How to spot fake Pandora? This guide is designed for those looking for genuine Pandora but wish to buy preloved or online. Below are some photos so you can compare. Both charms, fake and authentic all have the 925ALE stamp but look at the size compared to a genuine one – they are always smaller due to the manufacturing process. Note the quality, the detailing or lack of it and the strange black appearance in the crevices of the carvings. (Image above by Pandora Australia. Visit them here)
Used and new charms are available across the internet. Look closely at photos, don’t buy unless you can clearly see good detail. Then look at the Pandora catalogue number which can be found here and Google it on images and compare the detail. Don’t buy unless you are able to get a catalogue number until you have more experience.
DETAIL, DETAIL, DETAIL
You do get what you pay for. So in all product authentication, the best line of defence is to check the details. If the replica Pandora was produced badly, chances are you can spot that it’s fake without even looking at other authentication details like the stamp. Let’s take a look at the product comparison between authentic Pandora and fake Pandora thanks to photos from Pandora Jewellery Box. They sell lots of preloved Pandora items with 100% positive feedback.
The authentic charm has a ‘cleaner’ inside ring where as the fake one looks messy.
Check between the carvings. The authentic Pandora charm is neatly done but the fake one has odd looking black ‘droplets’ in between.
The snake bead from Pandora is more detailed that you can see an expression of the smiling snake and its high brows. The fake snake bead just looks messy. Also look at the crevices, you’ll notice the fake snake bead has messy black marks.
We can’t stress enough how details are really important in authenticating a Pandora charm. The authentic Pandora charm is produced with a much cleaner look. Check especially the inner ring which should be neat and smooth.
CHECK THE DESIGN
Making sure it is a design produced by Pandora is only your first port of call. Pandora.net will only have current beads – of course retired ones are available so more Googling required! People sometimes use the word Pandora without realising it is a brand – a bit like calling a vacuum cleaner a Hoover.
CHECK FOR THE 925 ALE STAMP
Then, ensure the item is clearly stamped – Silver have the 925 ALE stamp, as do silver with gold, but solid gold have 585 ALE. ALE being the founder of the company’s initials, the numbers relate to the purity of the metal. Only buy one with no stamps – see next paragraph – if you are sure of the design and trust the seller. There have been an increasing amount of silver counterfeit items which do have the 925 ALE STAMP! They appear almost too shiny – are slightly different in shape and are often smaller and weigh less due to the manufacturing process – the old adage fits ‘If it seems too good to be true then it probably is!’ Look carefully at the shape – there will be subtle differences – also if they are silver with 14c gold the gold is too deep a gold (and will quickly rub off!).
WHERE ARE THE STAMPS?
Pandora appear to “hide” the stamps on some items! Whereas on others it can be very prominent. On the clips you will find them generally inside, and on the silver ones the inside darkens with age making it difficult to see. On some of the smaller gold items i.e. spacers, it is inside the hole! On the bracelets it is found inside the clasp – again darkening through age on the silver ones. I have never seen either a silver bracelet with the inside of the clasp being shiny – or the inside of a silver clip – even when brand new they tend to be grey.
CHECK FOR THE ‘S’ STAMP
Pandora have slightly changed the marking very recently – the 925 will now have S in front of it, this is to comply with European silver marking. The markings are yet another conundrum to solve! They can wear off on the silver / silver with gold charms – particularly if they are in a position where rubbing on adjacent charms occurs as silver is a fairly soft metal. Also – Pandora have altered where they stamp on particular charms over time. Some early ones will not have the stamp.
Bracelets clasps have changed over time. The 925ALE stamp on some of the older ones can appear in a small raised box, more recently it is just stamped inside the clasp. If you’re buying online, ask for a photo of the inside of the clasp. On the outside of the clasp the word PANDORA appears – always in capitals.
The Crown appearing above to ‘O’ only on models made after late 2008 on silver ones, later on gold ones. A new and genuine bracelet will be stiff – the smaller the size the stiffer they are 19cm and smaller are almost bangle like when fastened – if you have bought a snap-clasp bracelet and it is floppy i.e. it can be coiled up into the size of a 10p piece then it either isn’t new or it isn’t real.
AUTHENTICATING MURANO GALSS BEADS
And now for the core – are Pandora cores on the Muranos dull or bright? The core is the inside threaded part. Well, whilst most fakes are bright, not all genuine Pandora cores are dull (you didn’t expect a simple answer did you?). Pandora used to make them bright, now they appear to be making them dull (new ones). Check out Pandora’s Facebook page where you will see this aspect discussed. My mantra with Murano glass ones is ‘if in doubt, chuck it out’.
Muranos are widely copied – you can sometimes tell just by seeing the photo that they are not genuine – deviation from design, colour etc., notably, the center of the flowers on the ‘Flowers for you’ sticks out far too much, but remember that they are handmade so they do vary – as outlined above. Watch out for the flowers being painted crudely onto glass beads. Also the PANDORA lettering seems to have a strange blackish appearance. The biggest giveaway is that most seem to have a missing or an ill defined inner ring (a ring running parallel with the inner core about .5mm in) but don’t confuse this with a worn Murano. Sometimes the ring is absent and in its place is just a small lip or ridge, again don’t confuse this with a used one as silver wears away after time (it’s quite a soft metal) and so the separate inner ring doesn’t look so defined.
CHECK THE BRACELET
The bracelet catch has the 925ALE and is grey – but again its slightly smaller and the PANDORA lettering is slightly narrower.
DOES THE SELLER SEEM DODGY?
If it is an eBay seller and they have the item set to ‘private’ ask yourself why? Open and honest sellers don’t generally do this unless they are selling, well, a sensitive item! It’s so buyers find it harder to communicate with each other to ask if their item was ok!
Watch out for “Genuine 925 ALE Murano bead in Pandora box” or “Genuine Silver Murano bead with free Pandora box” There are web sites offering the above – they look like Pandora but they may not be authentic! Some sellers will even add Pandora’s number to the items.
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This story and its images are not for reproduction – Do not copy – Published on www.wondermika.com with written permission from Pandora Jewellery Box who is a seller of Pandora products with 100% positive feedback.