Eating jewelry

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Eating jewelry is a method to permanently gain the intrinsics conveyed by wearing some rings and amulets. To eat a ring or amulet, one must first polymorph into a creature that can eat the material of the ring or amulet.

The material of a ring is dependent upon its randomized appearance, not its function. Not all rings are edible, so the set of rings that can be eaten varies from game to game. All amulets are iron, so they are edible by metallivores, specifically rock moles, rust monsters, and xorns.

Eating a ring has a one in three chance of conveying its powers to the eater, while eating an amulet only has a one in five chance of conveying its powers.[1] If the intrinsic is granted, you get the following message: "Magic spreads through your body as you digest the {ring|amulet}" as opposed to the traditional intrinsic gain message.

Eating other objects only confers nutrition.

Artifacts are treated as their base items for eating purposes. This means that you can accidentally eat your great weapon or quest artifact. It will then be lost forever.

Edible rings

The edible rings, and who can eat them, are given in the following table:

Image Appearance Material Consumable by
Iron ring.png iron iron any metallivore
Twisted ring.png twisted iron any metallivore
Steel ring.png steel iron any metallivore
Wire ring.png wire iron any metallivore
Engagement ring.png engagement iron any metallivore
Shiny ring.png shiny iron any metallivore
Bronze ring.png bronze copper metallivore not restricted to rustprone metals (rock mole, xorn)
Brass ring.png brass copper metallivore not restricted to rustprone metals
Copper ring.png copper copper metallivore not restricted to rustprone metals
Silver ring.png silver silver metallivore not restricted to rustprone metals
Gold ring.png gold gold metallivore not restricted to rustprone metals
Wooden ring.png wooden wood gelatinous cube
Granite ring.png granite mineral inedible
Clay ring.png clay mineral inedible
Coral ring.png coral mineral inedible
Moonstone ring.png moonstone mineral inedible
Opal ring.png opal mineral inedible
Black onyx ring.png black onyx mineral inedible
Jade ring.png jade gemstone inedible
Agate ring.png agate gemstone inedible
Topaz ring.png topaz gemstone inedible
Sapphire ring.png sapphire gemstone inedible
Ruby ring.png ruby gemstone inedible
Diamond ring.png diamond gemstone inedible
Emerald ring.png emerald gemstone inedible
Tiger eye ring.png tiger eye gemstone inedible
Pearl ring.png pearl bone inedible
Ivory ring.png ivory bone inedible

Effects of eating rings

Ring Intrinsic granted
ring of adornment +n charisma until unpoly
ring of aggravate monster aggravate monster
ring of cold resistance cold resistance
ring of conflict conflict, and this will cause more rapid hungering
ring of fire resistance fire resistance
ring of free action sleep resistance
ring of gain constitution +n constitution until unpoly
ring of gain strength +n strength until unpoly
ring of hunger hunger
ring of increase accuracy +n to-hit bonus
ring of increase damage +n damage bonus
ring of invisibility invisibility
ring of levitation levitation for d10+10 (more) turns
ring of poison resistance poison resistance
ring of polymorph polymorphitis
ring of polymorph control polymorph control
ring of protection +n AC
ring of protection from shape changers protection from shape changers
ring of regeneration regeneration, and this will cause more rapid hungering
ring of searching searching
ring of see invisible see invisible
ring of shock resistance shock resistance
ring of slow digestion inedible
ring of stealth stealth
ring of sustain ability no effect
ring of teleport control teleport control
ring of teleportation teleportitis
ring of warning warning

Most of these intrinsics can come from sources besides rings, although eating them may still be useful. For example, they provide a pacifist way to obtain resistances, or a safe way to obtain teleport control without the risk of teleportitis from a tengu.

Notably, eating rings is the only source of intrinsic conflict, regeneration, hunger, polymorphitis, polymorph control, protection from shape changers, increased damage or increased accuracy. Furthermore, intrinsic searching and warning are only granted to certain roles at certain experience levels, and stealth is hard to get as an intrinsic, whereas rings may confer them to any player.

However, some of these intrinsics come with downsides. Regeneration and conflict permanently increase your hunger rate in addition to their useful properties; hunger, of course, simply does so with no benefit. These effects are cumulative. Hunger from eating rings of regeneration or conflict is part of the regeneration or conflict effect itself, and thus it cannot be separately removed by a gremlin. Polymorphitis is not a desirable property even for characters with polymorph control: each polymorph still has a 20% chance of polymorphing you into your own race, in which case random stat shuffling can occur.

Effects of eating amulets

Amulet Effect
amulet of change change gender
amulet of ESP gain telepathy
amulet of life saving no effect[2]
amulet of magical breathing gain magical breathing
amulet of reflection no effect[2]
amulet of restful sleep gain restful sleep
amulet of strangulation immediately choke
amulet of unchanging unpolymorph
amulet versus poison

gain poison resistance

cheap plastic imitation of the Amulet of Yendor inedible
Amulet of Yendor


The only amulet which is generally useful to eat is the amulet of magical breathing. All the others either give no effect, a property which is easily obtainable otherwise, or a property which is downright harmful.


You will usually need to eat many rings or amulets to get any given intrinsic. If you are limited in ways to polymorph yourself it's important to have duplicates readily available, so you can eat them all before you revert to your normal form. Short of polypiling it is unlikely you'll have enough to be almost certain to get the intrinsic for amulets:

Rings Eaten Likelihood of Intrinsic (%)
1 33.3333
6 91.2209
12 99.2293
18 99.9323
23 99.9911
29 99.9992
Amulets Eaten Likelihood of Intrinsic (%)
1 20.0000
11 91.4101
21 99.0777
31 99.901
42 99.9915
52 99.9991


A user has suggested improving this page or section as follows:

"There was an rgrn thread some time ago stating protection does not wrap around, i. e. it is stored in a 16-bit integer and clipped to 8 bit after the fact."

The amount of protection or damage and accuracy bonus you can obtain this way is only limited by the number of rings in the game (provided they have an edible appearance). However, these attributes are stored in a signed integer, so you do not want your total bonus (including weapon / armor type and enchantment, skill level, worn rings etc) to exceed +127 lest it wrap around and become negative.


SLASH'EM offers five new ring materials and five new functions. Ridged rings can be eaten by any metallivore. The other four, wedding, obsidian, plain, and glass rings, cannot be eaten by any monster.

Ring Intrinsic granted
mood ring no effect
sleeping restful sleep
dexterity +n dexterity until unpoly
intelligence +n intelligence until unpoly
wisdom +n wisdom until unpoly
Amulet Effect
amulet of flying no effect
amulet of drain resistance no effect
amulet versus stone reverses stoning


  1. eat.c in NetHack 3.4.3, line 1481
  2. 2.0 2.1 A comment in the source says "nice try".