Eating jewelry

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In NetHack, eating jewelry is a method to gain the intrinsics conveyed from certain rings and amulets.


To eat a ring or amulet, one must first polymorph into a monster that can eat the material of the ring or amulet.

Eating a ring has a 13 chance (33%) of conveying its powers to the eater, while eating an amulet only has a 15 chance (20%) of conveying its powers[1] - artifacts are treated as their base items for eating purposes, i.e. they will not confer any other properties of the artifact (though doing so is a bad idea regardless).

Edible rings

The material of a ring is dependent upon its randomized appearance, not its function. Not all ring materials are edible, so the set of rings that can be eaten varies from game to game.

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

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
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 +0–n to-hit bonus (see below)
ring of increase damage +0–n damage bonus (see below)
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 +0–n AC (see below)
ring of protection from shape changers protection from shape changers
ring of regeneration regeneration
ring of searching automatic 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

Digesting (positively enchanted) rings of protection, increase damage, and increase accuracy gives diminishing returns if you already have a high intrinsic bonus of the same type.[2] Specifically, if digesting a +n ring would put you at or above +10, the +n bonus is reduced to a random number between 1 and n; if you would get +20 or more, you have a (n-1) in n chance of getting a single extra point (otherwise you get nothing); if you would get +40 or more, then you get nothing.

Edible amulets

Most amulets are iron, so they are edible for metallivores: rock moles, rust monsters, and xorns. A Cheap plastic imitation of the Amulet of Yendor is made of plastic, and therefore is not edible. The Amulet of Yendor is made of mithril, but is not edible for other reasons.

Effects of eating amulets

Amulet Effect
amulet of change change gender
amulet of ESP gain telepathy
amulet of life saving no effect
amulet of magical breathing gain breathlessness
amulet of reflection no effect
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 inedible

The following information pertains to an upcoming version (NetHack 3.7.0). If this version is now released, please verify that it is still accurate, then update the page to incorporate this information.

An amulet of guarding provides +2 intrinsic protection when eaten. An amulet of flying provides no effect when eaten.


While most intrinsics granted by eating jewelry can be obtained from other sources, doing so may still be useful, especially for conduct players. For example, eating rings is a safe way to obtain teleport control without the risk of teleportitis from a tengu. Beware of accidentally eating any artifacts this way, including artifact amulets - an artifact that is eaten will be lost forever.

Eating rings is the only source of intrinsic conflict, regeneration, hunger, polymorphitis, polymorph control, protection from shape changers, increased damage or increased accuracy. Eating amulets is the only source of intrinsic magical breathing.

Except for the amulet of magical breathing, most amulets are not generally useful for eating, although conduct players may have specialized needs -- for example, an atheist vegan character might want to eat amulets of ESP.

Some 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.

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
2 55.5556
3 70.3704
4 80.2469
5 86.8313
6 91.2209
12 99.2293
18 99.9323
23 99.9911
29 99.9992
Amulets Eaten Likelihood of Intrinsic (%)
1 20.0000
2 36
3 48.8
4 59.04
6 73.7856
8 83.2228
11 91.4101
21 99.0777
31 99.901
42 99.9915
52 99.9991

Chargeable rings

If you're trying to get high intrinsic bonus to-hit/damage/AC, you will obviously want to eat rings as highly charged as you can find. However, charging them manually is usually not worth a thought unless you have the Platinum Yendorian Express Card or several spare magic markers. Even then, you need to balance increased charge with a risk of explosion, and because of this consideration, charging beyond +3 is usually a waste: even the blessed scroll will give you a ring with an average of 5 charges 4/7th of the time and nothing otherwise, so the expected charge is 20/7 which is less than 3 you started with; uncursed charging fares even worse.

Enchanting +2 rings always increases expected charge; however, due to how digesting them works, you will want to avoid that if you only have access to uncursed charging (PYEC as non-Tourist) and already have a +8 or higher intrinsic bonus: at this level, +2 rings only give +1.5 to the bonus on average, +3 rings give +2, and 2*5/7 is less than 1.5. Similarly, at +19 or above, +2 rings give +0.5, +3 rings give +0.67, and uncursed charging is undesirable as well. Blessed-charging +2 rings, however, is always fine.

You will obviously want to give first priority to enchanting +0 rings (and +1 rings if your bonus is already +19) as they don't contribute to your bonus at all when digested. Cancel negatively-charged rings instead of trying to enchant them.


In NetHack 3.4.3 and earlier versions, including some variants based on those versions, rings of protection, increase damage and increase accuracy have no explicit limitation on stat gain beyond the 13 chance of acquiring the bonus in the first place. However, the intrinsic damage bonus and intrinsic accuracy bonus are stored in an variables of type schar, which has an inherent limit of +127 on most platforms. Increasing those bonuses beyound +127 would typically wrap around and become negative. The intrinsic protection bonus is stored in an int with a much larger inherent limit, so it does not have this issue.

In NetHack 3.6.1 and earlier versions, due to a bug, eating a ring while wearing another ring of the same type could actually reduce your intrinsic bonus.


Magic spreads through your body as you digest the <ring/amulet>.
You gained an intrinsic from eating jewelry.



In SLASH'EM, there are five new ring materials and five new ring functions. Ridged rings can be eaten by any metallivore, while 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


In GnollHack, polymorphing into a lithivore allows the player to eat mineral-based jewelry.