plastic rosary of the sort usually given away. Mine was indeed a gift from a dear woman who has since passed away and has a lot of sentimental value to me. I spent many nights while my husband was away clutching it in bed as I tried to sleep because I’m scared of being home by myself (except for the kids, of course, who were there too) at night. It was a great comfort to me. I think sometimes that sentimental value overrides the material aspect, you may find that to be true even if you end up disliking your boyfriend’s pick- because he chose it for you. :slight_smile:


My mom had a rosary that was plain black beads with a metal chain. It had a particular smell to it that I loved when I was a kid. I wish I could find one like that. It wasn’t anything special, but it had special memories for me. What makes me mad is that I think I threw it out a few years ago by mistake.’

I like plain old solid, non-ornate type rosaries.


My mom had one, that belonged to my great-grandmother. The beads were carved from tortoise shell! Very unusual, in color… kind of a greenish-yellow.

The one I use at home… has plain blue beads. Silver-tone crucifix. But I carry a black, plastic one in my pocket when we go out.


Simplicity and durability.

My “carry piece” has a metal chain and wooden beads (might be olive wood from the holy land; don’t know for sure). It has come apart in several different places, but each time I fix it with my needle-nose pliers so that particular place will never come apart again. It’s been a long time (a year, maybe more) since the last time it came apart.

I also have my FiL’s confirmation rosary, sterling silver, from 1930 or so, but I don’t carry that. I did, however, carry it when I was confirmed in 2005.



I like white rosiaries, because they remind me of Our Lady of Fatima.


I had a rosary that I lost and have not been able to find another like it. The varigated red beads actually looked like drops of blood, a reminder of the Sacrifice of our Lord.


I make my own rosaries so I tend to be a bit picky about metals. I prefer to work with silver, but it can be quite expensive so I will go with a non-oxidizing metal for all links and chains. The metal has to have a nice finish. I like wooden beads. The last rosary I made had dark cocoa wood beads with circular designs cut into them. I like my center piece to have our Lady of Perpetual Succour on one side and Pope John Paul II on the other, but I have used other center pieces. For the crucifix I usually like to have a Saint Benedict Cross, but on the last one I used a special silver crucifix that is dear to me.

When I make the rosary, I just like to use something that is nice, but not too attractive to the eye unless I am making it for a customer, a special occasion or for donating. I make a rosary for myself pretty simple and comfortable for my hand, but very sturdy because it gets lots of use.:slight_smile:


My rosary beads are made from bright golden wood. I like them because they make me reflect back to Jesus on the cross. When you come to the bead for the our father prayer the bead has a picture of our blessed mother made into it and the other side has a the picture of the divide mercy moulded into it. I not meticulous and It was just luck I found such nice rosary beads…just keep on pray the rosary !! :thumbsup:


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