The very first Mandarin recieved the 10 rings of power from the son of the Makluan Overlord (From Iron Man: Armored Adventures). He was also given the Dragonseed, which altered his DNA and allowed him to use the rings.
Iron Man: Armored Adventures Series:
1000 years later the new mandarin Gene Khan, is searching for the makluan rings.The first of the ten rings has been in his family for years. He siezed the title from his stepfather Zhang and started his search with Tony Stark.
In Ancient History 101 of Iron Man: Armored Adventures, Gene Khan, accompinied by Team Iron Man explored the temple of the second makluan ring. After Tony Stark passed the test Gene Khan gained acces to the power of the second ring.
The fourth temple was inside Mt. Saint Helens. The test of temperance had Firebrand taking control of Rhodey, and later Pepper. Gene told Rhodey how to pass the test (he did this through the phone since Gene was not with Team Iron Man). It is the first test that Gene passed.
Fifth Ring Recovery
The temple of the fifth ring was in Macchu Pichu, Peru. This test, the test of sacrifice, was to defeat Fin Fang Foom. Pepper thought that by sacrifice it meant to sacrifice the rings, so she threw them into Fin Fang Foom's mouth. Gene passed the test and recovered the fifth ring when he sacrificed himself to save Pepper.
Sixth Ring Recovery
Gene Khan located the sixth temple with Howard Stark and defeated the guardian. (The Melter)
Seventh Ring Recovery
Gene Khan defeated the temple guardian (The Sinturion) and recovered the ring.
Eighth Ring Recovery
This ring's temple was located in Egypt. Gene was aided by Tony Stark in defeating the temple's guardian, the Grim Reaper. After the Reaper was deafeted Gene took the ring and teleported away.
Nineth Ring Recovery & Battle with Doctor DoomGene and Howard located the nineth temple in Latveria, However, Doctor Doom got to it a long time ago and returned to capture the two of them. When Gene managed to escape and get to Tony, he passed out. When he awoke the rings were gone.Tony confuscated them, and the two of them headed to Doom's castle in Latveria. Tony gave Gene the rings to help him and they defeated Doom, and sent him into another dimension. Gene recovered the ring.
Tenth Ring Recovery
Gene arrived at the tenth temple, and so did Team Iron Man, two days later. They clashed, and when Mandarin was on the verge of defeat he discovered the tenth ring's chamber. The test of worthiness had Gene encountered the tenth guardian, an alien from the planet Makluan, who told Gene the history of the rings, and deemed him unworthy. Gene defeated the guardian and claimed the tenth ring. Gene was then able to control reality itself and became the most powerful being in the universe.
Armor: The Mandarin armor is a creation of the makluan rings which grants the Mandarin super-human strength and durability.
Rings: The ten rings of power grant the Mandarin power over reality.