All that glitters is not Gold, but it could be Pandora or Swarovski (yes, I know, corny… but makes sense, no? Just me? Okay!).
Pandora and Swarovski are two of the biggest brands of luxury jewelry, and they offer a vast range of high-quality jewelry. But like other luxury jewelry brands, there are differences unique to each brand, differences that will steer you in the direction of one brand and not the other, depending on what you are looking for. Even so, it can be confusing to know whether you should pick an engagement ring from Pandora or Swarovski.
So, in this article, we take a detailed look at the differences between these two brands and also guide you in choosing one or the other.
Brief introduction of Pandora jewelry
Known as a distinct brand with distinct products, Pandora is one of the biggest jewelry brands on the market, well known for charms, charm bracelets, and rings, not to mention jewelry sets.
What you may not know is that Pandora was founded in Copenhagen, the Netherlands, in 1982, where all its operations were run from until 1989, when their design, manufacturing, and marketing plant was relocated to Bangkok, Thailand.
Pandora takes pride in its production of edgy and versatile high-quality jewelry made of high-quality materials. Their jewelry is also affordable. With Pandora jewelry sold in over 100 countries across 6 continents and at least 10300 points of sale along with 900+ concept stores, Pandora is also one of the most successful jewelry companies around. The company was publicly listed on Nasdaq’s Copenhagen Stock Exchange back in Denmark, and as of 2017, the company’s total revenue was upwards and DKK 22.8 Billion.
Since its inception, Pandora’s mission has been to offer women from all over the world access to high-quality, modern, hand-finished, and genuine jewelry affordably; and in an inspiring way that allows women to express their individuality in the best way possible. Pandora acknowledges that every woman has their story to tell, which is they created the personal collection – this collection represents a collection of the moments that make women who (ever) they are. And through the jewelry, women get to celebrate these special moments. This is also the reason why Pandora offers exquisite and unforgettable jewelry meant to make every moment special and unforgettable.
To create the best quality pieces of jewelry, Pandora pays a lot of attention to the metals they use to make their jewelry because even with the best jewels or gemstones, the jewelry wouldn’t last or be worth your money if the metal used isn’t one of the best.
To this end, Pandora jewelry is made of high-quality and nickel-free 925 sterling silver. And though a big percentage of Pandora jewelry is made of sterling silver, they also have categories of jewelry that are made of 14k gold, rose gold, and yellow gold.
The other things that stand out from Pandora jewelry are as follows:
- The jewelry sold by the brand is made of high-quality materials, and they go through robust manufacturing processes that must meet the highest standards. Interestingly, each piece of Pandora jewelry goes through at least 30 pairs of hands just in the crafting process, all in a bid to ensure that the quality standards are met.
- Next, Pandora features a diverse range of collectible charm bracelets, which come in the most diverse range of collections, and there are charms for pretty much everything.
- The pieces of jewelry are made of 925 sterling silver, or 14k rose gold, or yellow gold.
- Pandora makes use of the low-wax casting technique which is behind their elaborate and highly minimalist designs. And for the glass charms, Pandora uses flameworking and lampworking techniques that create unique and colorful pieces.
This brand is known and loved for the wide range of unique designs charms. These charms reflect an individual’s ever-changing style, which is why they are available in varied themes/designs, and you can wear the charms on bracelets, necklaces, and earrings.
These charms are ideal for celebrating special moments. And they come in all designs, from the openwork charms and the hearts to colorful stones, among other designs and whimsical characters like Mickey Mouse, Harry Potter, and Star Wars.
Materials and Gemstones Used
Pandora jewelry is mostly made of 925 sterling silver, but it may also be made of 14k rose gold or yellow gold.
For gemstones, Pandora uses natural gemstones like quartz, amethyst, rock crystal, and smoky quartz. There also are pieces made with the best quality cultured pearls.
Synthetic, Lab-Created Stones
To keep their jewelry affordable and accessible to everyone, Pandora also makes use of lab-created stone-like cubic zirconia, synthetic crystals, as well as synthetic rubies and sapphires.
The other materials utilized by Pandora include glass, leather, and enamel, among others.
Brief introduction of Swarovski jewelry
Swarovski jewelry is another popular luxury jewelry brand. It is an old Australian jewelry brand that was launched in 1895 by Daniel Swarovski. The brand offers unique, high-quality jewelry easily identified by the swan logo. The logo is used on all Swarovski products.
What stands out from Swarovski is that the company isn’t just focused on providing the best of jewelry and accessories, and they are actually focused on three main lines of business:
Swarovski Crystals that produces jewelry, accessories, and lead glass; Swarovski Optic that’s behind optical instruments like binoculars, telescopic sights, and telescopes; and Tyrolit that produces drilling, grinding, and sawing machinery and tools, among other types of machines and equipment.
In this article, our focus is on Swarovski Crystals, which is the biggest part of the Swarovski business. Swarovski boasts a global presence thanks to the 3000+ stores spread across over 170 countries in different parts of the world. By 2018, the company employed 29000 people and generated about 2.7 million Euros.
Today, Swarovski is run by Daniel Swarovski’s 5th generation descendants, who continue to focus on the production of classy and vintage-style decorative jewelry.
One of the reasons for the long-standing success of this company is its use of high-quality materials in their jewelry production. Swarovski crystals offer high-quality jewelry as well as ornamental crystals that are available in diverse quality and price ranges – essentially, they offer something for everyone, and this is the reason why the company is quite a popular choice for most people.
There’s also the fact that all Swarovski pieces offer the highest quality to price ratio in terms of the pieces’ sparkle, beauty, and durability. And with Swarovski’s crystals made of varied materials from quartz, minerals, lead, and sand, the sparkle of the crystals is guaranteed, and it will last decades, unlike what would happen if natural crystals were used.
With most of the safe jewelry on the market, today considered lead-free, you may be wondering why this company has opted to use lead in its crystals? According to the company, the use of lead in the crystals – each crystal has 32% lead – has to do with the fact that lead not only adds to the crystals’ durability it also maximizes the crystal’s refraction. Today, however, the crystals have only 0.09% lead in the crystals, and this translated to crystals that are considered lead-free.
Swarovski Jewelry products
Swarovski makes charm bracelets, bangles, necklaces, and earrings.
The other important thing you should note is that all the colors you see in the Swarovski crystals result from chemical processing and the use of a durable chemical coating. With proper care, the colored coating lasts a lifetime.
Swarovski Zirconia or Swarovski Crystals?
To meet the needs of their vast clientele, Swarovski offers two options – Swarovski Zirconia and Swarovski Crystals. The difference between these two is that the Zirconia is a lot harder than the crystal, and it sits at level 8 on the Mohs scale against diamonds that score a 10 on the scale. So, if you want something shiny that won’t be scratched easily, opt for Swarovski Zirconia.
On top of that, the Swarovski Zirconia is regarded as one of the finest imitations of the diamond ever created.
The Zirconia also has a higher refractive index than the crystals, meaning it sparkles more.
Lastly, it’s cheaper than diamonds, although expensive than the crystals.
Pros & cons of Pandora jewelry
Now that we’ve looked at the basics of Pandora, what are the pros and cons of the jewelry?
- Charm collections available for all moments in life
- Versatile designs
- High-quality designs thanks to the use of the best quality S925
- Like all sterling silver, Pandora jewelry made of sterling silver will tarnish.
Pros & cons of Swarovski jewelry
- The jewelry is elegant.
- Swarovski Zirconia is durable and sparkles beautifully, unlike the crystals.
- There is something for everyone.
- The colored coating lasts a lifetime when cared for properly.
- The chemical coating tarnishes.
How to tell real Pandora jewelry?
- Look for the deep and clear ALE stamp.
- It has a hallmark/ maker’s mark to show the metal’s purity – S925 or G585/ G750
- There is a crown over the letter O in PANDORA.
- It comes with Pandora’s comprehensive guarantees and warranties.
- Highest-quality craftsmanship
- The finishing is elegant
- Genuine charms have threaded interiors and the grooves look like they are slightly oxidized, but smoothly finished,
How to tell real Swarovski jewelry?
The easiest, most effective way to tell if the piece you are about to buy is an authentic piece of Swarovski jewelry would be by looking for Swarovski’s classic laser-etched logo. This swan logo is present in pretty much all of their crystals – look for the trapezoid-shaped logo engraved in the Swarovski crystals or zirconia, or even stones, and the Swarovski Strass crystals, etc.
Note, however, that if you are buying the Emerald and the Bordeaux Swarovski crystals, the logo engraving is missing because these pieces have a chemical coating on the surface. In such cases, you’d have to look for the official Swarovski seal on the sticker of the jewelry’s tag – this seal is a 16-digit identification code that can be verified from Swarovski’s site.
Pandora jewelry vs. Swarovski (Which one is better)
Though they have a lot of similarities, Pandora wins this contest easily and fairly. Besides being a newer brand, Pandora also offers a wide variety of jewelry in elegant and super cool styles and designs, leaving you with more options to choose from. Swarovski, on the other hand, focuses on their signature jewelry designs, which cost more than Pandora’s.
So, if you are to choose one of these, Pandora is easily a better choice.
There you have it – everything you need to know about Pandora and Swarovski. Now, you won’t be confused about what either brand offers, and you’ll know which brand to walk into or order online from.