Following on from my overview of the Pandora Shine range earlier today, I am excited to already be able to offer my first review from the collection, with a closer look at the Pandora Shine Queen Bee pendant! As I’ve said before, bumblebees are one of my favourite motifs in jewellery, and so this was probably the aspect of Shine that I’ve been most excited for. 🍯
I was fortunate enough to be given this piece to review, but of course this doesn’t affect the opinions expressed in this review at all. :) I haven’t been able to see all of Pandora Shine in person yet, or to have an extended play with it, so this will mostly be a review of this specific piece, but with some observations on Shine overall, too.
Read on for close-up shots and styling inspiration!
Pandora Shine Queen Bee pendant review
Before I get started properly, I just wanted to highlight how pretty the Shine gift packaging is! This charm box has honeycomb and bee detailing on the top, and it’s just beautiful. Pandora has got so much better at making special pieces feel even more special with little extras.
And now, for the bead itself! I can’t comment on the other beads, but I was taken aback by just how vibrant the colour is. Shine is a good name for the collection. This pendant is stunning. It is small, and yet it makes a big impact with its rich combination of yellow, black enamel and a little sparkle.
I love the delicacy of the detailing across the wings. And you do notice the little details – one of my problems with heavily pavéd Pandora charms is that there’s often a lot going on, and you’re left with an impression of bling and not much else. Here, I don’t mind the little dash of pavé on this pendant – the colour of the bead in contrast with the vibrant black enamel is so striking that the pavé sparkle fades a little into the background, adding to the effect without feeling like overkill.
With its contemporary style, it’s quite different to their existing jewellery. Nevertheless, Pandora wouldn’t be Pandora without adding a little dash of cuteness with a tiny heart detail – this nestles in between the bee’s wings.
The bead has Pandora branding right at the base, which I don’t think adds to the design all that much, although it is only really visible from the back of the charm. You wouldn’t normally get that on a little animal bead or pendant of theirs. With Shine, Pandora is making, or trying to make, a big statement as a brand – they’re doing some new and exciting – and this is a signature piece from the collection, one of the ones that I’ve seen most in the promo material. So I can see why they want to put their logo on it.
Moving on to Shine itself, the colour is just so rich in person. Putting this pendant next to my 14kt gold two-tone bangle, you can appreciate how the colour of Shine is much more vibrant. The finish is completely different. In fact, it’s different enough that I actually don’t think that I’d want to mix solid 14kt gold charms and Shine. And it might be reassuring to some 14kt gold collectors that the two finishes look so distinct from each other, too.
I’ve heard some reservations from people who feel that the Shine line is too yellow, and I can understand that, as it does look very bright on the regular clips and decorative pieces if you’re not used to it. However, in these bee pieces I’d say it works well. The colour contrast with the black enamel is great. The hallmark is the same as sterling silver – S925 ALE.
Doing the styling for this review was such a novelty for me, as I have never had an all-yellow-gold bead to style before. A lot of Pandora’s marketing focuses on putting together full Shine designs, stacking multiple Shine bracelets with a multitude of Shine charms, but I suspect that many collectors will be wanting to make their new pieces work with their existing Pandora collections, or won’t have the spending power to indulge in a full set of Shine beads fresh off the bat.
I find that the richness of Shine’s colour goes beautifully with similarly richly coloured murano glass – the deep cerise of the Flower Garden muranos is lovely with the gold, while the hint of 14kt gold in the retired Bee Hive and the Saturn Flowers charms brings it all together. Pandora Shine and classic Pandora can go well together! :)
The other place that my mind immediately went to with all the honeybees was Pandora’s lovely Winnie the Pooh collection, of course! This is a Hundred Acre Wood styling, bringing in pretty daisies, honeybees and the usual suspects – Pooh Bear, Tigger and my beloved Eeyore charm. ^^ I didn’t add Piglet as his colouring is quite bright, and I think that would be a bit of a clash with the Shine.
I alternated clips and charms to do something a little bit different on this bracelet, and I quite like the effect. Ideally, I’d have put two more Mint Glitters, if I had them, in the outer sections! :) More Pandora Shine beads would also, obviously, work well on this design – perhaps one of the Honeybee openwork charms on one outer section, and then either the Golden Honey or the Honeycomb Lace on the other.
Ultimately, my instinct is that I would like to get a Shine bracelet on which to wear it, and some other Shine pieces, as it is quite a different finish to the regular 14kt two-tone beads. I’d like to do a little mini design on the sliding bracelet or bangle, putting together the Golden Honey charm, the bee openwork and the murano. 🍯
It’s funny to be reviewing such a controversial piece – or, rather, a piece from such a controversial collection. There’s been a huge amount of marketing dazzle surrounding Shine thus far, and I think we’ll be able to get more of a measure of it overall once the dust has settled, and we’ve been wearing it for a little while. The test will, of course, be in how well the bead wears. In the meantime, my first impressions of this little bee pendant are very positive indeed and I am now excited to see more of the collection – and maybe to get a couple more bee pieces to go with this one. 🐝
The Pandora Shine Queen Bee pendant is $90 USD or £70. If you’re in the UK, it’s available for purchase at authorised stockist John Greed Jewellery:
where you can also get this pretty Pandora gold clutch and box if you spend £125 or more on Shine products. :D
Are any of the Pandora Shine bees on your wish list? And have you got a chance to get a good look at Shine yet?