The khatvanga is made from silver, gilt bronze and copper, inlaid with coral and turquoise. It comprises a long wooden staff, decorated with repoussé and inlaid gilt bronze bands, and topped by a four pronged vajra (a Buddhist symbol sometimes referred to as a sceptre). Above the vajra is a vase of plenty, an auspicious symbol frequently seen in Asian art. Above this symbol are three heads in progressive states of decay that illustrate three stages of religious attainment in Tibetan Buddhism. The staff is topped with a lotus-bud finial. This configuration is standard for a khatvanga. All the elements are beautifully worked, and the effect is one of an ornate, but balanced, whole.