*UPDATED March 2018* Today’s post covers all your frequently asked questions about Pandora!

Pandora Summer 2017 Mint Glitter murano

What are clips/spacers/safety chains?
Starting out with Pandora can be confusing! Luckily for you, we have a post right here with everything that you need to know.

pandora mother's day 2016 logo safety chain

Where do I buy Pandora?
Depending on your region, you should be able to shop both online and through physical stores. Most regions have an official Pandora.net online eStore, and there are often other authorised online retailers in each region as well. Physical retailers are ranked according to the range of stock they sell:

  • Pandora Concept Stores have a complete range of all Pandora items and sell only Pandora jewellery.
  • Pandora Shop in Shops usually carry all varieties of Pandora jewellery. While the store that they are in sells other kinds of jewellery, they will have a whole section of their store dedicated to the Pandora brand.
  • Pandora Gold level stores sell gold Pandora jewellery as well as the silver Pandora jewellery. The shop itself will sell other brands of jewellery.
  • Pandora Silver level stores sell only the sterling silver ranges of Pandora jewellery and will again sell other brands of jewellery in their shop.

Use the Pandora.net store locator to find your nearest physical store. You can buy Pandora online, but be sure to purchase from authorised online retailers. If you look in the Pandora Jewellery Facebook notes page, they have lists of authorised online retailers for each region.

Pandora Flagship
A Pandora concept store

How do I know what size bracelet to choose?
Check out our guide on choosing the right size bracelet for your wrist – it’s got all the information you need.

What is the ‘S925 ALE’ stamp on my charm?

Pandora stamp all their sterling silver pieces with ‘S925 ALE’. The ‘S925’ is a hallmark guaranteeing the purity of the silver – the capital ‘S’ stands for silver, and the number represents the purity of silver (it is 92.5% pure silver). The ‘ALE’ is the maker’s mark, and stands for ‘Algot Enevoldsen’, who was the father of the Pandora founder, Per Enevoldsen. If your charm was made before 2011, it will say ‘925 ALE’, without the ‘s’. This does not mean that it’s fake, just that it’s older.

If you have a 14 carat gold charm, it will be stamped ‘G585 ALE’. The ‘G’ stands for gold, and the ‘585’ for the purity of the gold – 58.5% pure gold. If you have an 18 carat gold piece, it will be stamped ‘G750’, as it is 75% pure gold.

pandora s925 ale
You can see the hallmark stamped on the top of this Pandora heart charm

In recent years, Pandora have introduced additional hallmarks to their charms. In 2017, the following symbols were added to some pieces to identify the factories in which they were made.

The text translates as follows:-

As part of our quality control process, we have added different symbols & hallmarks to our products to help us identify manufacturing locations. You will see the following symbols on our products.

In 2018, however, these marks have been replaced again. The chart below reveals that the symbols will be replaced with the following letters and numbers. 

What are ‘retired’ charms?

Pandoraase new charms every year. To make way for these new charms, they stop the production of a selection of existing charms that aren’t selling too well. These charms are now known as ‘retired’ beads. Typically Pandora runs sales on retired jewellery usually twice a year – once in the summer and once after Christmas – although this can vary according to your region. Otherwise, they either get sent back to Pandora or to outlet stores such as Bicester Village in the UK or Rue La La online in the US. Some of these retired charms become very hard to find, and become collectors’ items.

How do I know if my charm is a fake?

Spotting Pandora fakes can be quite difficult, especially if you are not overly familiar with Pandora’s catalogue of charms. Genuine Pandora charms will always have the Pandora hallmark on it – either ‘S925 ALE’ or ‘925 ALE’ for silver charms, or ‘G585 ALE’ for gold pieces. However, some fakes are very well produced and may have these hallmarks on too – consequently this isn’t foolproof.

Check the Pandora catalogue and the retired jewellery section of Pandora.net to see if the charm is there. If the design does not appear there, then the chances are that the charm is a fake.

I have a more complete guide on detecting fake jewellery here. As a general rule, you should be very careful when buying charms from eBay especially, as there are a lot of fakes floating around.

A fake Pandora murano - this design has never been produced by Pandora
A fake Pandora murano – this design has never been produced by Pandora

My charm looks different to the stock picture – help!

Pandora charms are handmade, and this can lead to some variation in the individual beads. This is often the case when buying murano beads; the glass might vary slightly in size, and the painted detailing can vary quite a lot. Gemstones can also look different; genuine gemstones vary in shade, and so your amethyst might be a slightly lighter or darker one than the one pictured in the catalogue, for example. If you’re worried about it, it’s best to go and select the bead you want in store.

For example, take a look at this enamel heart bead from the Mother’s Day 2016 collection. This is the colour according to the stock image:

pandora mother's day 2016 hq

However, in person, the colour varies from charm to charm. This is a picture showing three authentic examples of the same charm, all with varying depth of pink:

Why are Pandora products the same price in every store?

Pandora sets a price for each piece of jewellery in every region. Retailers are not allowed to deviate from the price that Pandora stipulates. The only exception to the rule is Denmark, where the law states that Pandora can’t limit retailers in regards to how they sell their products.

Pandora products are cheaper in a different country to mine – can I order them from there instead?

No, unfortunately not. Pandora do not permit retailers to ship outside their region. The only exception to the rule is Denmark, where the law states that Pandora can’t limit retailers in regards to how they sell their products. The only way of getting round this is to use a mail forwarding service, find a personal shopper from that country or to find a friend living in that country who can help you.

The Pandora Facebook pages can be a great resource in terms of making connections and friends who can help you out with country exclusives. This is how I acquire all my country exclusive beads! Pandora’s Tribe and Pandora’s Angels are two great examples of reputable Facebook selling pages that are well-moderated and generally safe places to buy. There are ways to get the charms unofficially, however:

Do Pandora ever have sales?

Yes – as of 2018, Pandora holds sales at least twice a year in most regions – although the format can vary between regions. The sales usually happen for a month or so, and includes only retired items. After the sale has ended, all items go back to their original price.


What is ‘gift with purchase’ (GWP)?

‘Gift with purchase’ refers to when Pandora offer a free gift when you spend a certain amount of money. Pandora offer a variety of these throughout the year, although the promotions differ from region to region. Often the gifts include items such as jewellery boxes, umbrellas or key chains. Sometimes sales include the jewellery itself – a popular promotion is the free bracelet event.

Pandora Leather Bracelet Promo

What is the warranty on Pandora products?

As a rule, Pandora offers a two-year warranty from date of purchase on silver and gold jewellery. it should be around one year for silver products and two years for gold products. However, items containing parts of wood, leather, glass and string items have a warranty of one year from date of purchase.

Pandora will not honour the warranty if you use non-Pandora products with your Pandora bracelet, as this can (apparently) damage your bracelet. Pandora also do not consider stretching of the Pandora bracelet or loss of oxidisation  a manufacturing defect.

Whatever region you’re in, you should always hang on to your Pandora receipts, or keep some form of proof of purchase – the warranty won’t be valid without it.

How can I clean my Pandora?

You can get it done in store or do it yourself at home. See this post here for full details!

Can I wear my Pandora bracelet to bed/in the shower/when I’m swimming?

No. Wearing your bracelet in bed can lead to kinks and damage to the bracelet chain, while the chemicals from shampoo or chlorine can affect the colour and detailing of your bracelet and charms.

How and where are Pandora charms made?

Pandora jewellery is made in Gemopolis, Thailand. Each charm is hand-finished, and will pass through at least 20 hands before it leaves the factory! For more info, including videos of the charms being made, see my post here.

How do I stop my charms from spinning upside down on my bracelet?

It’s not the easiest thing in the world, as many charms are unevenly weighted, which makes them flip when you wear them. However, using silicone o-rings and a little ingenuity, you can keep them in place.

44 Comments on Pandora FAQs

  1. Do you know if the retired charm 790587ON was produced post 2011 and so has the s925 ALE stamp? The one I have seems genuine but I’ve not come across one with the s925 stamp and any stores I’ve been to only have the 925 stamp on these charms (pre 2011).


    • Hi Marie, so sorry for the delay in reply. I don’t know the answer to this off the top of my head, but I am going to do a little research and see what I can find out for you. :) I’ll let you know if I find an answer either way.

  2. I have a bracelet that says PANDORA with the crown over the O and it says 925 on the outside of the bracelet. Is it real PANDORA? Please respond. I have been trying to figure this out for a while now.

    • Hi Mariah, as far as I’m aware, genuine Pandora bracelets are hallmarked on the inside of the clasp – either with ‘S925 ALE’ or ‘925 ALE’. I’ve never heard of a genuine bracelet with the 925 located visibly on the outside of the bracelet :( Sorry, I hope that helps!

  3. I have a gold pandora bracelet and am finding it very difficult to find a gold charm that I like or do not already have. When I first purchased my gold bracelet there was quite a big range of gold charms but they seem to have dwindled down to literally 1 new one per season (If that) obviously I understand that the gold ones are more pricey but it is very disappointing to be sold a bracelet and not be able to buy some of the nicer charms (the silver range is extensive) so I would like to know if I am able to order one of the massive range of silver charms but to be in gold? Many thanks

    • Hi Leanne, you’re right, it is a real shame that they’re not releasing more gold. They’ve really scaled back their 14kt gold range. :( However I’m afraid they don’t allow you to custom order gold charms. Sorry about that!

      • Hi Ellie, thanks for your response. I am so disappointed in pandora for penalising gold bracelet buyers!! Feels as though we have been duped into buying a bracelet that only has a poor selection of charms available. Extra disappointed ?

    • Hi Tracey! If you’re just gently cleaning them with the methods described here, I can’t imagine it will do your pieces any harm. You certainly don’t need to clean them once a week but it’s pretty much up to you how often you do it! :)

  4. Hi, I have new limited addition rose gold clasp silver bracelet brought for me in October from America , very disappointed in this bracelet as rose gold clasp is fading and is also scratched, appears to be of poor quality compared to other pandora I have purchased :|. Michelle

    • Aw, that’s a shame. I’ve not experienced any issues with my Pandora Rose bracelet so far. You should get in contact with Pandora if you don’t feel it’s up to scratch :)

  5. Hello there,
    I am wondering if there are exclusive beads in every collection around the world. For example are there pieces that i can only purchase from a specific country? If i visit italy are there bead only sold in italy ?

    • Hi Saja, there are a few country exclusive charms and collections – however not every country has their own set of exclusive charms.
      The Pandora Disney and Rose lines are currently exclusive to North America. There are also a few charms that are exclusive to Asia :) I don’t think there is anything special for Italy or any other European countries unfortunately.

  6. I have heard that all pandora bracelets have the 925 stamped in the barrel, but I have bought 4 pandora bracelets from the same pandora store, and NONE of them have the 925 stamp in the barrel…why is that?

  7. So if my local jewelry store sells Pandora, are they allowed to charge a higher price because they’re not a real Pandora store?

    • No, Pandora sets the prices for all retailers, regardless of whether they’re a concept store or a shop-in-shop :) retailers have very strict rules they have to abide by if they want to sell Pandora!

  8. I still haven’t received an answer to this question. I have heard that all Pandora bracelets have the 925 stamped in the barrel, but I have bought 4 Pandora bracelets from the same Pandora store, and NONE of them have the 925 stamp in the barrel…why is that?

    • So sorry, Kathy, I missed your original comment. I’m not sure why would that would be – all of my silver barrel clasps are stamped with the 925 ALE hallmark on the inside, where it is oxidised. It’s quite hard to see – is it possible that they have faded?

  9. Really enjoyed reading this post. I am new to the charm bracelets :) Looking into getting started on collecting. The only thing I don’t like is the fact that the Pandora site says not to get the bracelet or charms wet due to the silver finish. If I bought a 14ct gold bracelet and charms would I be able to wear it at all times? I would rather spend a little extra than to not be able to wear my bracelet at any time. Thanks!

    • Yes you could, but you won’t be spending a little extra, you’ll be spending ALOT ! I would love a 14 kt gold pandora bracelet with all 14kt gold charms, but I can’t afford it. I wish I could :-) The bracelet alone is about $1500, and then the charms will cost you anywhere from $75-600 apiece. For me to have what I’d like would cost me between $7500-10,000

    • Hi Vanessa, I suppose that yes you could, as gold doesn’t tarnish. :) However I would still not advice wearing a 14kt gold bracelet to bed, as it is still prone to kinking in the same way that the silver bracelet is. As Kathy says, however, the gold bracelets are significantly more expensive though!

  10. Hi I bought 2 looking glass muranos in white from a Pandora store then I ordered another on line a week later and they are different the first 2 have Pandora hallmarks on one side with s925 ale on the other and the one I bought online has Pandora s925 all on one side with the other side blank. Is it a fake?

    • Hi Nicki, this does not necessarily mean that it’s fake. The hallmark with ‘PANDORA’ on one side and the S925 on the other is the older, thicker style of hallmark. The style with all the writing on one side is the newer style, and I did hear that Pandora have started making the looking glass muranos with the new style of hallmark. :) Where did you order from?

  11. I just got the edelweiss charm from eBay because it’s not available in stores where I live. However, I don’t really know where the hallmarks are so I have no way of knowing if it is a fake. It would be extra helpful if someone could send me a picture of it. Thx.

    • Hey Cindy, I don’t have the Edelweiss, but found this pic from a UK retailer. It shows where the hallmarks should be:
      You can see the ‘S925’ written on a petal in the bottom right of the image.
      I used the 360 degree spinner on John Greed, which is really useful if you are concerned about this kind of thing in the future! ^^ Hope that helps.

  12. My mum got me a ‘Pandora bracelet’ as a birthday present, and it’s stamped with S925 ALE on the inside of the bracelet and charms, but it doesn’t say ‘Pandora’ on the outside of the clasp… does this mean it’s a fake? :((

  13. Hi,

    Hope you can help me on this, my husband brought me two rose gold charm in eBay but I couldn’t find the hallmark anywhere, I’m worrying it is fake as my husband pay nearly £100 for it, is it possible you can point me out the hallmarked is? The charm is feather charm 781186CZ and open your heart 780964, many thanks

  14. My sister purchased a limited Minnie Mouse charm, it has both stamps 925 and Ale however the ones pictured on Pandora’s site, Minnie’s eyes are colored white. The one my sister has is all silver… I smell a fake!

  15. I have asked these questions in a different place on your blog but thought I should submit them here as I am just getting familiar with your site. Did Pandora make a Party Dress charm with pink czs or is the polka dot silver the only genuine charm? Thanks!

  16. I ordereda 14K gold charm for Pandora UK online shop, but I smell a fake, because hallmarks have G585, ALE and another one on it, I can’t read the special hallmark it is small, please help how to do. Thankyou.

  17. hi, the stitch cross charm 790290, may I know the retired year? and stamped 925 ALE is real? not fake?

  18. Quick question….I’ve always heard rumors that there are charms that you can only buy at Disney parks. For example, EPCOT has a charm you can only buy in EPCOT…..is this true?

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