LET’S TALK ABOUT JEWELRY SERIES – PANDORA, A NEWBIE’S GUIDE

Pandora is the hottest jewelry trend right now.  I sell a lot of Pandora style jewelry in my shop at phenomenally low prices, and I get a lot of questions from customers new to this type of charm bracelet.  I do have tutorials posted on my blog – but I thought I’d put out an actual blog post to get the information more visible to more people.

But before I get into that, let’s talk about “screw type” beads.  Screw type beads are just that – they are beads that you twist on and off over the risers on the bracelet.  You can tell if the bead is a screw type by looking at the inside of it – if you see ridges, it’s a screw type.  This type of bead is made to keep the other beads from sliding around too much on the bracelet.  There are also rubber ring type beads, which you have to gently force over the risers, and they do the same thing – they keep the beads from moving around too much. 

Lastly, there are also clip stopper beads.  This type of bead actually opens the same way as a snap clasp and you place it where you want it on the bracelet, again to keep the beads from miving around too much.  All three types of “lock” beads can be used to keep the beads from falling off the bracelet also.  I use the clip stop beads on all of my Pandora style bracelets – because who wants to go chasing after a bunch of beads that have scattered all over the floor?! 

HOW DO I KNOW WHAT SIZE BRACELET TO ORDER?

First, if you don’t know what size bracelet you wear, get out a tape measure and measure your wrist. Next, add 1/2” to what you just measured to fit the bracelet you’ve just bought and that is the size you will need.  However, if you plan to add more beads in the future then add another 1/2” to accommodate them.  The bracelet will be a bit loose at first, but as you add more beads it will “shrink” in size.  The reason for this is that the diameter of the beads eats up space, and in effect it “shrinks” the bracelet.

HOW DO I OPEN AND CLOSE THE BRACELET?
(this also applies to stopper beads)

Look closely at the snap clasp and rotate it until you see two “lips” or raised edges along the width.  Next, use your thumbnails to gently pry apart the lips.  Place one thumbnail at each end of the lips, in the groove between the lips, and apply gentle pressure inward until the clasp snaps open. 

Now, take a close look at each end of the bracelet.  You will see the clasp end and also the end where you add beads.  Now take a look at the clasp end.  When it’s shut, can you see a hole on the end side?  Now open the clasp – d0 you see a “U” shape on the same end side?  Now look at the opposite end of the bracelet where you add the beads.   Do you see what looks like a tiny thumb tack on the end of it?  Now, fit the stem part of the “thumbtacks” end into the U part of the clasp end so they nestle together and then snap the clasp shut.  Make sure they are nestled properly or you can damage the clasp.  A good rule of thumb is to never force the clasp shut.  It sounds complicated, but you only need to do it once to earn how easy it is.  Also, sometimes when the bracelets are new they’re a little tight and hard to open and close, but they’ll get easier to open in time.

HOW DO I CARE FOR MY BRACELET?

Lastly, let’s talk about care.  Very important – this care is for silver plated bracelets only.  (This does not apply to sterling silver bracelets!!!)

  • Rule #1 – do not get your Pandora style bracelet wet.  If it does get wet, dry it immediately with a soft cloth. 
  • Rule #2 – Do not use any kind of polishing compound on the bracelet.   Do not use a jewelry’s cleaning cloth.  If you want to shine it a little, it’s ok to use a jeweler’s polishing/buffing cloth.  You should not have to do this though, as silver plate will not tarnish like sterling silver will.
  • Rule #3 – The same care applies to beads and charms.

So, that’s it for today.  I am undecided about the next tutorial subject, so keep checking back for Part V.  Also, if you’d like to purchase any of the items in the photos, just click on it and you’ll go right to my shop.  Happy browsing!!

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