t’s … interesting,” says Datin Zarida Noordin, managing director of Pandora ndora Malaysia,Mal as she mulls over the Murano charm I had just created. Within a ring of orange glas glass, sad white “flowers” bloomed out of shape like melting ice cream. One look at the samples provided earlier confirmed that my pattern was far from either the crisp petals or vintage polka dots it could have been. She returns it to me with a warm smile, both of us well aware that my attempt would never have made the cut, not with Pandora’s strong attention to detail and strict quality control.
Founded in 1982 by Danish goldsmith Per Enevoldsen and his wife, Winnie, Pandora is known for its timeless designs. Ever since the couple first started selling adornments acquired from Thailand in a small shop on the outskirts of Copenhagen, they have shared a unique vision of making beautifully crafted combination jewellery. Today, Pandora is sold in more than 80 countries across six continents through approximately 10,000 points of sale, including more than 1,100 concept stores. Its hand-finished creations inspire women to embrace their individuality and express their personal style.
We’re on a visit to the jeweller’s crafting facilities in Gemopolis, Bangkok, to witness the journey of its exquisitely made pieces, including the well-loved customisable bracelets of gold and sterling silver. While it all begins with imaginative, detailed sketches by the design team in Copenhagen, it is here that the magic takes place, using specialised techniques similar to those used with high-end jewellery. Standouts among these tried-and-true methods include stone setting and the shaping of Murano glass.
Firstly, the stones are scrutinised, graded, and checked for size, shape, and quality. Combining contemporary design with traditional craftsmanship, they are set individually by hand by skilled gemsetters. Of note is the classic bead setting, where each carefully selected
Pandora Spring/ Summer ’15
Lee Antony Gray, VP and creative director of Pandora