I have somehow managed to evade the Pandora bracelet fad for quite a while, despite seeing it ALL the time in KLM’s in-flight shopping offering. In case you haven’t heard of it yet, Pandora is a jewelry line that originated from Denmark which is now available in more than 50 countries around the world. They sell charm bracelets, stackable rings, customisable earrings, and necklaces.
It’s the charm bracelets that I’ve been avoiding for far too long. You see, I’ve always secretly dreamed of having one ever since I was a young girl. I just never bought one because I didn’t like the standard charms that came with the charm bracelets found in most gold shops in Malaysia.
Then two weeks ago, I made the mistake of browsing through the Holland Herald while waiting for our KLM flight to take off. It took all of my self-restraint to not jump off my seat when I saw THE most irresistible trio of charms ever: the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, and Big Ben!
I looooove New York, Paris, and London (who doesn’t?!) and hold fond memories of my trips to those three places — New York with DH (where we met up with my best friend since first grade), Paris and London with my mother. Those three charms are way better than any souvenirs that I can possibly think of. They’re the quintessential emblems of those three famous cities. Thus, to say that I was smitten with those charms is an understatement.
So did I buy the trio of charms in that flight? No, not just yet. That’s the kind of person I am when it comes to buying non-necessities: I always force myself to wait a while to re-evaluate if it’s mere infatuation or true love. But the moment I stepped off the plane, I felt a deep sinking feeling that only got worse each day. That’s when I knew I had to have them. I was hopelessly, utterly, madly, and deeply in love.
Two agonising weeks later, I flew again with KLM and finally managed to buy the trio of travel destination charms. My hands trembled as I opened the boxes and examined the charms. The workmanship and detailing — despite their miniscule size — are absolutely exquisite and make them worth every cent.
Of course, it doesn’t make sense to have the charms only without buying the bracelet on which to attach them. I bought the Pandora starter bracelet set which KLM conveniently also had on board. It consists of a silver bracelet, two beveled clips, and the silver Sparkling Heart charm which they sold as a package at a price lower than what they would cost if bought separately.
The starter bracelet looked something like this:
Except that it came with this Sparkling Heart charm instead of the pink one in the photo above:-
But does the story end there? Noooo. As fate would have it, on my return flight, KLM was giving away €10 discount cards (for purchases €75 and above, in commemoration of King Willem-Alexander’s inauguration). So I plunged in even deeper and bought the Fascinating Pink glass bead (US retail price: $45) and Pink Pavé Lights Charm (US retail price: $65) which KLM was selling for €80 for the pair, net pricing being €70 (~$90, saving me some $20), thanks to the €10 discount card.
The good/bad thing about Pandora in Malaysia? They’re EVERYWHERE! So it’s so easy to find a Pandora outlet in many major shopping malls and get lost in its world of charms. So one Friday (when Malaysians get 2-hour lunch breaks), I made the mistake of walking into one of their outlets…which ended up with my going home with two more charms — a heart-shaped Mum charm (which is who I am!) which matches the Sparkling Heart charm in terms of size and shape, and an open work Heart charm (erm…to balance out the round Pink Pavé Lights charm heh).
Et alors…voila! I am now the giddy-as-a-schoolgirl-owner of this Pandora bracelet:
The thing about Pandora is how versatile it is as a piece of jewelry. Not only does it go with most any outfit, you can also add and remove charms to match your changing moods and styles. The resulting combination can be as simple as this elegant pearl bracelet design which I found online:
Or it can be as elegant and bling-y as this design from Pandora’s website:
I’m head over heels in love with this design, can you tell? *sigh*
Another good thing about being a Pandora owner? It simplifies the gift-giving process for husbands and friends ;) On my wish list right now:
- A second Fascinating Pink glass bead
- A pair of Love Of My Life charm clips in white or pink
- A pair of Leading Lady charms in white and another pair in pink
- A Cool Breeze dangling charm, because blue topaz is the birthstone for November
- A Camera charm because, obviously, I love taking pics
- A Life Saver charm because of my fascination with the medical field (I eat, sleep, breathe books, TV series, and movies related to doctors and hospitals!)…plus the strange coincidence that my best friend since 1st grade and many other friends are medical doctors
- A Pink Ribbon charm in honour of my mother, who is a breast cancer survivor - A Family Forever charm to symbolize my family
A word of caution though — the charm bracelet can get pretty heavy once your charm collection starts to expand. Most of the charms are made of sterling silver; some are made of gold but they cost an arm and a leg. Alternatively, you can opt for a simpler look with only 1 or 3 specially selected charms and can even use a braided leather bracelet (which comes in various colours), if silver’s not your cup of tea, just like this Breast Cancer Awareness bracelet set:-
I found a jewelry shop in KLIA (I forgot the name but it’s near the trains, right next to Habib Jewels) and they are selling Lovelinks charms, which turn out to be compatible with Pandora. Prices are slightly lower than Pandora charms and they have waaaay too many choices available! As you can guess, I bought a charm — a sterling silver piece with a dangling freshwater pearl – to commemorate my little Peanut’s first birthday. He was traveling with me to Jakarta that day, exactly one day after his first birthday.