What better way is there to treat a friend or loved one than with the gift of an exquisite piece of Pandora jewellery? Unfortunately, many companies out there will try to sell you imitation items, rather than the real deal. So how can you spot a fake Pandora?
THE SPONSOR’S MARK
To help you identify an authentic piece, items of the beautiful Pandora jewellery come with a distinctive sponsor’s mark. Genuine Pandora items are stamped with ‘ALE’, which is short for ‘Algot Enevoldsen’, the father of Pandora founder, Per Enevoldsen. The sponsor’s mark is sometimes also known as the ‘maker’s mark’ and appears on most Pandora jewellery, with the exception of a few of their smallest pieces.
Authentic pieces of silver and gold Pandora jewellery will feature a hallmark for the metal. Since June 2011, each sterling silver piece is stamped with a capital ‘S’ followed by a number. The ‘S’ stands for ‘silver’ and the number refers the purity, in parts per thousand.The same applies to all of Pandora’s gold jewellery, which is stamped with a capital ‘G’ for ‘gold’, along with a purity number, stated as pure gold parts per thousand in the gold alloy.Hallmarks on Pandora jewellery produced before June 2011 will contain only numbers.
THE CLASP CROWN
Since 2008 Pandora necklaces and bracelets have featured a little crown design, over the ‘O’ on their clasp. While this is not an official means of identifying a fake, if your clasp doesn’t feature a crown over the ‘O’, it might be worth doing a bit more investigation into the piece’s authenticity.
The expert jewellers who make Pandora items take great time and care to ensure that each piece is perfect. Whether you own a ring, a necklace or a beautiful bracelet charm, the physical quality should be of the highest standard. Check your item for sharp detailing, strong lines and a smooth finish. It’s a little trickier to identify but if your piece looks scruffy or lacks the proper detailing, there is a chance it could be an imitation.
HOW MUCH DOES IT WEIGH?
A good indicator of a fake item is its weight. Pure gold and silver are both substantial metals, so a gold or silver piece of jewellery should feel reasonably weighty in your hand. Hold your earring, bracelet or ring in the palm of your hand and feel its weight. If it feels too light you may have spotted a fake.
Another useful way to test this is to compare your piece to a similar Pandora item from your collection. If this is your first piece of Pandora jewellery, ask a friend if you can borrow theirs. If your piece feels comparatively lighter, it would be worth running a few more checks, to make sure it’s genuine.
IS IT MAGNETIC?
Pure gold is not magnetic, whilst pure silver has a very low magnetism. Take a fairly strong magnet, for example on the clasp of a handbag. Hold the magnet close to your jewellery and watch what happens. If the jewellery attracts strongly to the magnet, you may well have a fake. This test is not completely fool proof, as the magnetism will vary from piece to piece depending on the strength of the magnet and the exact purity of the metal. It’s a good indicator, but it’s also a good idea to do this test alongside others to be sure.
Lastly, a quick way to check whether your suspicions should be raised is to look for your item in a Pandora catalogue. If your item is advertised to you as recent, it should appear within the range.