Today’s post brings my first charm reviews in a little while, with a closer look at two new beads from the Pandora Summer 2018 collection! While this collection overall focused on festival colours and motifs, picked out in vibrant enamel, rainbow CZs and luminous tassels, there were also some really sweet silver character beads – and it’s those I’m focusing on today.
The format of today’s review is a little different from usual: as I never previewed or discussed this collection before my time off due to the issues with previews that were rumbling on, I wanted to speak more generally today about the collection overall. However, if you’d be interested to see that original preview post (I did write it and put it together, even though I never published it), please let me know, and I can put that out too. :)
In the meantime, read on for close-up shots and inspiration!
Pandora Summer 2018 charm reviews
There are a lot of carnival colours in this collection (see above), but my two picks from this erred more on the side of delicacy and silver detailing:
The stand-out charm for many was the all-silver Dreamcatcher. This lovely all-silver design is a new character bead from Pandora – we’ve not had one before – and is beautifully executed. The feathers are not fixed in place, and all dangle freely from the base of the charm.
The bead actually feels weightier and more substantial than I was expecting from the stock image – it’s quite a solid charm, and the overall effect of the pattern at the centre is quite oxidised-looking, too. The feathers are also nicely defined through oxidised detail, and overall the look is not quite so shiny and light as some recent Pandora beads.
In use, you’ll find that it’s large and eye-catching, and its dangling feathers are really striking, too. In light of this, for me I see it as more of a focal bead within a full charm bracelet – or as a bead to use within part of a smaller design, such as on a bangle or leather bracelet, where it has the space to breathe and won’t get crowded or look odd against other smaller beads.
The top of the charm is set with the words Follow your dreams. This may or may not be your thing, but it’s less intrusive than some of Pandora’s inscribed messages. The writing is tiny and not too showy, so you can just ignore it if it doesn’t suit you.
My second favourite is the Drink to Go takeaway cup. I’ve been wanting one of these for a long time! I love that Saturday Night Live called this charm in their Pandora parody earlier this year (see here) – my main takeaway from that comedy take on charm collecting was that a little coffee cup would be an amazing bead. Well, we have it now!
In person, I was even more bowled away. The charm is a nice, solid silver design, and the pink enamel very classic Pandora. It’s pale enough (paler than the stock image suggests) not to really pose much of a colour clash however you want to style it, too. Again, I think I would prefer not to have the words Take a break on it, but the script itself is rather pretty. Pandora are known for including hidden hearts in their designs as a little easter egg and, sure enough, you’ll find one on the top of the cup. ^^
I’ve added them to a summery design I built up last year, shuffling a couple of beads around to make it work. This is how it was before:
I moved the Pear to the left and put the Dreamcatcher front and centre. As I said, It’s such a lovely statement bead, so it works best as a focal piece. The Drink to Go is tucked away to the left – one of my favourite memories of our holidays in Amsterdam is getting a takeaway coffee and just meandering around the canals, taking it all in.
I like to stack this one with one of my two Summer leathers. It makes for such a fun, colourful combination – perfect for this heatwave we’re currently enjoying here in the UK!
If you’re in the UK, you can purchase them from authorised stockist John Greed via the links below:
Both charms are absolutely gorgeous, thoughtful character beads – CZ-free, and full of well-executed and cute detail. It’s so refreshing to see. The takeaway cup is one I’ve wanted for a long time, being a coffee fiend, and the use of my favourite pink enamel only makes it more appealing to me. My only real negative on either of them is the inscribed text: character charms carry their own meanings and inferences for different people – trying to then impose a message on them can often be constricting, rather than illuminating.
On a side note, I was so, so touched and thrilled by all your lovely comments on my first post back – thank you so much! I’ll be replying to them gradually over the course of the next week or so. Again, if you’d like to read my thoughts on the Summer collection overall, I can post that, too – just let me know.
Did you buy either of these beads? If so, how have you styled them?