Today’s post brings my first review from Pandora’s 2018 collections, with a closer look at the Fortune & Luck charm from this year’s Chinese New Year release! Offering some beautifully stylised details in Pandora’s traditional Lunar New Year red enamel, I knew this would be a must-have for my Asian-themed bracelet. :D

This charm launched in most regions, including Asia, Australia and North America – but this is unfortunately another one we missed out on in the UK. I guess previous CNY beads haven’t sold so well, here. In any case, I got one of my own with the help of a friend, and I am very glad I did!

Read on for the review! :)

Pandora Fortune & Luck charm review

From what I understand, the Fortune & Luck charm is Pandora’s take on the caishen, the Chinese god of fortune. He’s been made a fair bit cuter than some depictions you can see online, but I think this works well – he is super easy to style and such a cheerful, cute addition to your bracelet. I love the simplicity of the oxidised grooves they’ve used for his features. The little ears, with oxidised lobes, are another fun addition!

Pandora Chinese New Year 2018 Fortune Luck charm review

He’s holding a lucky gold ingot, as well. Pandora do have a gold ingot charm that they released for CNY a few years ago – however, if like me, you have no hope of affording that one, this is a nice little second best, haha. The addition of a little two-tone detailing is a nice touch, one that’s been missing from most previous CNY designs. And, come to think of it, most of Pandora’s recent charms. Interesting two-tone pieces have been few and far between lately.

Pandora CNY Lunar New Year 2018

I quite like that this design is so interesting and yet, at the same time, quite neat and compact. Having said that, while the bead is nicely finished all round, I did think that the back lacks detail in comparison with the front of the charm. From this angle, he kind of reminds me of a little ludo piece,

Pandora Chinese New Year 2018 Fortune Luck charm review

If you look at the 2014/15 Japanese and Chinese Dolls as a comparison, you can see the little extra details. The Chinese Doll has little stars on her coat, while the Japanese Doll also has extra detail.

pandora spring 2015

Peep underneath the Fortune & Luck bead, however, and you will find some miniature feet! The detail of them being a bit further forward, with his robe dragging behind them a little, is very cute.

Pandora Chinese New Year 2018 Fortune Luck charm review Lunar New Year

I ended up getting my charm from Singapore with the help of a friend, and so it came with this beautiful gold box. It’s really big – much bigger than a charm presentation box – and has four compartments for charms inside. So pretty!


So, in previous reviews, you might remember how I said that I wasn’t going to add the Koinobori murano to my CNY-themed bracelet, as I was happy with having just the two murano beads in the centre – and that, in any case, I was enjoying adding beads more gradually to this design. Well – fast forward two months – I have, and it’s full! In a way, I think it’s refreshing how reliably I break every single Pandora rule I make for myself.

Pandora Chinese New Year 2018 Fortune Luck charm review Lunar New Year

I had originally ordered the Koinobori and the Red Twinkle glass muranos to add to my red leather bracelet as a secondary CNY design to wear with my main bracelet. However, when I actually received them, I realised that they didn’t really match in colour at all. This is a picture from my friend in the US, who helped me to get them from the US eStore sale. You’d think, from the stock images, that they’d go well together, but they’re quite different:

Consequently I decided to try the Koinobori with the red Disney Snow White murano instead, which I had previously purchased for a Christmas bangle design. This was a better match, but still not a perfect one. So I decided to put them on my main bracelet, where I could space them out a little more. I think that this works well, and I’m really happy with the finished thing for now.

Pandora Chinese New Year 2018 Fortune Luck charm review Lunar New Year

The only thing left to get is a safety chain! And then I still have my red leather bracelet if I want to get any of the future CNY releases (which, let’s face it, I will!).


This is another very solid offering from Pandora to celebrate the Lunar New Year – it’s the one release each year that can be relied on to offer something culturally rich, interesting, and truly different from Pandora’s usual designs. The timing is particularly fortunate, too, as the Valentine’s collections are often some of the most generic. The CNY beads released across the years work so well together, and I’ve been wearing this red bracelet almost every day for the past couple of weeks. <3 ???

Dangles can be hard to style, as a lot of people don’t like to have too many on one bracelet (I’m up to seven on my bracelet now, which is a new high for me!), but the Fortune & Luck bead is really very nicely done. The two-tone and the red work beautifully together, and it manages to be both fun and quite elegant at the same time.

What do you think of this charm? Have you added it to your collection, or is it on your wish list?

45 Comments on Review: Fortune & Luck from Pandora Chinese New Year 2018

  1. Hi Ellie, I love your bracelet. Very balanced too. Just wondering what safety chain you would use when there’s so much going on. I think the plain Pandora round balls would balance out the plain ball clips since you have a detailed clasp. I think that’s the only time plain is ok when the bracelet clasp is a feature clip. I guess that’s why I haven’t purchased the essence safety chain as it would be 3 round plain balls in a row. I’m looking forward to the one you showed for the next release and hope it makes it to production. I do wish they would make other safety chains for essence with some interest.

    • HI Leanne! Thank you :D I’m actually deciding between two of the new safety chains coming out for Spring. There’s the silver intricate heart one that would make a nice contrast to the clasp, or there’s a plainer heart pavé design that would go nicely with the clasp too. I would like other Essence safety chains as well, but they don’t seem to be investing that much in new Essence designs at the moment. :(

  2. I had no plans to buy this little guy until your review. I will buy him now because I want the gift box. I have 3 red themed bracelets so he will fit in somewhere. I have the Japanese doll dangle which I love so I am sure I will come to love him too. I am heading to Singapore midyear so I plan to buy him there plus 2 of the gorgeous K muranos. Your CNY bracelet is gorgeous.

    • Well, it is a very pretty gift box! :D And a little different to the usual ones. The gold is a very nice shade. Also, the charm is adorable and I’m sure you will like him when you see him in person ^^ Have a wonderful time in Singapore when you go, and I hope you manage to get one of these ones when you do :) Thanks for commenting!

  3. Ellie, I love your bracelet and little God of Fortune looks beautiful among other CNY beads :) I am very lucky to own one too and I love him to bits. I am very curious what the next CNY bead will look like, I must say that Pandora Asian theme is one of my big favourites. Have a great week and I am looking forward to your next review…maybe the Club Charm will be next? :)

    • Hi Jola, thank you very much! ^^ I completely agree, I always so look forward to the CNY release each year. I think this has been a highlight for me, but my favourite so far is the Dancing Lion from last year. ^^ The Club char is indeed my next review – I picked it up over the weekend, and got one of the cute Valentine’s bags to boot! Thanks for commenting, and have a lovely week too!

  4. You know I’ve always loved your red bracelet. The little dangle man became available online here on January 25, but I haven’t got him yet. I will tho! I have 9 dangles on my “doll” bracelet so far, and I wear it quite often, tho it is heavy. I’m awaiting the snow angel from Rue to add, and then I’ll add the fortune man maybe next month. No muranos on this bracelet, no room, and as I only use clip safety chains, that takes up two bead spaces. Dangles work well on a Pandora bracelet if separated with at least one regular charm. But the bracelet can’t be totally full, the dangles need a little room to spin and hang naturally. That’s a real trick to get right given charms are different sizes!

    • Thanks, Lola! <3 I'm sure you will love it when you finally get him. It's so weird for me to have quite so many dangles but of course that's more like a traditional charm bracelet! And you're right that they work well if you just space them out with regular beads a little. I always fill my bracelets though!

  5. As with the Chinese Leon, in Spain there have been very few units at a price of € 69 that sold out in less than an hour. Pandora Spain has very little intention of selling 30 units is a ridiculous amount.

  6. Your bracelet is very bright and pretty. I’m not sure if i will get this little guy. There are other charms that i like better from your spring/summer preview that would fit into my current collection anf reserve my money for. Nonetheless he is still cute, just that I’m getting more selective these days with charms.

    • By the way, if the tassel heart safety chain make it to the market, that will be a lovely chain to add into this bracelet i think.

      • It is definitely making it to the market! :D I’m deciding between it and the the pavé heart safety chain.

    • Oh, I have tried to be more selective over the past year or so – with up and down results, haha. It is being selective for me to only get two charms from this January release, I guess! ^^ There’s lots I want from the SS18 collections as well though!

  7. Hi there ,
    I love this little guy he is adorable and definitely goes well with all the recent years Chinese New Year charms. I put him on the wishlist but likely won’t get him immediately as I really want to get some pieces from
    Spring ( oh and mother day and summer) I am super excited for the changes pandora has made and hope this will attract their customers who were giving up hope ( me being one of them ) great idea to swap in the Snow White murano as it seems to match really well with the rest of your glass ?

    • Hey Alex! You are very sensible to save your money for Spring ^^ I think it’s a great upcoming line-up and I’m super excited! That hasn’t stopped me getting this one though haha. March is too long to wait for a new bead! Glad you like the Snow White murano, it was a last-minute emergency measure haha. Thanks for commenting <3

  8. Hi Ellie!

    I love, love, love your bracelet!! It’s a lovely combination of oxidized, color, and bright silver charms. You can always tell how much thought goes into your designs.

    And I see you are starting to gradually be more comfortable with dangles. I now have several bracelets with every other charm a dangle. It gives the bracelet an old school charm bracelet feel. That dragon of yours is on my son’s childhood bracelet (Dungeons and Dragons) and I find it to be one of the worst offenders for snagging a sweater. The other 2 bad ones are the bicycle and the Cupid we previously mentioned. So I wear dangle bracelets when I am not wearing a knit top that will snag.

    I won’t be purchasing this charm. I think he’s beautiful, but I don’t wear a lot of red due to my skin tones. So I haven’t started a CNY Bracelet. I won’t say I never will, however. I’m learning fast that with Pandora the lines get blurred every time I say never. Lol!

    I love reworking older charms and mixing them in with the newer styles. The depth of a design with charms collected over the years adds a touch of sophistication that can’t be obtained with just this year’s releases on one bracelet. And that is obviously a technique you have mastered.

    Thanks for the review and the “show and tell”.

    • Hi Deborah! Thank you so much, it’s so different from my usual style of design, so it’s nice to hear that you think it looks good! It feels much more like a traditional charm bracelet because of all the dangles. I am a little more comfortable with adding dangles, but I think this number is a bit of an exception ^^ I don’t see myself naturally going for so many – in this case, I just wanted to make space to add this Luck & Fortune bead as well!

      Ah, I have a new contender for worse snagging offender! I forget whether I mentioned this to you already – the Ox zodiac dangle is dreadful for it! His little horns are absolutely lethal and I can’t wear him with anything knitted at all. I’ve not had a problem with the dragon yet, interestingly!

      Haha, as I have amply demonstrated with this review, every Pandora rule I set myself I end up cheerfully breaking. Never will I start a Christmas bracelet, I said – well, now I have several! Never will I start a Halloween bracelet – started one last year and now it’s almost full, lol. And now i’m even considering a Disney design. :o It’s hopeless!

      Thanks for your lovely comment as ever Deborah! ^^

  9. Daft question but what sized bracelet do you wear. I notice in this design you have 5 charms between the clips. I wear a 17in and i can only fit 3 – 4 comfortably so my bracelet never looks so well balanced ☹️

    • I wear a 19cm :) it’s the perfect size for me as it’s a little roomy even when full and I get a decent amount of muranos on to each design and still have it roll up and down my wrist and not be too tight. It’s a shame for people with smaller wrists, you get fewer charms per bracelet. I had never thought of that before!

  10. It’s such a lovely charm on my very long wish list another goodie which the uk missed out on. I love your bracelet design.

  11. Hi when will the more Disney charms be released and new spring collection. I just received my birthday vochuer and I am waiting to see if any new charms are gong to be released soon. I recieved thee Chinese New Year charm of the little man. My hubby gave it to me when we were out having Chinese. ?

    • Hi! The Disney beads will be out in April :) the Spring collection release date is 15 March. The CNY bead is adorable, your hubby did well!<3

  12. Hi,

    Can I ask if the gold gift box has any room for a bracelet or is it just for charms? I am in Australia and the fortune and luck charm is alot cheaper here however no gift box… I can get one of my friends to get it for me from Singapore but if it’s only for charms I am not sure if I will want it…… Thanks!

    • Hi Jenny! You can’t put a bracelet in it, no… it’s big enough for one, but the inside is divided up into smaller sections so you’re not really supposed to put a bracelet in it. :)

  13. I wish I could buy him with the gift box from the US! Are there any specific reliable websites that you can buy authentic Pandora from different countries?

    • Hi Kat,
      I too wish I could have the gift box. I did purchase him from my local jeweler (He is just so lovely!) but definitely would love to have that box.

    • No, unfortunately not :( Pandora are very strict about not letting retailers ship outside of their country. Collectors rely on each other to help with country exclusives!

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