Today’s post brings my next Pandora review of 2018, with a closer look at the adorable Sweet Panda charm! This lovely little bead made its debut last year with the Pandora Autumn 2017 collection (although not in the UK, for some reason), and I fell instantly in love with its cute face and innovative use of enamel.
On a side note, I have just received my Luck & Fortune Pandora CNY 2018 bead – so cute! – and will review that shortly. I’m also planning on getting the Club charm soon – so there are 2018 collection reviews on the horizon!
In the meantime, read on for some cute panda bear inspiration! 🐼
Pandora Sweet Panda review
Given that the Sweet Panda is almost entirely detailed in enamel, it’s amazing how much character and charm this little bead packs. He’s got adorably droopy soft panda eyes, and he’s posed just like a teddy bear. The little lick of green from the bamboo shoot is perfect, too – it adds a little bit of interest without being too bright or affecting the ways in which you might want to style this bead.
This was undoubtedly one of my favourites from the AW17 collection, so it was such a surprise to me that they didn’t release it in the UK. Pandora were always known for their adorably detailed animals back in the day, and it’s really fun to see them play around with that a little with the enamelwork in this bead. You can see the differences in style and technique when you compare it with their original retired silver panda bead (left).
The Sweet Panda is threaded, which I was relieved to see. You can find the hallmarks tucked discreetly away to the panda’s lefthand side. The other thing that I’d advise you to do with this one is to be extra careful to keep it away from perfumes, chemicals, sweat etc. – Pandora’s white enamel beads do have a tendency to yellow a little, especially when not treated with extra TLC.
The level of detail in the bead evaporates a little as soon as you look at the back and the base of the charm, however. Most of the interesting stuff is at the front of the charm. In a plain silver animal bead, you’ll often find oxidised fur detailing or a tail or some other little hidden detail if you look all over the charm. However, as Pandora have made this almost entirely in enamel, they’re a bit limited as to the extra details they can add.
(Incidentally, if you’re ever stuck for anything a bit different to do of a Monday evening, I do heartily recommend photographing miniature panda bottoms.)
One reason I picked this bead to review is that the Lunar New Year is fast approaching, and I know a lot of us are thinking about Asian-themed bracelets and stylings. IMO, the Panda is perfect for this! His black and white colouring doesn’t clash with traditional CNY reds, and he contributes so wonderfully to the sense of fun.
Here, I’ve put the Panda with the red Twinkle glass and the Longevity Lock charms (both Winter 2017 sales purchases) on a red leather mini design. The two-tone flower clips add the necessary sense of occasion, too!
However, this is how I actually wear my Sweet Panda charm – on my summery travel bracelet design. This combines pink and teal for a fun, tropical design, mixing in bright colour, cultural travel beads and some other exotic animals. I’ve used both older and newer Pandora styles – and I think they look great together!
The Sweet Panda shows far more originality in design than many of Pandora’s other charms from last year, and I think it’s surprising versatile. The fact that it’s black and white means that it has a little more range for different stylings and looks more elegant than if, for example, they had tried to do a full-bodied dog in brown enamel or a tiger in orange. It’s a well chosen design, and so cute in person! I’ll be interested to see how well it wears in terms of enamel yellowing, etc, but for now I’m content to be delighted with it. ^^
The Sweet Panda is $55 USD.
What do you think of this bead? Have you added it to your collection?