Pandora DiamondsUSD 550
- Strong dedication to lab-grown diamonds
- Market-leader on sustainability
- Fairly good prices
- Unique and beautiful designs
- Very limited selection
- Fairly good prices
- Not possible to inspect diamonds
- Not possible to find any diamonds
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Pandora has been one of the fastest-growing jewelry brands in the past decades and has grown to become the world’s largest jewelry manufacturer. Pandora has expanded at a rapid pace, and you’ll find its stores across malls, shopping centers, airports, and pretty much wherever you turn your head. In addition, their jewelry is sold by individual jewelers, adding enormously to their customer reach. Now, Pandora is selling lab-grown diamonds, too. Learn if Pandora has been able to build on their jewelry experience in our Pandora Diamonds review.
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- Free gift & $100 off at Clean Origin w/code: LABGROWNCARATS! (US only)
- Black Friday promo with free gift with all purchases at Brilliant Earth!
Summary of Our Pandora Diamonds Review
Pandora traditionally caters to the lower to mid-tiers of the market and normally would not target consumers looking for diamond jewelry. Most of their pieces retail for $100 or less (especially their modular jewelry), while some of their collections can be more expensive.
However, Pandora launched a diamond jewelry “Brilliance” collection in 2021 and announced that they would exclusively use lab-grown diamonds in their diamond jewelry. While the Brilliance Collection was initially only available in the UK, in 2023, the collection is available in most countries, including the US. Today, Pandora has dropped the Brilliance name and just refers to their collection as Pandora lab-grown diamonds.
We applaud Pandora’s strategic and very wise decision to use the eco-conscious and ethical diamond choice of lab-grown diamonds.
Not only is Pandora exclusively using lab-created diamonds in their diamond collection, but they even made their production process certified carbon neutral (see Pandora’s sustainability reports). Currently, the lab-grown diamond production is run by approximately 60% renewables, and until they reach their stated target of 100%, they offset the remaining 40%. This is similar to the approach Brilliant Earth is taking.
In addition, they have announced another target of only using recycled gold in their jewelry by 2025—lofty targets, which puts them ahead of most of the competition.
That’s why we decided to have a closer look and review Pandora’s Lab-Grown Diamond Collection. In the following updated 2023 Pandora Diamonds review, you’ll learn if the lab diamond jewelry is for you and what you should be aware of.
The question is, are their diamond jewelry offerings on par with the leading sellers of lab-created diamonds, such as James Allen, Clean Origin, or Ritani? Or are they comparable with low-rated Zales, Helzberg, Kay Jewelers, QVC lab diamonds, and Lightbox Jewelry?
3 diamond jewelers we like better than Pandora Diamonds
Our Bottom Line Verdict of Pandora Diamonds
We’ll go into much more detail in our review of Pandora’s lab-grown diamond. If you just want to get to the conclusion, you can skip straight to the review verdict. To remove some of your curiosity, here’s the short of it:
While Pandora may not stack up to our favorite lab-created diamond sellers, they are heaps and bounds ahead of the competition in their field.
So if we assess Pandora as a diamond jeweler, they are not a class leader. But suppose we review Pandora as someone who cares more about jewelry design (and sustainability) and less about finding the perfect diamond to complement it. In that case, Pandora is an excellent choice.
In the fashion jewelry category, Pandora is the clear leader and choice for anyone valuing design over diamond quality.LabGrownCarats.com
Keep reading our Pandoradiamonds review to learn why we think Pandora currently is the leading fashion jewelry lab-grown diamond seller.
- Summary of Our Pandora Diamonds Review
- How We Have Reviewed Pandora Diamonds
- Pandora's Diamond History
- Pandora Lab-Grown Diamonds
- Pandora Diamonds Selection
- Our Diamond Buying Experience
- Diamond Inspection
- Pandora Diamonds Quality
- Pandora's Diamond Prices
- Diamond Shipping and Returns
- Pandora Diamonds Review Verdict
- Other Pandora Diamonds Reviews
How We Have Reviewed Pandora Diamonds
Our team of experts in lab diamonds has spent weeks conducting a thorough analysis and study of Pandora diamonds, including their diamonds and jewelry. We compared Pandora with its competitors and evaluated their pros and cons against the diamond industry standards.
As part of our Pandora Diamonds review, we have carried out secret shopping, studied the diamond and jewelry quality, analyzed and compared prices, and spent hours testing Pandora’s customer service. We have visited Pandora stores and shopped Pandora’s lab diamond jewelry both online and offline. We have gone through every aspect of the consumer journey to ensure you can trust our Pandora lab-created diamonds review and recommendations.
Why you should trust us
Our review of Pandora Diamonds is based on our extensive experience and knowledge in diamonds and jewelry, accumulated over decades with a combined experience of more than 75 years. We update our reviews multiple times a year to ensure that they reflect the current market trends. Our top diamond expert, Rolf Hartmann, led the Pandora review with input from several of our expert contributors.
We have evaluated and ranked Pandora lab-grown diamonds using these criteria:
- Diamond inventory
- Jewelry selection
- Shopping experience (in-store and online)
- Customer service
- Shipping and return policies
Pandora’s Diamond History
Pandora Jewelry has been around for decades, but their successful modular jewelry really took off in the 2000s and 2010s. Today, Pandora’s charms are ubiquitous, and their stores are in every mall.
Pandora’s jewelry strategy and focus on mid-tier jewelry and a middle-class audience have proved highly successful.
Their charms and modular jewelry, partnerships with Disney, the Harry Potter, and other franchises have compelled consumers to come back and expand the lives of their jewelry.
Second, Pandora set up production in Thailand and, through vertical integration, closely controlled their costs, supply chains, and logistics.
Lastly, excluding their lab-created diamonds, Pandora has focused on gemstones and synthetic stones that are cheap to produce and source. This way, they have been able to mass-market their products and keep costs low and margins high. Which, as we’ll see later, they spend on marketing.
Again, Pandora’s customers are usually not looking for $1,000 diamond pieces but rather 1/10th of that. So this is new territory, and their diamond jewelry sales, while new, only represent a small fraction of their revenue. Nonetheless, their exclusive use of lab-grown diamonds, coupled with their relentless pursuit of sustainability, make them very interesting.
Pandora Lab-Grown Diamonds
We can’t hide that we’re pretty excited that the largest producer of jewelry in the world has announced they will not only exclusively sell lab-created diamonds. And that they aim to grow these based on 100% renewable energy (and, in the meantime, carbon offset).
Carbon offsetting is far from perfect, and the usage of renewables could just force someone else to buy dirty energy. But it’s a start. We are pleased with Pandora’s commitment to future 100% sustainability, which is only possible with lab-grown diamonds. At the same time, the use of lab-created diamonds is also the only guaranteed way to avoid negative societal impact (unlike mined diamonds).
You can learn much more in our article about the benefits of lab-grown diamonds and why you should avoid mined diamonds.
Pandora allocated a great deal of real estate on their website to educate their users about lab-grown diamonds. And they manage to do it very well, with short-form videos and easily digestible information explaining the benefits, the 4Cs, etc. So while it’s not in-depth, it’s accurate and honest. Unlike, for example, Lightbox Jewelry (aka DeBeers), which gets it mostly wrong in its efforts to discredit lab-created diamonds.
Pandora has even hired celebrities to endorse their diamond selection, with several videos featuring said person and a cute story. The latest person to join the rank as Pandora Diamonds spokesperson is Pamela Anderson.
So, all in all, we’re impressed with their dedication to lab-grown diamonds and drumming up support for the better diamond choice.
Pandora Diamonds Selection
Their dedication is all good and well, but do their diamond offerings stack up?
First of all, Pandora’s diamond collection and its approach to jewelry, in general, are fashion jewelry. They are not traditional jewelers like Zales or online diamond jewelers such as James Allen or Clean Origin.
Instead, Pandora and their diamond jewelry are very similar to that of Lightbox Jewelry. Unfortunately, that means you cannot design and create your own pieces or pick the exact diamonds you want. Instead, you have to make do with the designs and pre-selected options available on their site.
So right off the bat, Pandora is not the right place to go if you are a serious diamond jewelry buyer and want to get the perfect diamond.
Therefore, we’ll not be comparing Pandora to the likes of James Allen, Clean Origin, or Ritani. Instead, we’ll try our best to review Pandora as a fashion jeweler expanding into higher-end and, very importantly, lab-created diamonds.
Pandora Diamond Jewelry Selection
As of the time of the review, Pandora has 40 different designs to choose from. This includes carat weight and material variations, so the choices really are minimal. In addition, there are no traditional designs, such as classic martini diamond studs.
All designs are bespoke, and this is probably also what you would expect from Pandora. Lightbox is the same, but our personal preferences are more towards the designs of Pandora than Lightbox. Their designs are a little more clever and thoughtful, while Lightbox Jewelry’s are more, well, distinct.
You are not able to select anything else but design, material, and carat weight. So forget about following our buying tips to maximize value for money. The carat weights run from 0.15 to 1.00. It’s unclear if these weights are precise. They likely include some margin of error but perhaps less than what Zales does.
Next, let’s see what the actual buying experience and diamond inspection options are like.
Our Diamond Buying Experience
There really isn’t that much more to the buying experience. Once you have selected a design, you might be able to choose carat weight or material depending on the specific product.
Pandora does give you the option to not pay in full by using either of 3 different services. (If you don’t have the funds available now, then maybe just wait.) And you can also decide to collect at a nearby store (more on shipping later). That’s it.
This, however, is not an option at Pandora. This is precisely the same with Lightbox Jewelry which also sells fashion jewelry. And also with Zales, although they are supposedly a traditional jeweler. So while we were very disappointed at the lack of inspection features at Zales, we were kind of expecting it with Pandora.
Since you cannot pick a specific diamond, a diamond inspection would not make any sense. However, they do attempt to show generic images.
Are you in the market for the perfect diamond for you, and is the diamond at least as important as the jewelry design? Then you should follow our diamond buying guides and shop at one of our recommended lab-grown diamond jewelry sellers.
If, instead, you focus primarily on the jewelry design, perhaps Pandora may still be something for you. That said, you should not settle for anything.
Fortunately, Pandora does give some indication of what you are buying. And unlike Zales and Lightbox, they not only tell you upfront what the diamond cut grade is. They also only sell the highest-grade cut diamonds (more on that below). Pandora also is transparent with diamond clarity and color, the remaining of the 4Cs.
So let’s dig into the grades.
Pandora Diamonds Quality
The lab-created diamonds that Pandora supplies are graded “Excellent” for cut and at least VS2 for clarity, as you can see from the below product information sheet, t
Hopefully, you know that a diamond’s cut is by far the most important of all qualities of a diamond. If not, we urge you to dig deeper into our quick intro to lab-created diamonds. In short, you should always pick the highest grade.
However, depending on the grading institute, that grade can be either excellent or ideal. Notably, the leading lab-grown diamond grading institute IGI uses ideal as the best grade. Pandora claims that their excellent cut diamonds are of the highest grade. That tells us that Pandora either doesn’t have its diamonds graded by the leading lab-grown diamond institute or, worse, doesn’t actually carry the highest grade.
We think it’s the former. And that may be fine. There are other reliable grading laboratories than IGI. What does worry us is that Pandora does not reveal which institutes they use.
So, in short, we applaud and are encouraged by their dedication to always choosing the highest cut grade but would have liked to know who grades their homework.
When it comes to clarity, the VS2 grade will often be a great choice. We recommend starting even lower. But be careful to examine the actual blemishes and inclusions that have resulted in the grade. You can do this when you shop at leading sellers such as Clean Origin or James Allen (in particular).
It’s thus the same story with diamond clarity as it was with the cut. Again, the VS2 grade is likely a good fit, but you can’t be 100% sure that the imperfections do not have a negative impact on the diamond’s brilliance.
Lastly, Pandora states that their lab-grown diamonds are at least graded a “J” color. Again, this is in line with our overall recommendations. You will typically save a lot by allowing a slight tint that will not harm brilliance or even be noticeable outside a laboratory microscope.
In rare cases, the tint could influence the brilliance or be noticeable, even with an acceptable J color grade. Thus, for the most part, grading institutes can be trusted, but variance does occur. Therefore, our recommendation is always to carry out a thorough inspection to ensure that the diamond shines its brightest.
Pandora does include a diamond certificate from the (undisclosed) grading laboratory that they use. They do not make these available online like the best jewelers, but they would also not be able to since you are not buying a specific diamond. Instead, you have to wait until your jewelry arrives, along with the certificate. Not ideal, but to be expected with this setup.
Pandora’s Diamond Prices
Now that we know that Pandora sells high-grade lab-created diamonds, at least on paper, we can start to examine their prices.
The Pandora Brilliance Lab-Grown Diamond collection finally launched in the US in 2023 (before dropping the Brilliance name). Our original Pandora Brilliance review was based on the UK webshop, but we have now updated it to include the US site.
As a reference, we’re comparing a 1-carat ring and a 1-carat total-weight diamond earring set (the latter means 2 x 0.5 carat). We’re using the lower end of Pandora’s grades since that’s all you are guaranteed to receive.
Diamond Jewelry Prices
A set of 1-carat total-weight earrings currently cost $1,350 (£1,290 in the UK). In the UK, the 1-carat ring (surprisingly) costs precisely the same £1,290. That’s surprising because bigger stones are more expensive per carat than smaller ones since they are rarer – even if created in a laboratory. In the US, the 1-carat ring is more expensive, coming in at $1,950.
That increase to $1,950 is pretty steep, and as you can read below, Pandora diamonds are significantly more expensive than what you can find elsewhere.
Pandora Diamond Price Comparison
While we can’t compare 1:1 since Pandora’s designs are arguably worth more than the standard ones that others sell. But it’s still a decent proxy comparison.
The cost at Clean Origin for similar a 1-carat diamond ring with the same diamond grades is between $1,050 and $1.250. At Pandora Diamonds, the current price is $1,775. And that’s a bit of a jump. Ritani, another price leader, similarly comes in around $1,050 for a pair of earrings and an even lower $1,200 for the 1-carat ring.
At the time of our review, James Allen did not have any comparable lab-grown diamonds since their color grades typically start higher. However, with higher color grades and the same cut, clarity, and carat, their prices are around $2-300 lower than Pandora’s. If we add a premium to Pandora’s unique design, prices start to come closer. Do note that it’s not exactly apples-to-apples, as James Allen offers industry-leading features, support, and service).
So in comparison to the other mall favorites, Zales and Kay Jewelers, Pandora’s prices are very reasonable. They don’t drop to the attention-seeking levels of Lightbox Jewelry (with their uncertain diamond quality) and are not nearly as attractive as those of our favorite lab-grown diamond sellers.
However, if you value Pandora’s design, their prices are not that much higher, and we’re actually a little surprised that they are relatively close to those of James Allen.
Diamond Shipping and Returns
Pandora’s lab-grown diamonds are finally sold in the US and in other countries after initially only being available in the UK.
First, shipping on Pandora lab diamond jewelry is free of charge using a “special delivery” option. In the US, that’s free next-day shipping on diamond orders. That’s a nice touch and something Zales could learn from. But also something that should be expected. Pandora ships with USPS and UPS. Their next-day delivery usually would be with UPS.
Returns are allowed up to 30 days, which is pretty standard and expected in the US. It’s far from Clean Origin’s 100 days, but it’s decent, and it’s free. So no complaints there.
Where Pandora does stand out a little is in its packaging. They use 100% recycled boxes and materials and even further ensure that the materials used are biodegradable and do not use excessive colors and other potential pollutants. Well done, Pandora.
Pandora Diamonds Review Verdict
If we review Pandora as a lab-grown diamond jeweler and compare them to the likes of Clean Origin, Ritani, or James Allen, then Pandora and the lab-created diamond collection do not come out on top. Pandora does not extend the ability to carry out diamond inspections or even tell you precisely what diamond you are buying.
However, Pandora should probably not be compared to a diamond jeweler but instead assessed as the creator and seller of fashion jewelry that Pandora is, similar to Lightbox (who, however, tried to be both).
Pandora’s diamond prices also run a little higher than those of the market leaders, but not by as much as we might have feared and certainly very far from the exorbitant prices that Zales carries, the overpriced Kay Jewelers, or overly expensive Helzberg Diamonds. They are, surprisingly, closer to those of QVC’s Fire and Light lab diamonds.
So as a design-first fashion jeweler who’s venturing into the lab-grown diamond space, we actually think Pandora does a pretty decent job.
If we consider the strong commitment to sustainability, an area where they arguably are among the very best, and their dedication to lab diamonds, then our final verdict of Pandora’s lab-grown diamonds is actually reasonably favorable. However, consider the sustainably graded lab-grown diamonds from Brilliant Earth.
Our Bottom Line Pandora Diamonds Review Recommendation
In the end, the conclusion to our Pandora diamonds review lands us at a review score of 3.9 out of 5 stars. And while that may not seem that impressive, it actually is an excellent score in a field of formidable competitors.
In the fashion jewelry category, Pandora is the clear leader and choice for anyone valuing design over diamond quality but who still won’t settle with the sub-par and semi-undisclosed quality of Lightbox or the absurd prices you find at Zales.
Read our other lab-grown diamond reviews if you care about finding the perfect diamond. Then, start by seeing who we recommend as the 4 best places to shop for lab-created diamonds.
Our Editorial Review Process
Our reviews are unbiased and not influenced by monetary or commercial considerations. We do not accept money for editorial content. We do not accept payment for editorial content and decline most requests for partnerships and paid content proposals. We only collaborate with a select few lab diamond jewelers that we wholeheartedly endorse.
Our stringent review process adheres to strict guidelines and evaluates all lab diamond jewelers under the same rigorous criteria. As a result, all of our reviews cover critical aspects, even those of the highest-rated jewelers. We recommend several lab diamond jewelers, but each for specific reasons. In our expert reviews and when suggesting the best places to buy lab-grown diamonds, we explain why we suggest a particular jeweler and what you should think about before making a purchase. This way, you can find the lab-grown diamond jeweler that is right for you. But make sure to shop around and compare lab diamond prices.
Pandora Jewelry has sold diamond jewelry since 2021. They used to call their diamond collection Pandora Brilliance, and they exclusively use lab-grown diamonds in their diamond collection. They are also committed to sustainability and aim to use only sustainably-produced lab-grown diamonds, which you can learn more about in our Pandora lab diamonds review.
Pandora Brilliance is Pandora Jewelry’s lab-grown diamond collection. Pandora is a legitimate and trustworthy business and has been selling jewelry for decades. In fact. Pandora Jewelry is now the world’s largest jeweler. The Pandora diamond collection is similarly legit, and you can be confident shopping their diamond collection. They also have stores and resellers globally, and you’ll likely find one near you.
All Pandora Jewelry diamonds are lab-grown, and all their diamonds are real diamonds. In addition, Pandora strives to make their lab-grown diamond collection as sustainable as possible.
Pandora aims to make their diamond production as sustainable as possible, including using renewable energy or offsetting carbon emissions. Read more about Pandora lab-grown diamonds in our review and learn about their take on diamond sustainability.
Other Pandora Diamonds Reviews
Interestingly, we landed close to the rating found at Trustpilot for Pandora (UK). However, those reviews are not specifically for the Pandora diamond collection.