Pandora jewellery is beautifully designed, hand-finished, and made from quality materials such as gemstones, pearls, glass, gold, and sterling silver. Unfortunately, the popularity of Pandora jewellery, particularly Pandora charm bracelets, has spawned a surge in counterfeits. Buyers may unknowingly purchase a counterfeit, unaware that the product they are receiving is not a genuine Pandora product. There are several ways to determine whether a Pandora charm is authentic, and buyers should keep these tips in mind when looking to purchase Pandora charms.
Pandora products are engraved with several markings that can help buyers to determine if the charms are real.
- ALE: These are the initials of Algot Enevoldsen, the father of Per Enevoldsen, founder of Pandora; all Pandora charms have this mark, typically located close to the sterling silver or gold mark.
- Sterling 925 and gold 585: The numbers 925 (for sterling silver) and 585 (for gold) are required markings for jewellery pieces – such as Pandora charms - which are made from these materials
- Crown over the O: A crown over an O can be seen on the barrel clasps of Pandora charm bracelets, though this marking was not included until after 2008; if a Pandora bracelet from after 2008 does not have this marking, it is not authentic
It is possible that some counterfeit Pandora charms may have these markings, as clever imitators are capable of replicating them. Thus, the presence of markings alone does not indicate authenticity. If a bracelet or charm clearly does not have these markings, however, it is not authentic.
Review the Pandora Catalogue
The next step in verifying whether or not a Pandora charm is authentic is checking the Pandora catalogue. Visit Pandora's website to browse products and compare the appearance of the charms. Pictures are of a high quality and should provide a good point of comparison. If a buyer is examining a charm on a website other than Pandora's own website, and it does not match the images provided by Pandora's catalogue, it may not be genuine.
Examine colour, sculpting details, and even the size of the charm. Keep in mind that Pandora does retire some collections or items, and when this happens Pandora removes the item from the website. It may be necessary to conduct additional research to determine if a charm is fake or merely a retired product that is no longer on the website.
This is easier to do when examining a product in person, though high-quality photos on websites can also make it possible to examine the craftsmanship of a piece. Pandora charms are handmade and sculpted from quality materials. Lines are clearly defined and the charms are polished and shapely. Blurred detailing indicates that the mould used to make the charm was made from a mould as opposed to being handmade. Glass should appear clear and smooth, not cloudy or scratched.
Ensure that the markings are both present and well-defined. Finally, remember that silver and gold are often heavier and have a different appearance than cheaper metals. When in doubt, place a magnet next to the charm; sterling silver and gold are not magnetic, whereas cheap metals used in counterfeit pieces, such as iron and steel, are magnetic.
A final point to consider when determining the authenticity of a Pandora charm is price. Pre-worn charms may legitimately be less expensive as the jewellery may need to be cleaned or restored, but if a charm is advertised as new and is a low price, it could be a fake. Deals that appear unbelievable often are. Remain cautious, compare prices, and conduct thorough research prior to purchasing a Pandora charm.
How to Buy Pandora Charms on eBay
Search eBay to find authentic Pandora charms. Look for authorised sellers and closely examine any pictures provided of the charms. Do not be afraid to request additional photos or information if you feel it is necessary. Consult the Pandora catalogue and conduct additional research before purchasing a charm, particularly retired charms which may not currently be listed on Pandora's website. By staying cautious and acquiring as much information as possible before making a purchase, you can identify genuine Pandora charms to add to your collection.