It’s almost time for the Pandora Autumn 2018 launch on Thursday, but today I’m harking back to Spring 2018 for the final time with a round-up of charm reviews! I absolutely loved this year’s Spring collection, and ended up acquiring a lot of the new pieces – so much so that I didn’t get around to reviewing them all!
To rectify that, I thought I’d post pictures and thoughts on all my leftover Spring beads, and then showcase my Pandora Spring 2018 bracelet designs at the end!
Pandora Spring 2018 charm reviews
We begin with the sweetly oxidised Spring Bird House charm – this wasn’t a bead that I originally intended on getting, but seeing it in other people’s designs really won me over. The openwork design works well here, and the bead still has both weight and character – the little bird is very sweet, and it’s a nice little charm to have perched amongst other Pandora floral charms.
They’ve conveyed the dark texture of the wood very well with the use of oxidised grooves on the silver, which set off the little silver bird on its perch so nicely. Pandora have in recent years opted for very shiny, unoxidised pieces, so to see them embrace this as a form of detailing again is really nice.
In true Pandora fashion, there are hidden hearts within this design – the little bird’s perch is carved into a heart silhouette. I for one really like this traditional in Pandora charms – I feel like it’s part of the brand’s charm, and I don’t find it distracting in the way that I do their quotes and messages.
I still find the message on the back of the charm – Sweet home – a bit unnecessary. The only other thing to note is that it is quite large and angular, so it’s not the easiest to style.
Moving on, the little bird alights this time on the delightful Enchanted Teacup. One of the things I liked most about the Pandora Spring 2018 was the repetition of the bird motif, a pretty recurring thread among the different charms. The teacup itself has beautifully ornate detailing around the cup, but my favourite detail is the adorable little spoon!
The pink enamel of the teacup varies between charms – some are a delicate, soft shade, and some are bright, vibrant pink, which works less well. As some have commented, people don’t drink pink tea, and they certainly don’t drink bright pink tea! On this basis, it’s worth picking out this bead in person.
You might be able to spot in this picture that the bail is unthreaded – it will slide on and off your bracelet like an openwork.
To complement the tea cup, we have the adorable teapot! This time, you’ll find the bird sitting above the spout, set off by the sweet pretty floral details on the top of the bead.
The branding on the side of the teapot again is not something I much care for – I think it adds an incongruous contemporary touch to a very prettily antique design. The hallmarks on my teapot are also quite extensive (as you saw in the picture above), with a ‘P2’ marking alongside the ALE mark, and again I think they are noticeable enough in person to detract from the charm.
The other thing to say about this charm is that it’s really big! You definitely need to think about how to style based on it as it really dwarves other beads, and I think it would have been just that bit closer to perfect if they’d made it a little more delicate in size.
The Cute Mouse is a design that I think perfectly balances size and detail. It has the cute additional detail of an articulated tail – so sweet! It’s quite compact and petite, and easy to pair up with other beads.
However, I was chatting to someone on Facebook about this charm and they pointed out an unfortunate side effect of the design. Look at it head on… and it sort of looks like an alien! ? I was able to ‘unsee’ this and to love the little mouse nevertheless, but it does make me laugh looking at it every now and again!
My final item is my very first Pandora petite – the Ladybug. I’ve not bought a floating locket or any other petites previously (I’m just not quite sure that they are my style), and if there had been a regular charm version of this bead, I suspect I’d have bought that. However, there isn’t, and I just loved the combination of the pretty purple enamel and the oxidised spots in the design of this ladybug bead. It’s just so eye-catching and pretty.
In person, the contrast between the ladybird and the purple isn’t quite as striking, but it’s so cute nevertheless. I’ve put him in the Floating Locket charm and styled him amongst my other Spring charms. But I think he might look at his best in one of the bigger lockets, with other floral or spring-like petites around him – the cherry blossom flower, or the Shine bee – to bring out his sweet colour and detailing. I also feel like the branding of the Floating Locket distract from his cuteness a little!
I was surprised by quite how ‘petite’ it was in person, however! Here’s a shot of with the Cute Mouse and Locket, to put it in perspective. It really is just a teeny tiny little bit of silver, and it feels very loseable! I’m glad that it’s shut up tight on my locket on my bracelet. I bought mine in the US promo back in March, where it retails for $15 USD and was covered by the deal, but I don’t think I’d have paid a full £15 GBP for it. I’d wait for an offer or sale of some kind, for this one.
I tried to balance the bigger Enchanted Tea Pot charm by putting it opposite the Floral Brilliance openwork, which is a rather large decorative piece, and by placing it near a taller murano glass bead. A lot of the older Pandora nature beads look stunning with this collection, and I went hunting the old Lady Bird and Butterfly charms for this purpose!
The white Polka Dot muranos might seem like an odd choice, but I really like them and managed to score a used pair at a reasonable price. I wanted something quite neutral to complement the softer pastel purples, and the modern white Pandora muranos all have quite a lot of shine/vibrance on them – these older white beads are more muted, and softer, and I think go quite cosily with the teatime beads.
Finally, as a little bonus, here’s one final Spring 2018 piece that didn’t make it on to the previous bracelet design. The ornate detailing of the Enchanted Heart safety chain struck me as perfect for my Victorian oxidised floral design – its pretty heart curlicues complement the old style Birthday Blooms rather perfectly.
Here’s a shot of it from the front (albeit minus the safety chain):
For a few seasons, it has felt like my major purchases from Pandora Spring collections have been mostly decorative murano beads, and it’s so nice to have a whole little host of characters and critters to review from them again! Enchanted tea parties, little woodland creatures – it’s all very up my street and I’ve had such Spring 2013 vibes picking my favourites from this collection. The only note I’d make is that I think the sizing of some of the beads makes them harder to style. It strikes me as a balance between giving a design enough room to do its detail justice and making it easy to combine with other beads on a bracelet, and I’m not sure that all these beads always strike that balance perfectly.
You can see my previous Spring 2018 reviews here:-
Have you got everything you wanted from the Spring collection? Are you planning on styling any of it with the new Autumn beads?