Pandora has a charm for every occasion

NEW YORK – Among modern collectibles, Pandora charms are some of the most well-known and widely worn. Introduced in 2000, Pandora charms are designed to allow the wearer to express her personal style through jewelry with personal meaning. Hundreds of styles of dangle and clip-style charms have been released since then in gold, sterling silver, rose or two-tone. Today, Pandora is synonymous with charm jewelry and while charm bracelets are its bread-and-butter, it even has necklaces that can accommodate a few charms.

A 14K gold Pandora charm bracelet sold for $2,750 + the buyer’s premium in November 2019 at Dallas Auction Gallery. Photo courtesy of Dallas Auction Gallery and LiveAuctioneers

There are charms for all interests and to commemorate many occasions from a wedding, a memorable trip to the birth of a child. They also have been a godsend to those who found themselves stumped for gift ideas but could look like a rock star by getting that special woman a charm each year for graduation, Mother’s Day or her birthday to add to her bracelet/s.

Popular charm themes are animals and family as well as special collections, including Star Wars and Disney. Most new charms range in price from about $25 to about $75, though the 14K gold ones are pricier. Pandora’s most expensive charm is a pavé gold heart that features real diamonds, which retails for over $600. In 2020, to celebrate its 20th anniversary, Pandora issued a limited edition charm each month based on designs in its archives. Charms that are not selling at goal levels are periodically retired from production to make way for new styles. Some of these retired charms can become more valuable over time, owing to scarcity. Among desirable retired examples are some charms issued to benefit charities, especially the Randers Frog charm. This was issued in 2003 for a Kiss the Frog event and only sold in Randers, Denmark. Fairytale-inspired charms, including ones paying homage to Hans Christian Andersen stories, are also collectible as are strikingly designed retired charms such as Daybreak, which features cubic zirconia.

This 14K gold Pandora bracelet with 24 charms earned €3,000 + the buyer’s premium in October 2015 at Henry’s Auktionshaus AG. Photo courtesy of Henry’s Auktionshaus AG and LiveAuctioneers

Generally, the plainer the charm is, the more affordable it is and Pandora’s sterling silver charms are on the first pricing tier with one of its most popular models, the Motherly Love charm, selling for $25. Adding gemstones and embellishments such as colored enamels and Murano glass elements, depending on the intricacy of the work, will increase the price for these charms. Among its newest releases and sure to have a strong following given the popularity of Disney’s Mandalorian is a charm featuring Baby Yoda called The Child, which retails new for $55.

A University of Kansas Jayhawk charm, one of the retired 14K gold charms, clips and spacers on a Pandora bracelet that fetched $3,100 + the buyer’s premium in July 2019 at Circle Auction. Photo courtesy of Circle Auction and LiveAuctioneers

While the company is based in Denmark, the charms are made in Thailand – finished by hand – and the company reportedly has a production staff of over 5,000 people there. Pandora charm jewelry is sold around the world and there are some charms that are only sold in certain countries. A football helmet was sold in America while a cricket bat charm was an Australia exclusive and reportedly a dice charm was available only in Las Vegas. Short of having a personal shopper overseas, some passionate collectors buy or trade with others online. There are several Facebook groups for this purpose that are quite active.

This 14K gold Pandora bracelet with 21 gold charms and clips brought $2,750 + the buyer’s premium in August 2018 at Dan Morphy Auctions. Photo courtesy of Dan Morphy Auctions and LiveAuctioneers

As with many luxury items made today, fakes will abound in the marketplace. “Spotting Pandora fakes can be quite difficult, especially if you are not overly familiar with Pandora’s catalog of charms,” according to the blog, Mora Pandora. Authentic Pandora charms feature a Pandora hallmark, usually “S925 ALE” or “925 ALE” for silver charms, and “G585 ALE” for gold charms. Hallmarks can be faked, however, so be careful when buying online.

The Art of Pandora blog website routinely reviews Pandora charms, especially as new ones are released. Among its recent reviews was Pandora’s relaunch of one of its earliest charms, the Stars charm that features small cutout stars on the cylinder-shaped charm that has ruffled edges. “The Pandora 20th Anniversary Stars Cham (799119C00) encourages and reminds its wearer to dream big and wish upon a star,” it writes.

Bearing 28 Pandora 14K gold charms, this sterling silver Pandora bracelet went for $1,350 + the buyer’s premium in September 2019 at Apple Tree Auction Center. Photo courtesy of Apple Tree Auction Center and LiveAuctioneers.

Personalization is the top-searched item for on crafting e-commerce site Etsy this holiday season and Pandora charms owe their popularity to their personalized nature. Mixing and matching favorite charms lets you express your personal style with charms that speak to important moments in life. They also ensure your jewelry designs don’t look like anyone elses.