Here at Blush and Bar, we know the jewelry industry inside and out. So when a brand like Pandora claims to sell fine jewelry at low prices, we have to dig a little deeper.
The answer is a bit complicated.
First off, their pieces are made at Pandora manufacturing locations in Thailand.
They’re handmade, though not individually crafted—a worker might design a few dozen pieces at once, assembly-line style.
And while Pandora sells mostly fine jewelry (most charms are silver), they also use their “fine jewelry” reputation to sell many sub-par pieces.
What is Pandora jewelry made of?
Pandora uses a lot of different components in their jewelry.
Gemstones include precious, semi-precious, natural, human-made, and synthetic gems. Pandora sells all types of stones, from diamonds to quartz cubic zirconia to pearls and everything in between.
Metals are mostly precious sterling silver for their charms. All “gold” pieces I’ve found are a thin gold plating over a “unique metal blend,” which is likely a combination of copper, zinc, nickel, or similar metals.
Other materials you’ll find in Pandora jewelry include glass and enamel, which Pandora uses for many charms’ bright colors. You’ll also see bands made of leather and textile in addition to metal chains.
Most of Pandora’s charms are made of sterling silver and enamel for color. By law, sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver, mixed with just enough stabilizing metal (usually copper) to stay durable.
You’ll know a charm is made of sterling silver because it will usually have a stamp saying “925,” representing 92.5%.
Pandora claims that because they’re handmade, no two charms are identical. As I explained above, this isn’t because they’re delicately crafted one-by-one. Instead, those differences are just human variations across each batch.
Overall, their charms are of good quality. But where Pandora excels is in their license agreements.
If you want cute designs of Disney, Harry Potter, Star Wars, or other famous characters, Pandora holds those rights.
Charms aren’t difficult or expensive to make, and I believe the main reason Pandora is still the market leader all these years later is the copyright agreements they’ve made.
At Blush and Bar, we sell the Emie Ring (pictured), also with three cubic zirconia stones. But it’s 18k gold vermeil—a sterling silver ring, coated with five times as much gold, of an even better karat—for $59.
It’s the same pattern with their necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Almost all of their pieces are far overpriced for simplistic fashion jewelry.
Most of these reviews praise the products—not customer service—and seem mostly to be with people who bought a charm bracelet within the past month.
Unsurprisingly, there’s a different story for people who buy other products or keep them for a long time.
That seems to be the main focus of reviews onProduct Review, where Pandora has 2.4 stars from over 200 reviews. A lot of reviewers mention the gold plate wears off quickly, leaving an ugly dark metal underneath.
Overall, those reviews seem to show that Pandora sells great-looking products, especially charms, but disappoints with customer service and the durability of those products.
The final word on Pandora jewelry
Pandora is almost certainly the best brand around for charm bracelets. They’re mostly sterling silver and offer unique designs you won’t find anywhere else.
When it comes to their other products, however, Pandora is lacking. Most of the rings, necklaces, and earrings they sell are low quality and overpriced.
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a BFF or just something to treat yourself to, Pandora’s charm is, well… their charms.
But if you’re not looking for a charm bracelet? There are better buys elsewhere.
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Never worry about your jewelry turning green 18K Gold Vermeil assures your jewelry lasts. For a piece to be considered Vermeil, the Gold must be a minimum of 10k and 1.5 microns. We use 18k Gold layered on 925 Sterling Silver.
Our team handles everything from stone setting to polishing the finished product.We’re proud to make jewelry you can afford to enjoy wearing.