Today’s post covers all your frequently asked questions about Pandora!

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.

Where do I buy Pandora?

You can’t buy directly from Pandora themselves, unless you are in the UK, where they sell products online through their eStore. Instead, Pandora license retailers to sell their products. 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

What are ‘retired’ charms?

Pandora release 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. The unsold charms are  then returned to Pandora by most stores for melting down. However, some stores opt not to return them, and consequently you may still be able to find some retired beads at your local store. 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.

A more complete guide on detecting fake charms is coming soon. 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.

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.

Do Pandora ever have sales?

Yes – depending on what region you’re in. Sales have been introduced in certain regions, including the UK. The sale usually happens for a month or so, and includes only retired items. After the sale has ended, all items go back to their original price. As of now, the US have not had any sales.

PANDORA-Sale

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. A particularly popular promotion runs twice a year in the US wherein, if you spend $100, you receive a free barrel clasp silver Pandora bracelet.

Why can’t I return my Pandora item to a different store from the one I bought it from?

Pandora concept stores are all franchises. This means that they are not actually owned by Pandora, but by independent businesses. Pandora license these businesses to sell Pandora products under the Pandora brand name. Consequently, when you go into a concept store, you are not dealing with Pandora themselves, but with people who work for a company who are licensed to sell Pandora products.

This set-up can often be problematic. For example, if you buy a Pandora gift card, a lot of the time it won’t be valid in another Pandora concept store, as it won’t be owned by the same business that sold you the gift card. You also often can’t return or exchange Pandora items in stores other than the one you originally bought the item from.

What is the warranty on Pandora products?

It varies from country to country. As a rule, it should be around one year for silver products and two years for gold products. However, 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.

Where, oh where, can I buy the Pandora Disney collection if I’m not in North America?

This is a slightly tricky one, as official Pandora stores are not allowed to ship internationally – so you can’t buy directly from North American concept stores or retailers. You do have a few options, however. If you wish to go through official channels, the Disney Store online restocks fairly regularly with the Pandora Disney line. You should bear in mind, however, that they charge a lot for international shipping and this is not always the most economical way to go.

There are ways to get the charms unofficially, however:

  • Pandora’s Tribe and Pandora’s Angels are Facebook selling pages. There are a handful of very kind ladies who are happy to help out with the Disney Pandora charms, often at no additional cost to you. The pages are well-moderated and safe places to buy. Ask around on the pages for recommendations as to who to buy from.
  • Have a look online for Disney personal shopper services. These are services that charge an extra fee (usually 20%) to get you Disney items. It’s cheaper than the Disney store, and they often have access to the Disney Park exclusive line as well.

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. MP reader Libby made this video to demonstrate how it’s done:

43 Comments on Pandora FAQs

  1. Janet Whitcomb
    August 27, 2014 at 9:09 pm (3 years ago)

    Have you or will you be doing any charms for The Kidney Foundation in the near future?

    Reply
  2. Marie
    September 29, 2014 at 8:47 pm (3 years ago)

    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).

    Thanks
    Marie

    Reply
    • Mora Pandora
      October 1, 2014 at 10:58 am (3 years ago)

      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.
      Ellie

      Reply
  3. Mariah French
    December 4, 2014 at 12:56 am (3 years ago)

    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.

    Reply
    • Mora Pandora
      December 4, 2014 at 5:39 pm (3 years ago)

      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!
      Ellie

      Reply
  4. Leanne
    January 7, 2015 at 10:23 am (3 years ago)

    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

    Reply
    • Mora Pandora
      January 8, 2015 at 10:20 pm (3 years ago)

      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!
      Ellie

      Reply
      • Leanne
        January 9, 2015 at 5:30 am (3 years ago)

        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 ?

        Reply
  5. Tracey Davies
    February 17, 2015 at 10:14 pm (3 years ago)

    Can I over clean my charms and bracelet I clean it all the time thank you

    Reply
    • Mora Pandora
      February 21, 2015 at 11:05 pm (3 years ago)

      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! :)
      Ellie

      Reply
  6. Michelle
    April 1, 2015 at 9:35 am (3 years ago)

    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

    Reply
    • Mora Pandora
      April 1, 2015 at 11:29 pm (3 years ago)

      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 :)

      Reply
  7. Saja
    April 18, 2015 at 6:23 am (3 years ago)

    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 ?

    Reply
    • Mora Pandora
      April 20, 2015 at 11:24 pm (2 years ago)

      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.

      Reply
  8. Kathy
    May 31, 2015 at 4:31 am (2 years ago)

    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?

    Reply
  9. Sarah
    July 2, 2015 at 7:27 am (2 years ago)

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

    Reply
    • Mora Pandora
      July 2, 2015 at 7:53 am (2 years ago)

      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!

      Reply
  10. Kathy
    July 2, 2015 at 1:50 pm (2 years ago)

    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?

    Reply
    • Mora Pandora
      July 2, 2015 at 2:40 pm (2 years ago)

      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?

      Reply
  11. Vanessa Rodriguez
    July 14, 2015 at 11:09 pm (2 years ago)

    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!

    Reply
    • Kathy Kelley
      July 14, 2015 at 11:41 pm (2 years ago)

      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

      Reply
    • Mora Pandora
      July 15, 2015 at 11:31 pm (2 years ago)

      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!

      Reply
  12. Nicki
    September 8, 2015 at 11:21 pm (2 years ago)

    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?

    Reply
    • Mora Pandora
      September 9, 2015 at 9:34 pm (2 years ago)

      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?

      Reply
  13. bongbong
    September 11, 2015 at 10:57 am (2 years ago)

    My charm was stamped ALE 925 in a row instead of 925 ALE as normal. Is it fake?

    Reply
    • Mora Pandora
      September 11, 2015 at 11:00 pm (2 years ago)

      It depends on the charm – which is it?

      Reply
      • bongbong
        September 12, 2015 at 4:53 am (2 years ago)

        Thank you for your reply, my charm is Pandora Swan Charm – Pandora code 79319, could you please help me to check this charm? Thank you

        Reply
        • Mora Pandora
          September 12, 2015 at 11:16 pm (2 years ago)

          Oh, in that case, it’s perfectly normal for the 925 ALE to be reversed on that particular charm. :) I’ve seen lots of examples of the Ugly Duckling where it’s hallmarked ‘ALE 925’. I wouldn’t let that worry you, if that’s the only thing that seems amiss.

        • bongbong
          September 14, 2015 at 2:45 am (2 years ago)

          Thank you so much for your reply :)

        • Mora Pandora
          September 14, 2015 at 8:52 pm (2 years ago)

          You’re welcome!

  14. Cindy
    October 16, 2015 at 1:13 pm (2 years ago)

    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.

    Reply
    • Mora Pandora
      October 16, 2015 at 11:14 pm (2 years ago)

      Hey Cindy, I don’t have the Edelweiss, but found this pic from a UK retailer. It shows where the hallmarks should be:
      //morapandorablog.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/pandora-edelweiss.jpg
      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.

      Reply
      • Cindy
        October 26, 2015 at 9:59 pm (2 years ago)

        Thx. I just received my charm, and it is real!!! Thx for sending the photo. :)

        Reply
        • Mora Pandora
          October 27, 2015 at 11:10 pm (2 years ago)

          Oh good! Enjoy!

  15. Charlotte
    November 19, 2015 at 4:33 pm (2 years ago)

    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? :((

    Reply
    • Mora Pandora
      November 20, 2015 at 8:29 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Charlotte, unfortunately if it’s the snake chain bracelet, then a genuine Pandora will have ‘PANDORA’ written on the clasp. Sorry :(

      Reply
  16. Iris
    January 20, 2016 at 10:07 pm (2 years ago)

    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

    Reply
  17. Shawn Bush
    May 23, 2016 at 11:05 pm (1 year ago)

    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!

    Reply
  18. Donna Agee
    May 30, 2016 at 3:58 pm (1 year ago)

    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!

    Reply
  19. Corina
    July 26, 2016 at 1:59 am (1 year ago)

    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.

    Reply
  20. Corina
    July 26, 2016 at 2:10 am (1 year ago)

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

    Reply
  21. Sharon
    January 12, 2017 at 1:58 am (9 months ago)

    I have a beloved mother charm with a star after the S 925 Ale is it fake?

    Reply
  22. Misty Ehret
    August 7, 2017 at 11:10 pm (2 months ago)

    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?

    Reply

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