Table of Contents
As Jewelry Shopping Guide editors, we write about things that we love and we think you’ll like too. We often have affiliate partnerships, and may generate some revenue from these links at no cost to you.
One of the world’s largest jewelry brands, with a devoted following, Pandora is known for its unique collection of charms, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings. It has a loyal fan base, who love the brand for its high-quality jewelry pieces at affordable prices. Whether you’re buying your first piece or on the hunt for new ones to add to your collection, keep on reading for what makes Pandora special and whether it’s worth the hype.
What is Pandora Jewelry?
Founded in 1982, the brand started as an independent jewelry shop established by Danish goldsmith Per Enevoldsen in Copenhagen, Denmark. became an international jewelry company. In 1989, Pandora started manufacturing its jewelry in Thailand. This allowed the brand to offer hand-finished jewelry at affordable prices for the mass market.
In 2000, Pandora launched its patented charm bracelet, which allowed customers to personalize their jewelry with different combinations of charms. The charms varied in material and design, with some featuring gems, semiprecious stones, and various motifs. This became the standout product of the brand, with new charms created to reflect various occasions and events. Today, Pandora has sales in more than 100 countries on six continents.
Here are some of the standout features of Pandora:
- The brand offers high-quality, hand-finished jewelry pieces. In fact, each piece can pass through an average of 30 pairs of hands during the crafting process.
- Pandora features collectible charm bracelets that are complemented by their diverse collections. Customers collect Pandora charms to commemorate various occasions or events.
- Pandora jewelry pieces are made of sterling silver and 14k or 18k solid gold.
- The brand strives to create unique jewelry designs through skilled craftsmanship, so no two pieces are exactly the same.
- Pandora uses the lost wax casting technique for creating elaborate and minimalist designs. For glass jewelry charms, they utilize the lampworking or flameworking technique to create colorful and unique pieces.
Pandora is loved for their unique charm styles that are meant to reflect your ever-evolving style. These jewelry charms come in different themes and designs and can be worn on earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. They’re meant to symbolize and celebrate special moments in life, making them an ideal jewelry gift.
From openwork charms to hearts, and colorful stones, you can express your style in the most exciting ways. For playful designs, the brand also boasts their whimsical Mickey and Minnie Mouse charms, as well as dreamcatcher charms. If you want to infuse some good luck in your life, the brand also has a Chinese Zodiac Sign collection, featuring charms from Chinese Tiger to Dragon, Rooster, Ox, Dog, Rabbit, and Snake, just to name a few.
Apart from the charms and charm bracelets, Pandora also has a wide range of women’s jewelry, including unique collaborations such as Pandora and Star Wars, Pandora and Harry Potter, and Pandora and Disney.
Why Is Pandora Jewelry So Popular?
Few jewelry brands are able to gather a loyal fan base as Pandora has managed to do. It’s easy to see why. The concept of the charm bracelet keeps customers returning to the store to check out new charms to celebrate different occasions. For example, Pandora stores on cruise ships often carry a cruise-themed charm, ideal for commemorating a special trip. The brand’s marketing strategy has been to design charms that document your life.
The brand appeals to women, especially aged 20 to 40. Their messaging is all about self-expression through personalization and celebration of special moments. Pandora’s commitment to sustainable practices also has been well-received by customers.
Pandora Jewelry Quality
The brand uses a variety of materials and gemstones in crafting its jewelry pieces. Some of these include diamonds, quartz, topaz, cultured pearls, organic gems, glass, and even man-made stones, as well as non-traditional materials like Murano glass, leather, and wood.
Pandora uses sterling silver, which consists of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals like copper. 88% of all silver used by the brand in 2019 came from recycled sources. Some of its collections have oxidized finish, imitating the natural tarnishing process on silver for a vintage appeal. To prevent some sterling silver pieces from tarnishing, the brand uses black rhodium plating.
While their gold jewelry collection is made from 14k yellow gold, their two-tone jewelry collection uses sterling silver and 14k rose or yellow gold. Some collections feature a mixture of metals. These include the Pandora Shine collection, which is made with a unique metal blend at its core, first coated with palladium and plated with 18k gold. The Pandora Rose collection is made from a mix of silver and copper and encased in rose gold plating.
One of the best features of Pandora jewelry is that it contains no nickel, which is perfect for those with nickel allergies.
Pandora typically uses synthetic crystals for their jewelry. Only 0.04% of the stones used in Pandora jewelry in 2018 were natural gemstones. In terms of natural gemstones, quartz is most typically used in Pandora collections and includes amethyst, smoky quartz, and rock crystal. The brand also incorporates high-quality cultured pearls, carefully matched for size and color in each jewelry piece.
3. Lab- and Synthetic Stones
To keep some of its jewelry pieces affordable, Pandora also uses lab-created stones such as cubic zirconia, crystal, synthetic sapphire, and synthetic ruby. These stones are created in a laboratory to mimic their natural counterpart.
Sometimes, the brand incorporates lacquered artificial pearls made from glass ceramic with a pearl-like sheen. Apart from looking similar to real pearls, the synthetic gem is also resistant to perspiration, rubbing, and scratching. In fact, it ranks around 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
4. Other Materials
Pandora also utilizes enamel, glass, leather, and other materials. Their glass charms are made from high-quality Murano glass, which has been imported from the Venetian island of Murano in Italy. The enamel is commonly fused to the surface of metals or glass for decoration and colorful effects. Traditionally, it’s a glass-based material but Pandora uses epoxy resin enamel that’s more durable and more resistant to chipping than the former. This makes the jewelry longer lasting.
Does Pandora Jewelry Tarnish?
All sterling silver jewelry pieces tarnish over time, so they should be polished frequently to keep them shiny and good as new. In this article, we detail how to clean sterling silver jewelry safely and for the best results.
Jewelry with plating and oxidized finish naturally fades, but how quickly this occurs will depend on how you take care of your jewelry. Perfumes, chlorine, lotions, and sweat cause plating to fade faster, so you would want to limit your jewelry contact with them.
Can you take a shower with Pandora jewelry on?
Yes, you can wear Pandora jewelry while showering. However, Pandora recommends removing their jewelry before bathing, whilst in bed, or engaging in swimming and other sporting activities. This will ensure that your jewelry lasts longer and remains shiny. To keep your Pandora jewelry beautiful, wear them after you’re done with makeup and lotions in the morning and take them off at night.
Pandora vs. Swarovski
Swarovski is a much older brand, founded in 1895. The company offers a wide range of jewelry to suit all budgets. They are especially known for their Swarovski zirconia, which is high and one of the best diamond imitations on the market. Swarovski is more about imitating high-end jewelry, with more affordable materials.
On the other hand, Pandora is more versatile and offers more customization options. Their jewelry is fun, affordable, and memorable.
Both brands have something to offer in terms of uniqueness, affordability, and quality. If you’re looking for variety, Pandora is probably your best choice. If you’re after Swarovski’s signature style and diamond-like stones, then their stores will offer you just that.
How to tell real Pandora jewelry?
Like many other prominent brands, there are several Pandora counterfeit products out there, so make sure you buy jewelry pieces from authorized retailers.
To identify authentic Pandora jewelry pieces, check for some key markings or stamps. The standard marker of the brand is “ALE” which stands for the name of the company founder, Algot Enevoldsen. However, some of their smallest pieces may not have this stamp.
You should also look for a quality mark, which indicates the purity of the metal. For instance, a gold piece must be stamped with a capital “G” for gold, followed by its purity. For 18k or 75% pure gold, the stamp is “G750” while for 14k or 58.5% pure gold it’s “G585”. For sterling silver jewelry, the stamp should be “S925” that indicates that the piece is made from 92.5% pure silver.
Here are a few things to remember if you’re trying to distinguish real Pandora from fake:
- Imitation Pandora charms are made from base metals and tend not to be of silver.
- Fake Pandora jewelry will tarnish quickly and have low-quality craftsmanship.
- The metals of fake pieces tend to irritate the skin as they may contain nickel and other common metal allergens.
- They don’t come under Pandora’s guarantees and warranties.
To ensure that your Pandora piece is genuine, look for these characteristics:
- The ALE stamp
- The hallmark indicating the purity of the metal
- The crown over the O of the brand Pandora
Is Pandora jewelry worth anything?
Pandora jewelry is made of high-quality materials and goes through an intense process, passing several hands as they’re crafted. This drives the price high, but you know that you’re getting quality for it. In general, we find Pandora jewelry to be reasonably priced. While they aren’t cheap, they’re priced according to their value and what they offer the customer.
While general wear and tear and tarnish aren’t covered by their warranty, they offer up to 2 years for repairing or replacing manufacturing faults for silver and gold jewelry.
So, to reiterate, Pandora jewelry is worth it if you’re looking for long-lasting fancy jewelry for casual or dressy events. But you won’t be getting diamonds or precious gemstones for the price, as most of their jewelry is made of cubic zirconia, materials like enamel, silver, and sometimes gold plating.
If you’re looking to purchase Pandora jewelry, check out here their collections. Alternatively, if you want to make use of your Amazon Prime membership, consider checking out their collection on Amazon.