Today’s post brings what is probably my final review from the Pandora Spring 2016 collection, with a closer look at Pandora’s latest take on alphabet charms – the Vintage Letters. This is, by my count, the fourth version of alphabet charms to date, and they are personally my favourite so far!
I’m just squeezing in this short review before the launch of the Summer 2016 collection later this week; I am very excited to get started on some of the new summer charms & bracelets! In the meantime, however, read on for some detailed pictures and styling inspiration of the Vintage Letter charms!
Pandora Vintage Letter Charms Review
The Vintage Letters are all open works, with their featured letters on both sides. A minimal helping of sparkle sets off each letter and makes it stand out from its silver setting.
I have always been a bit of a Goldilocks when it comes to previous versions of the Pandora alphabet charms. I found the original silver and two-tone letters a bit heavy/plain-looking, and the silver CZ pendants too light and sparkly.
However, for me, these new Vintage letters are a nice compromise between the two. The letters themselves are elegantly drawn, accompanied by pretty curlicues and, yes, a little dusting of pavé, without being quite so blingy as the CZ letter pendants.
I picked out an ‘E’ and a ‘G’ – the initials for me and my OH. A bit sappy I guess, but hey. I love the E in particular – the Victorian script looks beautiful and really does remind me of old, beautifully handwritten letters. I work currently at a publisher of history books, and I love looking at the old postcards and letters we get to work with sometimes. ^^
Each letter charm has a pretty geometric pattern to each side of the letters, detailed in plain silver. There is quite a lot of silver in each one!
However, I find the styling for the ‘G’ is not at all clear – it kind of looks like a ‘J’. I think this is a problem with some of the Vintage letters, and my main criticism of them; some are clearer than others.
For this review, I’m just sticking to the one styling: my newly completed blue and pink romantic bracelet. I finished this one off with the initials, and the retired silver Piano from the UK sales (gone too soon!).
I’ve been collecting Pandora for over four years now, and recently I’ve started to experiment with colours a bit more. The periwinkle Cinderella muranos look good with so many different combos, and I particularly love them with a bright pink – the Heartbeat pink enamel heart charm and the Wild Hearts murano look fab with them.
My Vintage Letter charms bracket the middle section and make a nice focal point on the bracelet!
I understand why fans of the older Pandora style might not like the addition of pavé in these new letter charms, but personally I think they’re a pretty big improvement on what’s gone before – they are elegant, light and full of pretty detail. The pavé is a soft accent, and it looks great paired with vibrant murano glass – such as the Cinderella muranos. The only negative is that some letters are too stylised and not particularly clear.
The Pandora Vintage Letter charms are $45 USD Or £30. If you’re in the UK, you can buy the Letter charms, and the rest of the Pandora Spring collection, from authorised retailer John Greed.
Were you tempted by these new alphabet charms? Or do you prefer any of the previous letter charms?
Dear Ellie, I loved this post.
I’ll win a charm vintage letter (initial of my name) on Valentine’s Day (in Brazil we celebrate Valentine’s Day on 06.12.2016). I will use charm alone with a necklace Pandora 45cm. It is also a usage suggestion of this beautiful charm. Thank you for the post. Hugs
Hi Aline! I’m so glad to hear that and I’m sure your letter charm will look beautiful on your necklace. I didn’t realise that Valentine’s Day falls so late in Brazil!
Thanks for commenting <3
I really like the vintage letter charms. I got one in April. I agree that they are much nicer than the previous versions. The vintage letter charm makes a nice centerpiece bead between two muranos on a mini bracelet.
Your bracelet looks fabulous! I like the symmetry of the middle section, and the color of the heartbeat and wild hearts murano beads complements the Cinderella muranos nicely. I love the Cinderella muranos. They were my first pair of signature muranos.
Thanks for posting a photo of your completed bracelet. It’s neat to see your completed bracelets. (I’m looking forward to your review of your two tone bracelet after it’s completed).
I did actually think about doing a mini bangle styling using one of the charms as a centrepiece, but I completely ran out of time! So I stuck to just using my actual finished bracelet.
Yay, thanks very much! I’m really glad you like this one. :) My first Disney signature muranos were the Frozen muranos, but the Cinderellas and Belle muranos are my new favourites I think. The Cinderellas in particular are very vibrant and soft, and they go with a lot of different combinations!
My two-tone bracelet is actually just finished! :) I posted a picture of it on my Instagram. I am thinking about doing a proper post on it and my other sale purchases, as a bit of an ode to older Pandora charms and as a haul post.
Thanks for commenting Judy!
I have general questions. Has Pandora ever made a party dress charm with pink czs on it and can you put regular clips on the screw sections next to the clasp? I really don’t like the bothersome safety chains but would like to keep my charms from getting on these end pieces and sticking. Thanks!
Hi Donna, no problem – I actually recommend still commenting on a more recent post with questions like yours, as I’m more likely to see them and remember to reply to them ^^
They have made a party dress charm, but not one with pink CZs.
You also can’t put clips on the threads nearest the clasp, unfortunately. :/ You can put a clip just before each clasp, which will stop the charms getting past them and rolling on to the threads. Hope that helps!
Thanks so much for your help. I thought I found a fake. While cute I did not think it was a charm Pandora made (with pink CSS).
You’re welcome! There are a lot of knock-offs out there, you have to be careful :)
In case any of your followers are looking for the wind or water clips they both have 10 czs on each clip…..another way you can check authenticity. I have seen some knock-offs with only 8 czs. I love your blog by the way. It is a great place to get ideas for bracelet design. However I am afraid mine is going to look like a “hodg podg” as I am telling my life story with my charms. Yes, I am a Newbie!
In my “shopping” and looking I have run across some people selling charms they say are not going to be available in the US. Is this legitimate? The most recent one I saw was a really cute ice cream cone. I don’t know enough about Pandora yet to know if this is true. Are there charms that are available in Europe and not the US?
For some stupid reason Pandora only release some charms in some regions and not others. For example, we cant get the ice-cream cone charm here in Australia. Ellie, can you confirm if this charm is available in London currently? Sorry for going off topic.
If you want an ice cream cone charm there are several on Ebay but I have not checked authenticity or if they do international shipping. Be careful if you purchase!
@Donna Not sure which clips you mean by wind and water? Do you have a link? And thanks, glad the blog has inspired you! My first bracelet was very much a mixture of colours and different meaningful charms – I think a lot of people start out that way :)
@Lozzie Yep, we have the ice cream charm here in London. I don’t know why that one was restricted in Australia & North America, it is really cute!
Wind clip #790962cz and the water clip #790962czb both retired. There is also a fire clip with red czs. Lozzie what color are the czs in the ice cream cone?
Ah, I had completely forgotten about those clips tbh haha! They’re nice though. I’m not sure about checking authenticity explicitly for those ones, I’ve never owned either.
I have the ice cream cone, and the CZs are pink/red and clear. If you search ice cream on the blog, you’ll find my review of it for a closer look!
Hi Ellie I really like these I think these are my favorite and I would like one I have always like the two tone one aswell. They seem quite hard to get hold of those especially my letter. I think they retired them before I started collection hopefull I will get hold of one one day.
Hi Nicola! The two-tone letters are very hard to come by, yes, especially in the most popular ones. They retired a long time ago, I think just before I started collecting. I prefer these new ones though :)
I forgot to say how lovely your bracelet was I love all the colours it looks really nice.
Thanks Nicola <3
I agree that these letter charms are much better than the previous versions, and the ‘E’ charm is very beautiful. Your bracelet is very interesting and gorgeous, and the ‘E’ fits perfectly on it! I also agree with you, however, that some letters are clearer than others. I wanted to get my initial, but unfortunately, I think the ‘J” is one of the ugliest of the bunch.
Thanks, Joanne! <3 I do love the 'E' particularly. :D I think the 'J' is really very pretty, but you could always get the G instead, as I think it looks quite like a J itself, haha.
Your completed bracelet looks lovely, the blues and pinks go great together.
I think out of all the letter charms they have released, these are the best, but still not for me.
Will you be reviewing any of your charms you’ve recently bought in the sales?
Always enjoy reading your reviews.
Thanks very much, Sarah! I am really enjoying this bracelet at the moment :) I just need to find a safety chain for it!
I probably won’t do any dedicated reviews to the older charms, but I think I might do a ‘haul’ post and maybe show off where they’ve gone in my collection and the various designs I’ve made.
Thanks for commenting, Sarah!
Yeah the ‘haul’ post sounds great.
Cool, I will try and fit one in!
Hope you had a nice weekend. I absolutely love your bracelet.
I like how the blue muranos blend with the in my heart charm and the wild hearts murano.
They compliment each other very well
Hi Laura! I had a great weekend, thanks, hope you did too. Really pleased to hear you like the bracelet :) the Cinderella muranos are so beautiful, they do go with a surprising amount of colour combinations!
I have the Vintage letter C as well as a dangle letter C. My big problem with the dangle is that the bottom hook if the C catches on EVERYTHING. Aside from the “pretty” factor of the new charms, I like that this design isn’t likely to do that.
Ellie, I’m on the hunt for a charm for a runner. Have you seen anything that might be appropriate?
Hi Clair, nice to hear from you! Eugh, I can imagine how annoying the C pendant is. I am quite careful these days when choosing Pandora dangles – I keep an eye out for sharp edges, haha.
There’s surprisingly little out there for a runner when it comes to Pandora. There’s the retired trainer/sneaker:
There’s also the runDisney charm for the Disney Princess half marathon, which I think is a Disney Park exclusive, but that’s not necessarily what you’re looking for. My OH recently ran the London Marathon and I wanted to get a charm to represent that, but also came up kind of empty!
There isn’t much available, is there? That’s sad. Pandora seems to want to “bling” everything to death, and go as girly and glitzy as they can, but realistically, there are a lot of women out there with varying interests besides perfume bottles, flowers, and hearts (this isn’t 1953!). I wish they’d direct some of their designs towards real women.
I agree….too many charms with hearts and not enough to tell your story. I am a new collector and it is difficult to find a charm that is not involved around hearts. Pandora’s design team needs to become a more forward thinking group!
There really isn’t! There used to be at least some kind of mix between the two styles, but here in the UK they’re actively retiring all the interesting older beads as well. I’ve just started running myself and I guess I’d go for the trainer charm if I had to pick one. :/ Not much to go on though!
I’m sorry to say I do not like any of the new letters at all very ugly I think sorry to be neg haha I am a huge fan of Pandora have a huge collection sadly won’t be buying these letters.
No need to worry about being negative! It’s interesting to read everyone’s opinions and there’s no right or wrong. ^^ I’m sure at some point in the future they’ll have their fifth attempt at letter charms and maybe you’ll like those better, haha.
I like the new alphabet charms. They are so much prettier than the previous ones and I will get them eventually. Though they are not on my priority list right now, but Wishlist, yes. I went to the shops today and found the summer collection is already out on display. I bought both the club charm and flower garden murano. So beautiful. Club charm is AUD $79, murano $49. The 2016 inscription is so tiny on the club charm that it’s hardly noticeable. The junk boat is something I would like to get, but got to hold back my wallet for the sale. I was told that Pandora is sort of slowly phasing out the retired ones rather than having a sale. I hope they still hold the mid year sale here. The staff said they have not heard of anything so far. Crossing my fingers and toes.
Ah, I’m envious that you got to see the new collection already :) the UK always sticks to the release dates! I’m most excited to see the Club charm, the Frosty Mint murano and the leather bracelets, too. I’d also like to have a look at all the variation in the Flower Garden murano.
That would be so boring if they just phased out the retiring charms! The only upside to all the lovely older charms is that we can get them at money off. My fingers are crossed for you! :)
I love your bracelet Ellie! <3 I never really got into the initial thing but I agree these are the best letters they've done so far!
Thanks, Natalie! <3 I have never been that into initials either but I really quite liked the script on these so thought I'd get mine and my OH's, for symmetry.
Hi Ellie! The vintage letters are indeed very beautiful! I really love your bracelet. The dark pink and blue charms are absolutely gorgeous together! You put together an amazing bracelet! <3
Hi Carol! Thanks so much, I’m so pleased you like it! <3 I wasn't sure if the colours would go very well when I was planning this bracelet, but the Cinderella muranos are actually very versatile. :D
I have the L and E that I got with the pave primrose flower for mothers day in the free mothers day bangle promotion. They were my first pandora beads and bracelet and I love them. They are also my daughters initials so even more special. I never liked the old clunky pandora, was always more of a swarovski fan. So you can imagine the new pave pandora has made me a convert for the first time.
Oh, well, it’s very nice to hear from someone who’s whole-heartedly a fan of the new Pandora! :) Newer Pandora styles do tend to be a more streamlined and stylised, so I understand why you prefer it. Those are some nice beads to start your collection with, and I’m sure Pandora will do lots more in the style you like too!
I like these a lot! On a completely different note, I wanted to let you know that the Disney year 2015 charm and all of the D60 Disney charms are on sale on the Disney store’s website. The D60 ones are 30% off and the 2015 one is 50% off. I decided to get the sparkly castle one.
Hi Stephanie! Thanks, I did see that – I’m going to put a note in my round-up for June. I was kind of tempted by the sparkly castle one was well but have persuaded myself against it for now ;)
I love the new letter charms. Much prettier than any before. I agree, especially the “T” is very stylized and may not be appealing. But over all they are very pretty. I have the original plain silver triangle one and I have purchased the new vintage “P”. Love them both.
I have only been collecting for 3 years and I missed out on a piece I want very badly. 14K Gold white spirals Murano #750509. Any help locating one of these would be greatly appreciated.
Yes, I just looked again at the ‘T’ and it curves in a way that makes it a bit ambiguous. I think it does depend on the letter, even if the look of them overall is lovely!
Ah, that one has been retired for some time, I think. I had a quick look online but no stores seem to have it any more, which isn’t too surprising. You’d probably be best joining one of the Pandora buy & sell groups on Facebook – Pandora’s Angels or Pandora’s Tribe are probably the ones you want to join, although there’s a waiting list. They are fully moderated & monitored, and it’s full of ladies who have been collecting for years and have some very interesting pieces in their collections.
These charms were on my must buy list. I purchased two initial charms & have been wearing them ever since. The small splash of pave is perfect. I wish the price point had been a little lower, I like this version a lot and would have considered buying some additional letters but I will have to keep it two just mine & my husbands first initials.
I think you are one step closer to your Victorian themed bracelet.
Hi Lisa! Yay, I’m glad you’re a fan of these too. I agree that the little dash of sparkle works really well on these pieces, and they’re not too blingy. I don’t tend to go for the really sparkly pieces! The price point is okay in the UK (considering our usual RRPs) at £30, which with the pavé is not unreasonable. :D
Thanks for commenting Lisa! <3
Thanks, Ellie, for the Vintage Letters review. I also enjoyed seeing your lovely romantic bracelet design. The bright pinks and blue compliment each other nicely. I think the Vintage Letters are a nice addition, as well as, appropriately fitting for theme. We got lucky with our initial. The “E” really has that beautiful Victorian look. Just the right amount of sparkle to set them off. Never having been one to wear my initials, these letters have made it to my list. I can see them being great for quick mini designs with muranos to match an outfit, as well as, themed bracelets.
Glad you enjoyed it Emily! :) Absolutely, the ‘E’ is definitely one of the prettiest letters, and one of the clearest. I don’t particularly go in for letter charms or wearing significant initials either, but I really liked these letter charms and wanted a reason to wear them – I think they blend into a design quite well, and so they’re not too obvious on your bracelet.
They’d definitely be great on a mini bangle or leather design as well, if you wanted to make them stand out more!
Firstly, what a lovely blog! Just what I was looking for, very happy I found it:)
I’m not a pandora collector/owner yet, but I’m considering to purchase one, changes are big that I will. My niece and aunt already have a full bracelet but they started collecting 5years ago. I’m going to “fit” my nieces bracelet to see what a full pandora bracelet looks like on my wrist, she has about the same size so I’m lucky I can try hers cause I feel quilty to try a full one on in a shop.
The vintage letter was styled lovely, absolutely adorable! I’d like to see some more “multicolour” bracelets since it’s one of the things that’s holding me back from getting one. I’m scarred it will be difficult to put different colours in one bracelet…
Do you own the orchid and bluebell drop and have ideas to style it? And lastly, do you know if the white rabbit charm will be available in The Netherlands? I’m a dutchie:)
Hi Eva! I just saw your comment on my latest Pandora Rose post and you are right, I did miss this original comment – sorry about that! :) I am very glad that you did find the blog, anyhow, and sorry that I missed your first comment!
Very good idea to try on someone else’s full bracelet first. Pandora SAs don’t usually mind letting you try on a fuller one to get a feel for size, but it’s nice to be able to do it yourself without anyone watching you or trying to sell you something. Just don’t get put off by how heavy a full one feels on your wrist! It’s nowhere near as bad when you build one up gradually, haha.
I have been starting to experiment a bit more with colour in the past year or so and I definitely think you can mix and match! Pandora beads are lovely and designed to go well together so it’s hard to go very well. I have the Orchid and did a whole review on it here:
I don’t know which you mean by bluebell? The White Rabbit is not available in Europe as it’s a Pandora Disney charm, and the Pandora Disney line is not sold there or the UK. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that it turns up here at some point!
Thanx for the reply! Better late than never;) According to the dutch pandora catalogue the name is Bluebell Drop, it’s an older model and won’t be sold after this sale anymore. It’s a sterling silver charm with a round blue topaz hanger. This is one of my first charms and I’ve got it from my grandmother, picked it out myself though. She thought it was a lovely pick:) I was very happy that I managed to get my hands on a charm that has a real gemstone and not “just a zirconia”. It’s very tempting to buy the matching ring as well, especially since it’s in 40% sale now…
I noticed the hot air balloon was sold out here, don’t know about the UK or elsewhere but here it was online exclusive. Hope you can find it, it’s a lovely charm I’m really happy with it:)
About the bracelet size: the strange thing is that another pandora dealer advised to opt for a 18/19 and she managed to put 2fingers between the bracelet and my wrist. Unlike in the pandora conceptstore where the SA only put 1! between them. I didn’t mention it though, but she did say that people often tend to buy they’re bracelet to small.
It’s a shame the Disney collection is not sold in Europe. I’d expect them to sell them in Disney Land Paris? I can imagine there might not be enough buyers in Holland though. To be honest I didn’t like all of them, find some to childish but the cinderella wish, eeyore and the rabbit look very promising!