If you’re into European style charms and bracelets, you’ve probably heard of Chamilia, Pandora, and Trollbeads. It’s amazing how many people don’t know the difference between some of the most popular brands that make the beads and accompanying jewelry. This is usually the case when someone is new to the charm bracelet trend. In this post, we’ll discuss the differences and similarities between three of the biggest charm bracelet designers so that the next time you decide to invest a considerable amount in jewelry, you make an informed decision.
Firstly, a little history about the three brands reveals that Trollbeads was the original brand that created the charm bead bracelet idea and first to come onto the market. Started in 1976 by brothers Søren Nielsen and Lise Aagaard in Denmark, the first Trollbeads they sold were unusual silver charms with a hole in the center through which a piece of leather could be strung. The company introduced a lockable chain in the 1980s that allowed for manual removal and reattachment, enabling users to experiment with different bead combinations. To date, the company is still largely run and controlled by the Nielsen/Argaard family.
Pandora was the second brand to come onto the market in 1982. It was founded by Per and Winnie Enevoldesen, primarily as a retail outlet and later expanded into wholesaling when demand shot up. The couple created a jewelry line in 1984, the same year they opened a production facility in Thailand. A second designer was hired in 1996 to create the brand’s signature style, which is the customizable bracelet. As of October 2010, Pandora is a publicly traded company.
Chamilia was the last brand of the three to join the fray. The company was launched in 2002 by Jeff Julkowski and Killian Rieder. Initially based in New York, the co-founders shifted base to Minnesota in 2007. Since then, Chamilia has grown into a global brand with over 4500 stores worldwide.
Style and Compatibility
Most charm bracelet beads from various brands are interchangeable. For instance, Chamilia beads and bracelets are fairly interchangeable with Pandora pieces. However, Trollbeads generally have smaller holes than both Chamilia and Pandora bonds, so they are not easily interchangeable. A way around this is to have the chain ends on a Pandora or Chamilia bracelet narrowed down by your jeweler so that smaller sized beads can fit. STILL, Troll beads are unlikely to fit.
When it comes to style, Pandora beads are generally regarded as having a classy, ‘grown-up’ look, and are generally the first choice for people with a sophisticated sense of fashion. Their crisp, firm finish gives then a more classic feel compared to the others.
Trollbeads are funky and mystical. They don’t have much of a classic feel as do Pandora pieces but they are very adorable. Trollbeads are typically for people who prefer the earthy, gothic style.
Chamilia beads are bright and ‘blingy’, and are typically for the younger, unsophisticated shoppers with an artsy, showy style. Where the brand lacks in sophistication and classic appeal, it makes up with excellent marketing.
In the end, it usually comes down to personal preferences in style and fashion, and how the shopper relates to a particular brand.
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