Today’s post is the first of my Pandora reviews in the lead-up to the bracelet promotions at the end of this month, and features a review of the Pandora oxidised silver bracelet! This bracelet review has been requested a couple of times, and is one that I thought was particularly worth doing, as there are some things that you should be aware of before you buy this bracelet.
I’ll be talking mostly about durability and styling, but please feel free to ask me anything about the oxidised bracelet that I haven’t covered here. :)
Essentially, the Pandora oxidised bracelet is the standard Pandora silver barrel clasp bracelet, but with a chain treated to make it appear much darker in colour. This is achieved by exposing the silver to oxidising agents, which cause it to turn black. The clasp, however, is untreated, and provides a beautiful bright contrast against the oxidised chain.
It is significantly darker than the regular silver bracelet and offers an edgier look in comparison. There is no (or very little, depending on your region) price difference between the two bracelets, as the oxidised bracelet is merely a treated version of the original silver bracelet.
…which is, of course, what everyone is most interested in. The main issue with the oxidised bracelet is that the effect is not permanent, and its deterioration is expected – Pandora does not consider this a manufacturing defect and will charge you if you want to have it re-oxidised. Some retailers even go so far as to recommend that you save your oxidised bracelet only for special occasions. Eventually the bracelet will begin to lose its dark colour and you’ll see patches of silver where the oxidation is wearing away. The loss of oxidation is caused by the simple wear and tear of wearing the bracelet with charms, and is worsened by any contact with sweat, creams or chemicals such as perfume.
Consequently, most people considering the oxidised bracelet are concerned about what the bracelet looks like when it fades and how quickly it will do so. In regards to the extent of the fading, I have taken a comparison shot of my first oxidised bracelet (left) and my brand new oxidised bracelet (right). My first oxi bracelet was purchased back in December 2012, so it has had over a year and a half of regular wear with at least a few charms on it. The older bracelet is significantly lighter in colour, which is patchy and inconsistent.
You can see what I mean up-close in the following image – especially if you observe the threads (the new bracelet is on top; the old bracelet below). The dark colour on the older bracelet is much lighter and patchier, with the silver of the bracelet chain peeking through.
It is possible to get the original dark colour re-applied: you can pay to have Pandora respray it, or you can have a go at home yourself using the boiled egg method or liver of sulphur (I have a ‘how-to’ coming up on the egg method!). However, you will have to be doing this pretty regularly if you want to constantly maintain that gorgeous black colour that you started with – I’d say, with regular wear, every six months at least.
Having said that, I personally don’t find the faded bracelet unattractive – I quite like the silvery effect, which can look almost iridescent in certain lights. My old oxidised bracelet is also now full and you only get little glimpses of it through the charms, and it looks dark enough for me. It is certainly still distinguishable from the regular silver bracelet, and continues to provide a nice contrast to a plain silver charm, for example.
If you are very concerned about the finish, you could perhaps wear it just with clips and stack it with other bracelets. The contrast between the oxidised bracelet and other bright silver pieces is lovely, as I’ve mentioned, and it looks great layered up with other types of bracelets such as the leathers or the Pandora bangle.
I particularly like the Crazy clips with the oxidised bracelet, as they demonstrate precisely the sort of pieces that work best. They have some highly polished bright silver aspects, but also some pretty oxidised detailing, which complement the oxidisation of the bracelet.
Otherwise, the oxidised bracelet looks great with a variety of colours and styles. Its darker chain suits a striking, dramatic look – this means that it looks particularly effective with gold and two-tone pieces!
While I was no fan of Pandora UK’s brief alliance with Girls Aloud in 2012, I did love the oxidised bracelet design that they put together for it. The gold and the pavé charms contrast beautifully with the darker chain, creating a stylishly modern and eye-catching look.
However, the oxidised chain also serves to toughen up girlier designs – one of my favourite ways to wear the beautifully-delicate Cherry Blossom collection is on the oxidised bracelet!
In terms of look, I am head over heels for the oxidised bracelet. It is a great fashion piece, providing a pretty contrast to the regular silver charms and complementing those with oxidised detail. However, its durability remains the sticking point. If you have your heart set on that original perfect finish, then this probably isn’t for you. The fading is pretty much unavoidable if you want to wear the bracelet regularly and with charms. On the other hand, if you can live with the fact that it isn’t going to remain as dark as the day you bought it, then it is really a very lovely piece of Pandora jewellery.
Personally, I love the oxidised bracelet’s ability to give an edge to the charm bracelet concept and to toughen up a design. It can make even the simplest arrangement look so much more interesting. While the fading is a shame, I don’t find the result unattractive – and it still contrasts nicely with the regular silver bracelet and charms.
Please do let me know if you have any questions, or just any further tips that might be helpful! :)
Do you own the oxidised bracelet? What has been your experience with it?