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!
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?