FAQs about Pandora

What is the story behind Pandora?

Pandora was established in modest surroundings in Copenhagen, Denmark, by Danish goldsmith Per Enevoldsen and his wife Winnie in 1982.  The couple first began travelling the world in search of jewelry to import, but soon turned to selling wholesale to clients in Denmark.  In 1987, an in-house designer joined the company and began to focus on creating their own unique jewelry. In 2000, Pandora’s charm bracelet concept was first introduced in Denmark and quickly entered new markets like the US in 2003, and Germany and Australia in 2004.  Today, their products are sold in more than 65 countries on six continents through over 10,500 points of sale, including more than 670 Pandora branded concept stores.

What jewelry does Pandora carry?

Pandora’s main jewelry line revolves around their charms and bracelets, however, they also carry bangles, necklaces and pendants, earrings, rings and watches.  The collections are called, “Moments,” “Compose,” “Stories,” “Liquid Silver” (retired), and “LovePods” (retired).  The uniqueness of Pandora jewelry revolves around the modularity/interchangeability of all the pieces in that line so that each woman can design a unique piece of jewelry that fits her style and tastes.

Where do I buy Pandora?

Pandora Head Office does not sell jewelry itself (you cannot order from the main pandora.net site), instead each retailer operates on a franchise-style store with various levels to delineate their level of Pandora inventory and availability. These store tiers are: Silver Stores, Gold Stores, White Stores, shop-in-shop, Pandora Concept Stores:

  • The Silver level Pandora shops only carry Sterling silver made Pandora charms, beads, bracelets and necklaces etc. You can also buy other jewelry brands form these shops.
  • The Gold level stores also carry gold made Pandora jewelry products. Other jewelry brands are also sold here.
  • The White Pandora store can sell more variety of jewelry. These stores also sell other jewelry brands.
  • The shop-in-shop usually sells all types of Pandora jewelry items. In these stores there is a separate portion/shop dedicated to Pandora products. That’s why these are called shop-in-shop. These stores also sell other brands of jewelry.
  • The exclusive Pandora Concept stores are the stores with maximum available variety of Pandora jewelry items. In these stores only Pandora jewelry is sold and no other jewelry brand is available here.  There are a number of Pandora direct operated concept stores, but it is difficult to distinguish which ones are operated by Pandora corporate and which ones are franchisees.

Pandora can also be bought online via authorized online retailers:

To locate a store, go to the Pandora website and click STORE in the top menu. Then either put in your zip code or address (or some computers have GPS locators so your location is highlighted on the right), and a list of your nearest store will appear on the left.

I bought my bracelet/charms at one Pandora retailer but it’s too far away – can I return or exchange at any Pandora retailer?

No, unfortunately since Pandora is sold by independent retailers when you buy at one store, you usually have to return to the same store (or chain).  Some stores will be more lenient with this policy since all the jewelry is the same (especially if you haven’t used it), so definitely ask to make sure.

Something happened to my bracelet, is there a warranty?

All Pandora products are covered by a 1-year warranty covering manufacturing defects. Using non-Pandora beads can damage Pandora bracelets. As such, Pandora will not replace, fix or repair product that has been used with non-Pandora products. Stretching of Pandora chains and bracelets is not considered a manufacturing defect. Do not expose your Pandora bracelet to harsh chemicals or contaminants. Silver pieces are given detail by oxidation. Exposure to harsh chemicals or contaminants can alter the appearance of your Pandora bracelet. These include, but are not limited to, liquid silver polish, pools, hot tubs and spas. For warranty purposes please keep your receipt of all your Pandora purchases.

My Pandora broke and I got my bracelet/charm as a gift and don’t have the receipt, what can I do?

Take your Pandora product to your nearest concept store and inquire as to what can be done about the break. If it is under 1 year since you’ve received the item, it can be sent off to Pandora for repair. If it has been more than a year, you may have to pay your jeweler to have it repaired.  Contact Pandora if your local store does not provide any assistance:

I know silver tarnishes easily, how do I clean and store my Pandora items?

Check out my tips on how to clean and store Pandora jewelry – including how to maintain different types of materials.

I keep hearing about “retired” charms, what are these and why are they no longer available?

Pandora constantly cycles their inventory to make room in their collection for new charms so from time to time they will “retire” older or unpopular charms.  That just means that they will no longer produce those charms.  Now what happens to those retired charms once Pandora decides that they are retired is partly up to the individual store.  They can either keep them or send them back to Pandora, so you should definitely ask if the retailer you’re shopping at has a retired charms tray.

Why are some charms available in one country and not another?

Pandora is based in Denmark, but they have corporate offices in all different countries (e.g. North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, etc.), those offices are partially responsible for exclusive charms.  These could be to celebrate an important event for the country (e.g. the Royal Wedding of William and Catherine) or it could be to support a local charity.

I want a charm that’s not available at my local Pandora store because it’s country-exclusive, why can’t I get it online?

Most online authorized retailers are restricted from selling the products overseas.  This is part of their contract to carry Pandora and if they do ship outside the country, they can be found in breach of their contract and Pandora will no longer supply them.  The exception is Denmark because of the countries’ laws prohibiting a company from restricting the sales practices of its retailers.

Does Pandora have sales?

Pandora corporate headquarters dictates the prices and they have a Recommended Retail Price (RRP), most retailers are prohibited from undercutting their set prices so the cost is consistent throughout a market/country.  The only exception is Denmark because of the countries’ laws prohibiting a company from dictating the price of products.

Starting in 2013, some countries have been able to offer sales, whether that’s through the local retail stores (UK and Australia) or on sample sale websites (US), on retired or retiring jewelry.  These sales happen infrequently and are a hot topic on the blog.

How does Pandora set prices and why do the prices for Pandora differ throughout the world?

Many things go into the RRP for the country, chief among them the cost of the materials used to make the Pandora product (gold, silver, etc.) which fluctuates because of the commodities market.  Also, the currency exchange is taken into consideration, and another important factor is taxes – the European Union (including UK) charges VAT (value added tax) which is included in the price and makes them more expensive for these countries than say the US (which charges sales tax on top of the RRP).

What is gift with purchase (GWP) or promotions and when do they happen?

While the retailer is not allowed to discount prices, Pandora can decide to offer GWPs or promotions that are carried by the individual stores.  Because the stores are franchises, they can independently decide whether they will offer the promo or not (since the GWPs are purchased by the stores) and also at what price point (Pandora suggests a value at which to give the GWP).  This is also different by country because the local office for the country will determine which GWPs or promos will be offered.  Some countries are not allowed to offer GWPs because of laws prohibiting incentives, such as Denmark.  That is why the promotions are held at different times and for different items worldwide.

How do I find out about the latest and upcoming promos?

You can ask your local store, or you can find it on the Current Promos 2014 list.

How do I know a Pandora charm being sold online is the real thing?

Check out our handy “how to spot a fake Pandora” tutorial.

I want to buy a bracelet, how do I choose my size?

The best way to pick your bracelet size is to go to a store in person and try them on.  Some people like their bracelets tight, some people like it loose.  If you want to put Muranos on the bracelet be sure to go a couple cms up because they’ll pull the bracelet tight.  Here is a handy chart from the back of the Pandora catalog on how to measure you wrist size and ring size conversion:

Measurement diagram for Pandora bracelets

I just got a leather bracelet, how many beads can I put on it?

Pandora recommends no more than 5-7 charms on the leather bracelets as they’re not as strong as the metal bracelets.  You can put more on if it’s a double bracelet, but only 8-10 charms are recommended.

Is there anything that will stop the charms from sliding around on my bracelet/necklace?

There are two methods – if you only a few charms and keep them in the center of the bracelet, the easy solution is to get clips on the center threads.  If you really want to keep the beads from sliding around at all, you can get silicone O-rings from the hardware store or buy them online from Amazon.  To hide the O-rings, simply place a clip over the top and no one can tell!  For more detail, I’ve written a full post about stoppers :).

I’ve got two identical charms but the hallmarks are in different places, is it authentic?

Pandora hallmarks are ALE S925 (or ALE 925 prior to June 2011) and could possibly be found in different spots on the same charm depending on when it was made, what batch it was made with, and what country it was made for.  Pandora has lots of molds for the same charm so don’t think that you’ve got a fake just because the hallmarks are in a different location.