Today I’m posting my next Pandora AW16 review, with a closer look at my favourite beads from the Pandora Essence Autumn 2016 collection! We have a little window of time between now and the launch of the Pandora Valentine’s 2017 collection mid-January, and so I thought that I’d do a little series of mini ‘catch-up’ reviews, where I take a look at various charms from earlier collections in 2016 that I didn’t manage to review at the time.

There are a fair few pieces that I have purchased and not yet reviewed, such as the Pandora Spring 2017 Dazzling Daisy Fairy, Luminous Floral and Disney’s Maximus, and Pandora Autumn pieces like the Pavé Inspiration safety chain, the Pandora Rose heart clasp bracelet and the popular Heart of Freedom. I’ll try and do as many as I can (do let me know if there are any you’re more keen to see), starting with a look at the mother of pearl mosaic Essence beads that came out back in September!

Pandora Essence Mosaic Beads Review

Back when the first AW16 previews came out, the Essence Autumn 2016 collection was the one that got me the most excited! With its pretty, soft pastels, the delicate patterning on the enamel Freedom bead and the use of genuine mother of pearl on three of the beads, I was head over heels. The CZ beads might not be to everyone’s taste, but they also represent a more contemporary look for the Essence collection, and demonstrate how Pandora is looking to broaden its appeal.

Therefore, it’s really very remiss of me to be so tardy in reviewing the purchases I did get from this launch! From the stock images, I’d earmarked the Generosity, Balance, Compassion and Freedom beads as potential buys. In person, I found the pink beads so pretty, but a little too bright for my bracelet design, which is a subtle blend of pastel pinks, blue and cream (picture by Pandora Orchard Park!).

Image by Pandora Orchard Park

However, the MOP blue Balance bead and the white Generosity proved just as perfect in person. Both the blue and the white versions are just stunning, and in quite different ways!

The Balance bead has a beautiful subtlety of colour, with shades of blue and grey rippling across each square.

pandora essence autumn 2016 review

They are set against a dark background, which you can’t see all that much of – what you do see lends a little drama and really sets off the play of colour in the tiles.

pandora essence autumn 2016 review

In contrast, the Generosity bead is a gorgeous milky-creamy off-white, with shimmering pearlescent squares set into a warmer background. I don’t know if this is true for every example, but you can see much more of the background colour behind the stones in this charm. It doesn’t detract from the overall effect, but I think I would have preferred to be a little more like the Balance bead in finish!

pandora essence autumn 2016 review

The shimmering, opalescent effect isn’t quite as striking with this one as it is with the blue Balance bead, but it really works well with other pastels or the pearl Dignity bead, which is a similarly subtle colour.

pandora essence autumn 2016 review

Some people worried about the mosaic squares potentially coming loose in the MOP beads – but you don’t need to worry about this, as they’re not actually stuck on top. It just looks that way. The finish is completely smooth!


I’m not going to do a series of stylings for these Essence charms, as I don’t have enough Essence beads to play around with, but I will show you my finished two-tone Essence bracelet, and how it looks stacked with my original silver one. ^^

This is how my two-tone Essence bracelet started out, with a soft mixture of blue stone and pearl:

pandora essence autumn 2015

I’ve since added quite a lot to this design – this is about as full as I would want to go with an Essence bracelet, as I prefer them not to be too full up, unlike my Moments bracelets! I’ve added a little bit of pale pink, and, of course, these two gorgeous Mosaic beads! I fell and hit the clasp of this Essence bracelet a little while ago, which has weakened it and has caused it to fall from my wrist a couple of times – so I invested in the Essence safety chain, too.

pandora essence autumn 2016 review

And here it is with my original Essence bracelet, which just has four beads from the original Essence collection on it. ^^

pandora essence autumn 2016 review

I do tend to wear them stacked together, as they’re quite delicate and the finished look isn’t at all chunky or heavy, as it can be with a regular bracelet stack. These tend to get trotted out when I’m looking for something a bit dressier (I’ll also often add a bangle in, to finish off the stack) or when I want to wear something that I know for sure won’t pull any threads in my jumpers! ;)


And that was my last post of 2016! I felt like the Autumn Essence collection this season was just stunning, especially with its heavy use of mother of pearl and some quite sophisticated enamel detailing – and I felt guilty for not having reviewed it when I loved it so much! Consequently, it seemed like a fitting way to finish off the year. ^^

My two Essence bracelets feel quite complete as they are (although I was quite tempted by a gold Essence bead when they were on sale back in the summer, but managed to talk myself out of it ?) but I’ll still be looking forward with interest to future Essence releases!

Did you get any of the Essence AW16 collection? Are you a fan of the Essence line?

53 Comments on Review: Mosaic charms from Pandora Essence Autumn/Winter 2016

  1. Hi Ellie, thank you so much for a wonderful review on the Essence mosaic beads. I have both the Balance and the Generosity mosaic beads and I totally agree with you that though I love them both, the MOP blue Balance has a more striking shimmering opalescent effect. Really appreciate your review post on New Year’s Eve! ? Happy New Year to you!

    • Hi Jen! Thank you, I’m so pleased that you enjoyed it ? the blue-grey Balance is by far my favourite, but I do think they look gorgeous together. They really bring out the opalescent effect in each other. A very happy new year to you too!

  2. Hi, Ellie. Happy New Year and again thanx for posting on these days. Xmas Eve and New year’s Eve dinner are very important in Spain, so they are too busy days for us. I really appreciate your post all the year round but on this special time of the year, that so many of us join to celebrate theses festivities with our nearest and dearest your work is of even greater importance!
    But, let’s talk Pandora, after all that’s why we are here, aren’t we, lol!
    At first I did’t like the Essence line at all, but little by little it won me over and I’ve been wanting to buy into it for some time now. I will, as soon as I know for sure what my size is. I’ve read that unlike Moments, an Essence bracelet should be only 1 cm greater than your wrist, so I would have to have it cut and that’s what has prevented me so far from buying. But I’m in love with those gorgeous little rounded charms. Both in soft pastels or the deeper, vibrant tones are beautiful. From the autumn release my favs are the blue-greyish and the white mother of pearl.However I didn’t liked too much seeing those buttonlike ones!. I’m a bit tired of them in Moments!
    Let’s see what new releases bring!
    And to end up I wish you and all the ladies in the blog who celebrates it, a very, very happy New Years’s Eve and Day!

    • Again sorry for the typos, grrrrr!
      My New Year pourposes should really include reviewing texts before clicking “send” when writing on my tech gadgets ?

    • Hi Marie! Happy new year to you too, glad you enjoyed the posts :D Thank you, too, for your very sweet words – it’s been a busy few days but I’m glad I’ve been able to sneak in some Pandora blogging in amongst everything, haha!
      That’s correct re the Essence bracelets – Pandora advise that you should go down a size from your Pandora bracelet. I wear a 19cm MOments bracelet and an 18cm Essence bracelet. Of course, I think, to make sure, that it’s always worth going into store and asking them to size you, as that way you’re not guessing and you’re not potentially spending the money on something that doesn’t have the right fit for you! :)

      Hope you’ve enjoyed your first day of the new year Marie! Thanks for commenting <3

  3. Happy New Year Elie ! I never got into the Essence Collection even though some charms are beautiful . Do you know when the Valentines Day Collection comes out. I know you said mid January. Also any Spring previews in the future ? Thanks so much . Hope you had a great holiday

    • Happy new year Linda! I was a latecomer to the Essence collection, but once I started, my collection of course got larger than I’d anticipated ;) The Valentine’s collection is out on the 12th – the release date is in the side bar. :) Spring previews will hopefully be coming soonish haha. Hope you have a great holiday too!

  4. Hi Ellie,

    Last Winter I purchased my first Essence bangle via the March bracelet promo and enentually added a second bangle from another bracelet promo while travelling for work. Like you I only where them for dressier occasions. I will be breaking mine out for tonight’s New Years festivities. My essence charm collection is relatively small amounting to three charms on each bangle, mostly from the first series of essence beads released. Last year I took advantage of the “last call tray” in my shop in shop to pick up some of the all silver designs.
    The daintiness of the chain was the hold out for me, I tend to snag my bracelets on my winter coats & sweaters so they need to be sturdy, Or at least sturdy feeling to me. The essence bangle was the entry point for me.
    The mosaics you have reviewed above are gorgeous and should I indulge once again into the essence collection, I think the mosaic balance bead would be the one that I would take home.
    I find that I am still luke warm to essence, perhaps because there are so many regular Pandora charms that catch my eye. My husband gave me the new threadless necklace for Christmas with the shining path clips, so again, I have put my dollars toward the regular charms.
    I know that Pandora has moved away from the covertabe earring posts that I still use to put my threadless charms on, if Pandora had a way for me to use my essence beads as earrings, I’d be all over that option.
    Very sorry you took a spill, it must have been a doozy to damage the clasp, pandora bracelets are quite tough.
    Take Care
    Lisa K.

    • Hi Lisa! Ah, good plan – I didn’t wear mine yesterday (I plumped for my two-tone Fairytale bracelet with a Tiffany beaded bracelet to go with it!), but I’ll be wearing them tonight when I go out! ^^ There are a lot of nice Essence beads on sale at the moment – if my bracelets weren’t all full up, I’d be very tempted by some of them. That green Creativity bead is so pretty in person, too, and it’s on sale here for £25 instead of £40 – but it just doesn’t match either of my bracelets :(
      I get what you mean about Essence, though – I love my bracelets and how they look on my wrists, but I don’t get the same compulsion to collect ’em all with it that I do with the regular charms. Which is kind of a relief tbh, haha!
      Thanks, Lisa – it was months ago now, and I was absolutely fine – nothing dented except for my pride, haha. I was rushing and fell all the way down some slippery wooden steps – as I threw out my hand to catch myself, I smacked the bracelet clasp on the banister. The bracelet flew right off. Luckily no one saw and I was able to proceed as if nothing had happened, lol! It’s a shame about the clasp, though – and it would be my two-tone bracelet that caught it, too.

      Thanks for commenting Lisa, and happy new year! <3

  5. I got my first essence bracelet and charm when the Autumn collection was released. I bought the appreciation charm from this collection. I’m waiting to see what they release next in the essence line, before I buy anymore. I like that there adding some different charms to the essence line.
    I’d like to see a review on Maximus please.
    I bet your collection has grown loads this year. You should do a new picture of all the collection, as it’d be great to see what it looks like now.
    Hope you have a fantastic new year Ellie.

    • The next Essence collection is going to be very pave intensive, I hear, so thankfully not my cup of tea! I say thankfully, as I really don’t want to be starting another bracelet haha.
      I will get planning my next reviews! ^^ It’s hard to get all my bracelets in one shot these days – I’ve added a few more new designs over the past year or so, so I’m not sure on the logistics aha. And I don’t want to be judged haha! ? Have a lovely new year, too, Sarah!

  6. Hi Ellie, Happy New Year for You and all Pandora’s fan. I must say that new Essence line was for me not so much. I’m in love with all those semi-precious stones they had, some silver as well but mosaics and zirkonia? For me those stones made Pandora different on the market, and those new rings, essence ane earings lines looks cheap and not worthy it’s price. Sorry for that, I did not want to offend anybody, it’s my and only opinion. I’m looking for new items Spring and Summer 2017, hoping to find something I would really like. Anyway, all the best and waiting for Your new comments :)

    • Hi Monika, happy new year to you too! I don’t have any zirconia Essence beads, as I prefer the semi-precious, natural feel of the older beads for the most part, so I totally get where you’re coming from. The mosaics are mother of pearl, not zirconia, though, which is a material Pandora have used from very early on :) I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Spring, too, it sounds like there should be some good Disney beads coming up!

  7. Happy New Year Ellie, I got my first essence bracelet a few years ago but unfortunately lost it when out shopping in Cambridge!It took me a while to replace it as my daughters had bought me most of the beads on it, so it was a very special bracelet. I took the plunge this year with the Essence promotion and also bought the safety chain! It is one of my favourite bracelets, I wear it with the Timeless Elegance bangle as you have in the photo, simple and elegant. Funnily enough only today I have purchased the Appreciation bead which I think is so lovely.Sorry to hear you had a fall, hope your ok. I have some vouchers that I am saving up to spend in the Valentine launch in a couple of weeks, I really like the lace heart and the bangle. Very much looking forward to reading your posts in 2017. Have a great evening.

    • Happy new year Karen! :) Oh no, what a shame! I’d be gutted, especially with all those special beads from your daughters on it. Glad to hear you’ve replaced it now, though :) your stack sounds lovely – the Essence bracelets are so light, they’re so great to wear with other bracelets without looking at all heavy. Thank you, my tumble down the stairs was months ago and nothing damaged except the bracelet and my pride aha. ^^
      Have a great week ahead, and thanks for commenting! <3

  8. Happy New Year Ellie! Thanks for another great post. Much like you, I love both the Balance and Generosity beads. I actually just purchased the white mosaic bead yesterday as part of the Boxing Day promotion. I got the blue fascinating iridescence murano as well and then the dainty bow safety chain for free. The blue/gray mosaic bead is next on my list for sure (along with the rose gold heart clasp bracelet).

    • Happy new year to you too! <3 That's a lovely set of choices for the promotion - I love the freedom of this particular offer. I have all three of those pieces and love them all! You should definitely get the blue-grey mosaic, as it looks beautiful with the Generosity white version - they really bring out the opalescent effect in each other. The blue does look particularly striking on its own, too!

  9. Happy New Year everyone! I bought my first traditional style Essence bracelet at the beginning of this year because I loved the delicacy of it, and I also got the other style with the tiny beads in the Essence promotion later on. I got one of the gold beads in the summer sale and I am very happy with how it looks on its own on one of the bracelets, then I stack the other bracelet with it, I like it as a really dainty understated look. So I haven’t bought any more beads as yet, I think I would like to save up for any other gold beads that come up in sales. I do like these mosaic beads though, the pink blue and cream colours on your bracelet is one of my favourite colour combinations! Could you do a review of the Dazzling Daisy Fairy please? It was my favourite bead from this year I think, and I would love to see your ideas for it!

  10. I’ve grown to love the Essence collection; although, I only have one bracelet (the beaded one). I chose the blue Mosaic bead, and it’s stunning! I still really wish to add the silver Love and pave Dedication beads to my bracelet; although, the bracelet is quite full haha. I agree that it is perfect for dressier occasions–like New Year’s Eve tonight! Also, it looks great stacked with bangles. I love your Essence bracelets!

    As for reviews, I’d like to see the Luminous Floral and the Pave Inspiration Safety Chain the most. Have a Happy New Year!

    • The beaded Essence bracelet is lovely, but I never indulged in one as I already have the Tiffany beaded chain and they’re quite similar in look in many ways :) the blue mosaic was a great choice, it really holds its own! The effect is so gorgeous. I didn’t wear my bracelets on New Year’s Eve but I did wear them out on New Year’s Day to make up for it, haha. Really glad to hear that you like them!

      I will get planning my next reviews! ^^ I’m not thinking that I’ll be getting much from Valentine’s 2017, so I will probably extend my catch up reviews into February & March, too. :)

  11. Excellent site, how can I tell if items on web stating Pandora, are truly Pandora?I ordered for xmas, but just arrived today, part of order, from China, was never stated on site, and I’m afraid I got counterfeit product, how can I tell beside going to a jeweler? Please reply,

    • usually offer a list of authorised online retailers for your country – it’s best to stick to those for peace of mind. Which website did you order from?

      • I got a bunch of those counterfeit charms from China also early last year. Fortunately, I paid with a credit card and they took the money back from the seller and refunded it to me. The seller disappeared from the web under the original name and I had no way to get in touch. As soon as the money was taken from their account, they immediately sent me an email asking if anything was wrong. My response was that I had ordered Pandora jewelry and was sent a box of fakes that even a 4-year-old would know weren’t genuine Pandora, that if he wanted them back, he would need to send the money for shipping (about $30) — I heard nothing more from them and I still have the charms which I will donate to charity after another year has passed. I learned to take note of where the item is located and to buy nothing coming from China. Sorry you had this experience — try contacting your credit card company or your bank. Otherwise, have a happy 2017!!

  12. Hi Ellie happy new year i love these beads they are just so different and I love the design. I love the essence bracelet and I wear mine a lot stacked with other bracelets. Unlike my other bracelet I plan what design/ charms what I want. But with the essence I haven’t really. I think my plan is to have one quite light and pastel colours and the other with the bright beads which I love too. I would love an essence bangle too one day I tried one on once and it’s so light.

    • Hi Nicola, happy new year! My Essence bracelets were both quite designed; with the first one, I’d been umming and ahhing about whether to get one for some time, and had all the beads I liked best picked out months in advance haha. I think that’s a lovely plan of yours to have one lighter and one brighter – they’d look great together, too. I was thinking about an Essence bangle, but I don’t get enough wear out of my regular Pandora bangles as it is so I’d probably better hold off! ^^

  13. Hello Ellie!! Happy New Year!! Thanks for the last review of 2016, it is a nice surprise. I have the Essence bracelet and the bangle, but they only have one charm each, Health and Love, respectively. I’m in love with the balance and the freedom charms, but every time I went to the store I decided for charms from last chance. Sorry about the clasp of your bracelet, luckily there are safety chain for Essence, hope you didn’t get injured. I would like to read a review of the Dazzling Daisy Fairy. Best wishes to all in 2017!!

    • Hi Pricilla, happy new year! :D Glad you enjoyed the review, I decided to do it on the spur of the moment but am glad that I did! Aha, I think you probably made the right decision in getting the last chance beads – there are so many beauties disappearing at the moment! I wasn’t injured at all, no – just the bracelet, unfortunately! ^^ And the other good thing was that absolutely no one saw (I slid all the way down some stairs!!) ? as far as I’m aware, at least!
      I’m planning out my next reviews, the Fairy is definitely on my list! She’s a favourite of mine <3 have a lovely week and thanks for commenting!

  14. Hi Ellie, I love your two tone bracelet. I always wanted an essence bracelet but end up distracted by the moment range especially when a sale is on. Those beads you have on are those I will get myself if I ever get down to it. New year resolution, to get an essence bracelet and work on it. Last but not least, I will like to see you do a review on dazzling fairy and luminous flora charm. It’s never too late or outdated to review an older release collection for us addicts. Happy new year. Looking forward to more read from your blog.

    • Hi, thank you! <3 the pastels are a favourite of mine, too, and the Essence pearl bead is particularly lovely. I'm waiting for them to do something similar for the Moments range, they'd make lovely spacer beads! I will get started on my next catch-up reviews - those are two of my favourites that I haven't reviewed yet, so I'm sure they'll make it into the line up.
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting, I hope you continue to enjoy - happy new year! :D

      • I bought the loyalty and sensitivity charms which were on sale. So excited to start my first essence bracelet.

    • Not very often – I do have a couple of Chamilia Christmas charms on a bangle. That’s it at the moment, but I am considering adding a few more interesting silver beads into my collection going forward, if Pandora don’t offer any themselves in the next few collections :)

  15. I stuck my toe in the water, so to speak, with the Essence necklace. I like that it’s so light and delicate that it lends itself to layering. Now I have two bracelets thanks to Rue La La. I find myself layering them as well. Yours are quite beautiful! I like all your reviews, so just keep them coming!

    • Good decision! I was thinking of mentioning that there are some cheaper Essence beads and bracelets going in numerous sales in the post, but completely forgot when it came down to it – so thanks for mentioning that! ^^ So pleased that you like the bracelets – and I will definitely get started on more reviews asap!

  16. Hi Ellie, Happy New Year!!! I absolutely adore your blog and I’ve been folowing it for a while now. I was hoping that you could do a review for the Disney Jasmine Muranos as I would love to see the various ways in which you would style them! Your stylings are always a great source of inspiration for me so keep it up!

    • Hi Kaya! Thanks so much, I’m so pleased to hear that :D I will see if I can squeeze in a review of the Jasmine muranos, and if not, I’ll definitely try and feature them as much as I can in the reviews I do post, so that you can get some ideas through those :) I’ll let you know!

  17. Hi — Thank you for all of your information-loaded blogs. You have about convinced me to start an Essence bracelet.
    BTW – I am adding a ton of new items (mostly retired) to my website and will have a promotion Jan 5-Feb 28 — “Buy 4 heart charms, receive a bracelet ($65 retail) from my heart.”
    Happy New Year and Happy Pandora-ing!

  18. Ah… I did not realise that the mosaic beads are entirely smooth. I admit to being one of those whom thought that the mosaics are glued on and hence will not wear well. I currently have two essence bracelets, one beaded and one regular and I love how elegant they are. I do find myself reaching out for them whenever I wanted something that is easy to wear. Thank you for featuring the Balance bead, I will be adding this to my wishlist. Being a “heart” lover, I suspect the Passion bead will join my home very soon. Given how versatile the Essence collection is, I intend add an Essence necklace in a long length so that I can wear it with just about anything. The deliberation of course is whether to go for the regular or beaded. Both are beautiful. Hmmmm….

  19. Hi
    I too had forgotten how beautiful the Essence mosaic charms were until you reviewed them!.So today I went and bought the balance one to finish off my bracelet and I am so pleased with it.I have enjoyed playing around with my bracelet today trying out which order to put them in,settled on Sensitivity(pink),Freedom(silver),friendship(pink),balance and dignity.the balance bead has a lovely sheen with pinky hues which look beautiful with the pink beads.I hope Pandora bring out more Essence like these beads
    Great posts as always x

  20. Hi Ellie, i need your advise on which essence bead to get. Im choosing between Generosity and dignity. I feel they are quite similar in colour and therefore think will just get one, but not sure which one. What is your advise? Thanks.

    • Im also thinking of adding silver affection and love pink moonstone to it. Might add a two tone if a good sale comes around.

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