Although the gems and stones that adorn jewelry look like the things that make jewelry spectacular, what really matters is the metal band that these gemstones sit on. So, when it comes to Pandora bracelets, you’d want to know the exact metals used in making the jewelry.
Are Pandora bracelets real silver?
Yes. All authentic Pandora bracelets are made of real silver, specifically, 925 sterling silver. ( Want to know more about 925 sterling silver? please read this post: is 925 sterling silver worthing anything?)
Essentially, all Pandora jewelry is made using some of the highest quality materials, mostly made of 925 sterling silver, and for the gold pieces, Pandora uses 14k gold.
Brief Introduction the jewelry metal – 925 Sterling silver
Although Pandora bracelets are said to be made of real silver, it’s worth noting that their jewelry isn’t made of 100% or 99.9% sterling silver, but sterling silver which is 92.5% pure silver. The reason for this is that pure silver is extremely soft for use in making jewelry as it scratches easily. To use silver in jewelry, this precious metal is alloyed or mixed with other metals to make it harder and more durable. This durable alloy is sterling silver, and it’s the most common alloy of silver, containing 92.5% silver and only 7.5% other metals, but mostly copper. ( Read more about copper here) By creating alloys, you are left with stronger and more durable metals that can be used in jewelry making easily. Sterling silver makes one of the best alloys used in jewelry because of its ability to preserve its luster, color, and it’s also durable. Notably, there is no nickel added to the sterling silver alloys used for Pandora’s jewelry.
As mentioned above, other classes of Pandora jewelry are made of gold. And like the silver pieces, the gold used is an alloy rather than pure gold because pure gold is too soft to be used on its own in jewelry. The gold jewelry by Pandora is made of 14k yellow gold, and the company also offers two-tone Pandora jewelry that is made of 14k yellow gold or rose gold, as well as sterling silver.
But this isn’t all you need to know about Pandora’s sterling silver jewelry. The other important element that stands out from Pandora’s jewelry is the finish used.
There are two main finishes noticeable on Pandora’s sterling silver jewelry – an oxidized finish and the plated finish.
With the oxidized finish, oxidation has to take place. Oxidation will mimic the natural tarnishing process that happens to sterling silver jewelry over time, leaving the jewelry with that vintage, gray finish.
For the plated finish, the surface of the plated piece is coated with another metal in a bid to change the appearance of that jewelry and also to prevent tarnishing. Pandora makes use of the black rhodium plating to select sterling silver pieces, resulting in an attractive dark and shiny finish. The rhodium plating prevents tarnishing, which means that you get to enjoy the lustrous silver finish on your bracelets for a long time.
Pros and cons of sterling silver
As mentioned above, sterling silver is a high-quality alloy of silver that contains a high percentage of pure silver and only a small percentage of copper (or other metals). It is the metal of choice for most of Pandora’s jewelry, as it’s regarded as the finest of silvers.
- Sterling Silver is a very beautiful, white precious metal.
- Significantly inexpensive when compared to platinum and gold
- It’s the ideal jewelry material for high-quality pieces of costume jewelry.
- It’s valuable, with an attractive price point whose value and quality last a long time.
- Unique designs thanks to the malleability of the metal
- It tarnishes, eventually. ( Here is a post for you guys: why my Pandora bracelet turn black?)
- It’s soft, and it will get scratched and even bent out of shape if it hits a rough/ hard surface.
Is all Pandora jewelry marked?
All authentic Pandora jewelry is marked for authenticity. The reason for this is that Pandora offers some of the best hand-finished and modern jewelry pieces from genuine, high-quality pieces. But despite their attempts to create unique jewelry, there are fakes out there, and the company makes their silver jewelry easily identifiable through some key markings, which make it easier for you to differentiate real from fake Pandora jewelry.
Below are some of the common markings for Pandora bracelets. Just keep in mind that although the markings don’t guarantee the authenticity of the pieces, they are essential in guiding you in the direction of the best quality Pandora jewelry.
- Maker’s Mark – ALE for all Pandora bracelets
- Metal’s purity/ quality mark (Hallmark) – S925
That said, if you come across Pandora jewelry that was made before June 2011, you will notice that they only have numbers and no letters.
How to tell if your Pandora bracelet is real or fake
Now that you have an idea of what to look for in Pandora bracelets, these are some of the things you could look out for when searching for authentic Pandora bracelets and differentiating the fake from the real bracelets.
Check for the Maker’s Mark to identify the jewelry’s origin.
The Maker’s Mark (US) can be defined as the stamp that indicates the jewelry’s origin. Pandora’s standard Maker’s Mark is “ALE,” which stands for Algot Enevoldsen. Algot Enevoldsen is Per Enevoldsen’s Father. Per Enevoldsen is the founder of Pandora. So, as long as you are looking at a genuine Pandora bracelet, you will notice the “ALE” stamp on the jewelry. This stamp would only be missing from the smaller pieces of Pandora jewelry.
Note that in the UK, the Makers’ Mark/ Equivalent is the Sponsor’s Mark or the Responsibility Mark to the Danish.
Since some countries require specific stamps on their jewelry, Pandora lives up to such requirements by incorporating the stamps required by the different countries, depending on the country’s rules/ requirements.
Checking for metal’s purity in the quality mark
The Quality Mark (US) is the equivalent of the Hallmark (UK) and the Fineness Mark (for Denmark).
Pandora’s jewelry bear the quality marks required to show the metal’s percentage purity and also as a guarantee that the metal used is genuine sterling silver. So, all Sterling Silver jewelry by Pandora bears the S (capital) stamp for silver, followed by the sterling silver’s purity which is stated in parts per thousand – S925.
For the gold jewelry, Pandora uses G to denote gold, and the gold’s percentage purity is denoted as parts per thousand. So, you’d have G585 for 14k gold pieces and G750 for 18k gold jewelry.
That said, here are some of the issues that are noticeable from the fake Pandora bracelets.
- They are not made of silver/ sterling silver.
- The items tarnish too quickly.
- Poor quality workmanship
- The CZ stones fall off too soon.
- They are made with Swarovski Zirconia stones.
- They cause skin irritation.
- They aren’t covered under Pandora’s warranties and Guarantees.
How to identify genuine Pandora bracelets
The most common identifiers of authentic Pandora bracelets are as follows:
- The genuine Pandora charms for your bracelets are often threaded on the inside, and the threading is somewhat dull and looks oxidized and not shiny. And if you were you put a fake charm on your genuine Pandora bracelet, the charm would damage the bracelet because the fake charms are poorly made.
- Genuine Pandora bracelets/ pieces boast the best quality finishes. This is because all Pandora items are passed through the hands of at least 50 highly skilled silversmiths, and most importantly, all the items are hand-finished to the highest quality possible.
- Also, all genuine Pandora pieces will have the ALE marking.
- Then a tricky one is that there is a crown over the O in PANDORA.
- The ALE, S925, and PANDORA engravings on the genuine items are deep and clear, with consistent fonts.
- All sterling silver pieces have the S925 hallmark, and the gold items have a G585 mark.
- At the same time, genuine Pandora pieces are itemized in the company’s catalog, well, unless you are looking at a very old piece or one that was discontinued.
But when it’s all said and done, the best way for you to make sure that the Pandora bracelet, ring, necklace, or charms you are buying is authentic would be by buying the piece from an authorized PANDORA retailer or directly from their website/ physical stores. Also, make sure it comes with (comprehensive) warranties and guarantees.
The best of Pandora jewelry is made of real, high-quality 925 sterling silver, which is why for the longest time, Pandora jewelry has been synonymous with sterling silver jewelry. To buy authentic pieces, make sure to follow the tips above.