Most of us know to search gold and silver metal jewellery for hallmarks indicating its authenticity, but when it comes to Pandora jewellery hallmarks where should we expect to find them and what do they actually mean?
There’s no doubt that Pandora is one of the most popular jewellery brands to date, but with so many other designers creating similar styles, how can you tell genuine Pandora jewellery apart from look-alike pieces? One foolproof method is to only shop for Pandora jewellery from an authorised Pandora retailer. Another is to look out for genuine Pandora hallmarks and additional identifying marks that the company put on their jewellery. So with this in mind, let’s take a closer look at what they are.
No, we’re not talking about a new craft beer; instead, we’re talking about letters which are stamped on to all Pandora jewellery (except for the smallest pieces) to indicate the jewellery’s origin. ‘ALE’ are the initials for Algot Enevoldsen, who was the father of Per Enevoldsen, the founder of Pandora. In the US this stamp is referred to as a Pandora maker’s mark identification. Other countries also require specific stamps. In the UK, for example, this is referred to as a sponsor’s mark, and in Denmark, it’s known as a responsibility mark. Be sure to examine your jewellery carefully because the hallmarks are found in varying places on the charms whereas, on the bracelets, the Pandora hallmark ale can usually be found in the clasp.
Let’s take a closer look at other hallmarks on Pandora bracelets and what they mean...
PANDORA CLASP CROWN
On Pandora bracelets especially, look out for the signature logo which consists of a small crown over the ‘O’. Most of the bracelets and necklaces produced since 2008 have this on the clasp, but be aware you can also find this on some imitation jewellery. Rather than rely on this mark alone, we’d recommend that you examine your Pandora jewellery for additional signs and compare them to other genuine Pandora items.
Pandora metal hallmarks certify that the metal is genuine and also guarantees the quality of the metal.
- All sterling silver jewellery is marked with an ‘S’ for silver, followed by the purity of the metal which is represented as pure silver parts per thousand. Therefore a Pandora hallmark S925 ale would indicate that the jewellery in question is indeed authentic silver jewellery containing 92.5% pure silver.
- All Pandora yellow gold jewellery is marked with a ‘G’ for gold followed by its gold alloy purity listed in parts per thousand. Accordingly, for 14 carat gold, a Pandora gold hallmark of ‘G585’ would indicate the presence of 58.50% real gold. In the case of 18 carat gold jewellery, the stamp would read G750 (75% real gold).
- Rose gold jewellery is marked inside with a capital ‘R’.
It’s important to be aware that the Pandora quality marks on jewellery manufactured before June 2011 contain only numbers and no letters.
It’s especially important to pay attention to the information above to ascertain the authenticity of a Pandora hallmark bracelet. In the case of Pandora charm hallmarks it’s not just a matter of finding them on jewellery, but also checking that the silver plaques bearing the hallmarks are the right shape too, to be sure your charms are authentic.
WHAT ABOUT HALLMARK PANDORA BEADS?
Pandora glass beads are a great way to add colour to your charm bracelet but if you’re purchasing a Murano glass charm how do you know it’s the real deal? The glass should look smooth and even and be well polished. If the one you’re looking at appears slightly cloudy or scratched, then it could be counterfeit, either made from low grade glass or even plastic. Another indicator of its authenticity is the silver or gold end caps. If the engraving is poor, or it looks as if it’s been stuck on with glue, then it could be an imitation. Finally, Pandora has never made charms that include Swarovski crystals, so if you’re looking at one that claims to be both, it’s definitely a dud!