Ballpark Estimate: $175 for a basic design to $3,000+ for a 14K gold and Murano glass design
You’ve probably heard of Pandora’s Box. The name is likely to conjure up rich images of the Greek myth in which Pandora opens a forbidden box and unwittingly unleashes evil into the world. Over the centuries, this legend has inspired countless poets and artists. The title has been used by economists, too, to describe conditions where unforeseen difficulties can arise. On a more positive note, though, Pandora is also the namesake of a popular jewelry line. While in mythology, Pandora’s Box signified releasing bad vibes, Pandora jewelry is said to signify the hope that was left behind. To this end, Pandora jewelry features a variety of simple, modern pieces that also maintain classic lines, which people can customize into their own unique and timeless designs.
A Highly Popular Style
In an age where DIY is at a premium when it comes to home projects and furnishings, it should come as no surprise that women also want the same involvement in creating their own jewelry designs. Perhaps that’s why wherever you go these days, you are likely to see women and girls wearing Pandora bracelets of all types. These simple charm bracelets come unadorned, allowing the wearer to transform them with colorful accent pieces that come in all shapes, colors and price points. As a result, no two finished bracelets are apt to look exactly alike. Many women seem particularly drawn to the idea that they can choose charms that are representative of special times and events in their lives.
Something for Everyone
You can recognize a Pandora bracelet by the simple silver or gold cord that can be customized with silver, gold and glass charms of all different styles and designs. Some of the charms have semi-precious stones, pearls and cubic zirconia accents to make them stand out, while others are made from Murano glass in brightly-hued colors and patterns.
Further, while many of the bracelets and the individual charms can be found at a range of price points, from inexpensive sterling silver items to pricey 14K gold pieces, you can mix and match a range of styles to your owning liking and budget. Keep in mind, though, that when you put the bracelet and charms together into your own creation, you will find that the price of a finished bracelet can generally add up quickly — even when you select pieces from the lower end of the line.
Many Pandora fans swear that their finished products are worth the expense, since the bracelets can be worn everyday as well as for special occasions, and will never go out of date. Perhaps that’s why many at a time when budgets are tight, many women are still willing to invest in multiple bracelets, which allows them to collect a diverse collection of charms to represent their varied interests and styles.
How It Works
Each Pandora bracelet is separated into three sections, each of which has special threads to securely hold the beads or charms you select and yet still allows them to dangle gracefully. In addition to charms, most people also choose special clips that hook onto the raised areas of the base, and then there are also fancy spacer beads to fill out the design. You can add some or all of these elements onto the bracelet base, and you can also rotate different items. This allows you to change or update the look of your design as often as you’d like.
The Story of Pandora Jewelry
The story of Pandora jewelry dates back to 1982, when a goldsmith and his wife opened a jewelry shop in Copenhagen, Denmark. After several years of running this successful business, the couple decided to open their own factory in Thailand and launch their own unique jewelry brand. The pieces in the resulting high-end line are inspired by their two head designers, who put their own personal spin on the Pandora signature style. In 1999, Pandora first introduced the customizable charm bracelet design to its Danish audience. Women there embraced the concept and the selection of charms quickly grew to large proportions. Over time, the popularity spread worldwide.
Where to Buy
Since 2002, Pandora jewelry has been available in the United States. You can find it at many fine jewelry stores, department stores and online. Just in keep in mind that there are a number Pandora fakes and look-alikes, so if you find some of the items offered below market value on websites, costume jewelry shops or at other specialty places, you may not be getting the same materials and craftsmanship offered in the original designs.
You can find a list of authorized dealers in the U.S. on the Pandora jewelry website.
If you want to order your bracelet directly from the manufacturer, you can also use the website’s special Bracelet Design Studio, which is an online tool that allows you to select pieces with a click of the mouse so you can arrange them any way you like. This enables you to experiment with different textures, shapes and colors in order to achieve the finished look you desire. You can also save your items so you can mix and match what you own with other charms you plan to buy.
Finally, the authorized website also offer some completed bracelet designs you can select right from the website, or you can use these items to inspire you to find your own style.
What It Costs
There are endless choices when it comes to designing a Pandora bracelet. With about 600 Pandora charms to choose from, and new designs being released four times a year, there are always new styles to match your heart’s dearest desire. Just keep in mind that each new charm is likely to come at a hefty price (which should be about the same regardless of where you shop, whether in a retail store or online).
Here is a sampling of what you might expect to pay for each item when you start creating your Pandora bracelet design:
Cost For A Pandora Bracelet
- Silver bracelet: $50
- Silver bracelet with 14K clasp: $230
- Gold bracelet with clasp: $1,250
- Silver charm: $15 to $80 each
- Gold charm: $180 each
- Murano glass bead with silver: $30
- Murano glass bead with gold: $180
- Silver spacer: $15 to $65
- Gold spacer: $75 to $180
- Clip charm: $25 for silver and up to $200 for gold
The Bottom Line
If you want to buy a bracelet already put together, you should understand that Pandora jewelry designs come at a wide range of price points. For instance, on the low end, a very simple sterling silver starter bracelet with five basic charms runs about $175. This minimal design allows plenty of room to add your own beads choices over time. If you have more money to spend and want a bracelet already filled end to end with a mix of silver and Murano glass beads, such a colorful rainbow design costs will be in the mid-range, coming in at about $860. On the high end of the price spectrum, a confirmation bracelet that features 14K gold accents and Murano glass sells for $2,605.
So you can expect to spend anywhere from $175 for a basic sterling silver bracelet with a few silver charms to close to $3,000 or even more for a bracelet complete with the full works in 14K gold and Murano glass.
All For A Good Cause
In 2008, Pandora released the One World Health Charm in conjunction with The Institute for OneWorld Health, a nonprofit pharmaceutical company that develops medication for third-world countries. The sterling silver charm, which is accented with a 14K gold design, is available at most retailers who sell the bracelets and cost $80. For each charm sold, $20 of the price is donated to the charity. This means you can treat yourself and support a worthy cause at the same time.