With every new Pandora collection, we push to raise the bar for jewellery design and craftsmanship even more.
Many hands, with love
Each Pandora piece passes through an average of 25 pairs of hands during the crafting process. Every piece you wear has been touched with love.
From idea to sparkling finish
1 The design process
Comprising six steps that transform ideas into real, tangible prototypes, we begin by identifying current trends, gathering customer feedback and evaluating local market needs. After analysing the data, we then move onto the creative process, where our design department begins to create mood boards that shape each new collection. Here, the new collection’s general direction and expression starts to take shape. Sketches of individual designs are created, with details continually being added, subtracted or updated to ensure the final design is perfect.
2 Design and sample development
All new jewellery design ideas are shaped into prototypes throughout a lengthy design process with our design team and craftspeople. In the final stage of the design process, the final designs are selected by our Pandora representatives for launch in the new collection.
3 Rubber mould cutting
We create a rubber mould by pressing several layers of rubber around the jewellery master and vulcanising the form. This chemical process (Vulcan) converts natural rubber into a more durable material through the use of sulphur. The jewellery master is then cut away, leaving behind a rubber mould with an identical hollow impression.
4 Wax model
The rubber mould is injected with molten wax and two metal plates are pressed on either side of the mould to prevent the wax from running out – which hardens into exact copies of the original jewellery master. The wax model is allowed to cool for a few minutes before being removed from the rubber mould. Each rubber mould is very efficient; it can be reused up to 2000 times.
The wax model is cleaned and attached to a wax tree with a burner, adding more wax models until the tree is full.
6 Burnout ovens
The wax trees are then placed into metal cylinders to create plaster moulds. The cylinders are filled with liquid gypsum and heated in a burnout oven for several hours, baking the gypsum into a hard plaster and melting and evaporating the wax. The process leaves chambers in the plaster, shaped as the jewellery master.
The plaster moulds then go into a casting machine into which silver or gold alloy is poured. The metal alloy melts down into the forms, replicating the jewellery master.
When the plaster casts have cooled down, the metal trees are removed from inside and cleaned to remove any residue.
The jewellery forms are cut from the tree. Any surplus metal is refined and reused.
The next step removes the nub of the metal left behind when cutting the piece from the tree, preparing the metal for further refinement.
11 In-line quality control
There are many quality control checkpoints during our crafting process, the timing of which varies from one crafting facility to another. This tends to be where our first check takes place.
12 Assembling, soldering and stone setting
Pandora’s skilled goldsmiths adorn and detail our jewellery designs using a variety of crafting techniques. Different elements are assembled and soldered as necessary to create the finished masterpieces. For instance, fitting clasps on bracelets and necklaces, soldering bails on dangles, adding metal cores inside glass and stone charms or silicone grips inside clips and creating adorable movable features on Pandora Friends charms. Stones are set by hand, either directly in the metal or in the wax model, using many classic settings which secure and showcase them to maximum effect. See the Stone Setting chapter for further information about the different types of stone settings we use.
13 Polishing and tumbling
Every piece of jewellery is polished beautifully before the all-important quality control check. The jewellery is placed in a special tumbler machine to smooth and buff the surface before ultrasonic cleaning removes any residue.
14 Surface textures
This step creates different surface effects on metals, such as high shine and satin effects and diamond pointing, which creates an intriguing texture that is both matte and brilliant without using stones. Originating in the 17th century and reinvented for jewellery in the last century, the technique involves using a diamond-pointed tool to prick the surface of the metal to create the effect.
15 Oxidation and plating
In this step, special finishes are added to selected high-quality metals to create different tones and contrasts. Finishes include oxidisation, e-coating (electric coating also known as electrophoretic painting, electrocoating and electropainting) and plating on our unique metal blends – ruthenium, 14k gold and 14k rose gold.
16 Enamelling and gluing
Enamelling is a decoration often used on Pandora jewellery. Colours are mixed in-house and the glossy, hardwearing enamel is applied to the jewellery by hand using a thin needle, or by hand-painting for shaded enamel effects. Freshwater cultured pearls and lacquered artificial pearls are also set by hand, carefully glued onto traditional peg settings. These processes always take place after polishing and tumbling.
17 Final quality control
All pieces of jewellery go through a rigorous quality control process and it is here they are given the final sign-off as meeting Pandora’s strict standards of quality.
18 Packing and shipping
The final step is packing the hand-finished Pandora jewellery and shipping it around the world, ready for women to wear, style and cherish.
Home of the craft
With a good infrastructure and easy access to raw materials and suppliers, Thailand is the ideal place for creating our jewellery. We are proud to provide safe and healthy working conditions for more than 11,000 craftspeople at our two modern crafting facilities in Thailand.
We work closely with our suppliers to make sure they live up to our ethical standards when it comes to human and labour rights, the impact on our environment and fair and honest business practices.