The creation and crafting of every piece of Pandora jewellery is a carefully orchestrated journey. It involves a special collaboration between skilled designers and craftspeople from the Pandora Global Office and our state-of-the-art crafting facilities in Thailand.
1 Creative Process
Pandora's design process starts with an analytical phase, where trends are identified and consumers provide us with feedback about current collections. We then start to compartmentalise our ideas by creating mood boards that will help inform the direction of the collection. From there, we begin to sketch designs, constantly adding new details or changing them slightly.
2 Design & Sample Development
After we've sketched our designs, we begin the pre-production process where we include our production facilities in discussions to ensure they can transform our sketches into prototypes. Once prototypes are created, we may revise our designs to ensure the proportions or perspectives are just right. During the drawing deadline phase, we'll create all prototypes in the collection. Based on the initials drawsing, a 3D or CAD computer model is created and, once approved, the drawings and model are used for creating the jewellery master. The final stage of the design process is called the product board, where the final designs in the collection are chosen.
3 Rubber Mould Cutting
Next, we create a rubber mould by pressing several layers of rubber around the jewellery master and then vulcanising the form in a special machine called a vulcaniser. This chemical process, named after the Roman god of fire, 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 floating out, which hardens into exact copies of the original jewellery master. The wax model rests to cool for a few minutes before it's removed from the rubber mould. Each rubber mould is very efficient and can be reused up to 2,000 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. The gypsum turns into a hard plaster, while the wax melts and evaporates. The process leaves chambers in the plaster shaped as the jewellery master.
The plaster moulds then go into a casting machine, where silver or gold alloy is poured into the moulds. The metal alloy melts down into the forms replicating the shape of 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.
To prepare the metal for further refinement by our goldsmiths or stone setters, the jewellery is given a rough polish to smooth out uneven areas.
11 In-Line Quality Control
There are many quality control checkpoints during our crafting process, depending on the crafting facility. The first check usually performed after the initial polish.
12 Assembling, Soldering & Stone Setting
During this stage, different elements are assembled and soldered to create the finished piece of jewellery. Bracelets will be fit with clasps, metal cores added to Murano glass charms and stones will be set, as the piece gets closer to being complete.
13 Polishing & Tumbling
Every piece of jewellery is polished beautifully before the most final quality control check. The jewellery is placed in a special tumbler machine to smoothen and buff the surface before ultrasonic cleaning removes any residue.
This step creates different surface effects on metals, such as high shine, satin effects or diamond pointing.
15 Oxidation & Plating
During this step, special finishes are applied to certain high quality metals to create different tones and contrasts. This step can include oxidisation, e-coating (electronic coating) or metal plating.
16 Enamelling & Gluing
Our enamel colours are mixed in-house and the glossy, hard-wearing enamel is either applied to the jewellery by hand using a thin needle or is hand-painted to create a shaded effect. Freshwater cultured pearls are also set by head and are carefully glued onto traditional peg settings.
17 Final Quality Control
All pieces of jewellery go through a vigorous quality control process, and here we give the final approval that the specific product embodies Pandora's strict quality standards.
18 Packing & Shipping
The final step is packing the hand-finished Pandora jewellery and shipping it around the world.