A Few Charms (Banner)

A Few Charms (Banner)

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

First Fifteen and Twelve for 2020

Are you ready to guess what the rest of the anniversary charms will be? Will they be from the "First Fifteen" charms? Read on to see the official list of the "First Fifteen" charms released by Pandora. See the first catalogues. See my predictions for 2020. And see a sneak peak of the engraved anniversary charm for April.

The engraved strawberry and frog (with the originals)
on a box with the Pandora crown symbol
Before I move on, let me acknowledge that we are in the midst of a global crisis and, by comparison, charms are not that important. But we all need to do the things that make us happy and keep us sane. So I hope my stories are a distraction from the world beyond your front door, and bring you a few moments of joy. But the biggest contribution I can make during this pandemic is to share my stories of my recovery from depression, panic disorder, and an eating disorder. So at the end of this story I will ask you to please let me know what you're struggling with because I may be able to tell a tale that will help.

So now, back to our regularly scheduled blog post...

20th Anniversary Classics

Pandora is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the launch of their unique threaded bracelet. To mark this occasion they are releasing a new series of limited edition charms, one each month in 2020. The charms in the 20th Anniversary Collection will be "classics" that are "re-imagined" and engraved with a special 20-year hallmark using the iconic Pandora crown symbol over the number 20.

The first charm released in this series was a strawberry. Pandora asked fans "Did you know it was Pandora's fist-ever charm?" A simple silver piece, Pandora's iconic strawberry charm is one of its most-recognized charms. Take a look at this cute video that accompanied the release of the.strawberry in January.

The second charm, released in February, was the frog. Pandora explained that "the playful little frog was a favourite charm upon its original release." I might have dismantled my daughter's Pandora bracelet to take a picture with the original frog. The new frog is a little less stout than his elder, has higher googly eyes, and a different curve to his mouth. Pandora's Instagram video just happens to show what happens when you kiss that frog's mouth.

Check out this Instagram video to see the lovely bee that was just released on the 20th of March. I was not lucky enough to grab it when it was posted on the Pandora website. By the time it finally popped up I didn't even get it in my shopping basket before it was sold out. I am hoping there are a few bees sitting in my near-by concept store waiting for the start of the warm weather, or the end of the coronavirus lock-down, whichever comes first.

I find it interesting to see the differences between the original charms and the new releases. You'll have to wait for my story about the strawberry but the differences are quite evident between the new bee charm and the queen bee that inspired it. Most notable is the redesigned crown. Most Pandora collectors will tell you that the crowns on charms can leave quite significant dents in your wrist, so somebody has been paying attention.

I asked my Australian friend Vicky if I could use her photo of the new silver bee with her two-tone and gold queen bee. Check out her Instagram for photos of her gold and white gold bracelets and lots of classic Pandora rings.


Pandora is about telling stories

One of my favourite things about this 20th Anniversary collection is that Pandora is returning to their motto of telling stories, saying "These charms celebrate 20 years of telling your stories with Pandora." In the last few years Pandora moved away from this idea with their "#DO" campaign, "What do you love?" strategy, and new collections from Disney, the "Reflections" concept, and most recently the Pandora "Me" line. But my journey with Pandora started in 2011 with me earning charms in my recovery from an eating disorder and depression. I started writing "stories" and posting them on the main Pandora Facebook page. With encouragement from my Pandora friends, I started this blog.

This year, I decided I was going to get back to writing stories on my blog. It's been on my mind for some time, and I've been sharing quotes in a Facebook album about why it's important to "share your story." But what would be my reward, my incentive?

And then, ta da, Pandora came to the rescue with a series of 12 charms in 2020. This new marketing strategy hearkens back to the days when Pandora was all about "Unforgettable Moments." And that has motivated me to get back to telling stories about my Pandora charms. Let's see if I can do one story a month to earn the 20th anniversary charms.

The "First Fifteen"

From time to time we see this question pop up on the Pandora Facebook pages: What were Pandora's first charms? The introduction of the new 20th Anniversary charms has renewed the interest in this. Well, here's the answer. Directly from Pandora Headquarters. A little over 5 years ago a number of us avid Pandora fans started asking Pandora corporate to confirm what were the first charms that Pandora made. Turns out there were 15. Pandora called them the "First Fifteen." I've kept the list on my phone ever since, but you can also see the list on this Charms Addict blog post from 2014.

The "First Fifteen." See names and codes below

Official "First Fifteen"
  1. 750117 gold cluster
  2. 790111 ladybug
  3. 790112 strawberry
  4. 790113 fish (aka sideways fish)
  5. 790114 snail (aka Nautilus)
  6. 790115 house
  7. 790116 dice
  8. 790117 silver cluster
  9. 790119 faith hope and charity/love
  10. 790122 king's crown
  11. 790125 gold-tipped flower spacer
  12. 790127GR silver eye (garnet)
  13. 790127P silver eye (peridot)
  14. 790128 sun moon and stars
  15. 790132P bevelled pearl dangle
I only have nine of the First Fifteen

It turns out Pandora didn't have very good archives. The original list that Pandora provided indicated that there was a ladybug with the code 79111. (Pandora's labelling of their charms originally was just 79 for silver; the zero added to 790 later. They use 750 for gold charms.) They referred to this 111 charm as the "old" ladybug with the "new" ladybug having the code 790135. But there was no picture of this "old" ladybug. After some searching, and much speculation, Pandora concluded that the "old" ladybug may have been designed but never actually produced. So the "new" ladybug 790135 is now considered part of the "First Fifteen."

"First Fifteen" by Leann Wu of Charms Addict blog
You will frequently see bracelets that are referred to as the "First Fifteen" but most of them have more charms than just the fifteen. The only bracelet I've found that is exclusively "First Fifteen" is from Leann's post on the Charms Addict blog. Although they were not in Pandora's original list of 15, Leann has added the plain clips to cover the threads. Leann has graciously allowed me to share this photo of her bracelet. So the charms are, starting at the clasp at the top and going clockwise: ladybug, strawberry, king's crown, sideways fish, garnet eye, plain clip, house, sun moon and stars, bevelled pearl dangle, gold cluster, snail, plain clip, peridot eye, gold-tipped flower spacer, faith hope and charity, silver cluster, and dice.

Another collector Celia started a "First Fifteen" bracelet and then discovered people were including different charms on their "First Fifteen" bracelets. So she ended up with more charms than she could fit on her bracelet. Hopefully the list above will help clarify which charms are in fact from the "First Fifteen," but she definitely has some of Pandora's earliest charms on her bracelet, starting at the clasp at the top and going clockwise: peridot eye, ladybug, heart with cz, silver cluster, strawberry, king's crown, DNA, dicegold-tipped flower spacer, snail, confetti, sun moon and stars, sideways elephant, house, circles, heart, faith hope and charity, rose leaf, bear head, garnet eye, sideways fish, bevelled pearl dangle, and the loose charms in the middle are gold bubbles spacer, gold graduation cap dangle, gold cluster and gold flower clip.

Classic Pandora

Of course there are a number of charms that were released after the "First Fifteen" but still in the first few years. To create this list I identified early charms by their codes and included charms from Pandora's earliest two catalogues (pictures below). The codes for the frog and the queen bee indicate that they were not particularly early charms - or in those first catalogues. But I have added them to this collection because they have already been released as part of the engraved 20th Anniversary Classic Collection. In this screenshot you can see the names and codes of all of Pandora's earliest charms. To prevent confusion with the "First Fifteen" let's call this whole group "Classic Pandora." 

Classic Pandora charms, clips and spacers

You may notice in the stock photos above that there are a number of spacers. There were quite a few spacers in the first catalogues Pandora produced. These are my spacers (below) from the "Classic Pandora." From left to right: two-tone gold-tipped flower spacers, large roses spacer (originally produced in gold), crisscross spacer, candy cane spacer, small roses spacers, flat spacers, smooth spacers, big bubbles spacers, small bubbles spacers, line spacers, and ridged spacers. In the Photo Gallery at the very bottom of this post you can see how I've used all of these spacers in my completed bracelets. If you go to the web version of this blog (as opposed to the mobile version) you can scroll to the bottom and see all 21 of my bracelets.

My collection of the "Classic Pandora" spacers

Birthstone Dangles
In addition to the first pieces above, Pandora introduced their first collection of birthstone charms in their second catalogue. These are the charms (below), starting from the top left: garnet for January, amethyst for February, aquamarine for March, quartz for April, chrysophase for May, freshwater pearl for June, carnelian for July, peridot for August, coral (and sapphire) for September, tourmaline for October, amber for November, and lapis lazuli for December. Note that there are two birthstones for September. I have the coral dangle which looked great in the stock photo but it has darkened over time so I suspect that is why they switched to sapphire.

Pandora's First Catalogues
In our discussions with Pandora in 2014 they provided images of their first two catalogues. As I mentioned, they did not have thorough records, and these catalogues have no dates, so speculation was that they were released between the years 2000 and 2002.

First catalogue front and back
First catalogue pages 2 and 3
Charms from first catalogue starting at top left:
circles (also in pink CZ), gold cluster, king's crown, silver eye (garnet), silver cluster, bevelled pearl dangle, ladybug, heart (pink cz), faith hope and charity/love, gold bubble spacer, dice, house, plain clip, heart (referred to as the "big smooth heart"), elephant (referred to as the "sideways elephant"), star dangle, curls and dots (or confetti), strawberry, sun moon and stars, gold-tipped flower spacer, gold flower clip (buttercup clip), fish (we tend to refer to this as the "sideways fish"), bear head, silver DNA

Charms on bracelet starting at the clasp going clockwise:
gold cluster, bubbles spacer, garnet eye, smooth spacer, bevelled pearl dangle, smooth spacer, gold bubbles spacer, sun moon and stars, bubbles spacer, king's crown, gold flat spacer, circles, ridged spacer, sideways elephant, smooth spacer, gold-tipped flower spacer

I thought I'd try to replicate the bracelet in the first catalogue.
(with a few substitutions)
Charms on my bracelet (above) starting at the clasp going clockwise:
row with dots, small bubbles spacer, peridot eye, flat spacer, birthstone dangle  chrysophase (May), smooth spacer, large bubbles spacer, sun moon and stars, large bubbles spacer, mushroom, flat spacer, circles (clear cz), ridged spacer, sideways fish, smooth spacer, gold-tipped flower

Second catalogue
Charms on necklace starting at top left:
moon, flat spacer, ring, plain clip, gold roses spacer, bubbles spacer, snail, gold flat spacer, lotsa love, bubbles spacer, heart (pink cz), plain clip, crisscross spacer

Charms from second catalogue starting at top left:
silver DNA, heart (pink cz), rose leaf, ring, web, band, snail, moon (amethyst cz), snake, swirl dots, silver eye (garnet), silver cluster, mushroom, bevelled pearl dangle, row with dots, dice, blossom (amethyst cz), four-leaf clover, sun moon and stars, circles, lotsa love, plain clips

Second catalogue
Charms on bracelet starting at the clasp going clockwise:
moon (amethyst cz), smooth spacer, big smooth heart, birthstone dangle (amethyst - February), small roses spacer, ribbed clip, gold-tipped flower, gold bubbles spacer, love hope and faith, king's crown, small bubbles spacer, bear's head, web (diamond), plain clip, gold heart dangle, large bubbles spacer, gold roses spacer, crisscross spacer, gold star dangle, crisscross spacer, snake

Charms from second catalogue starting at top left:
ladybug, 8-ball, band (clear cz), birthstone dangle (peridot - August), heart (clear cz), circles (clear cz), strawberry, silver DNA, house, bear's head, moon (clear cz), turtle, moon (amethyst cz), sideways elephant, sideways fish, ribbed clip, blossom (clear cz), confetti, silver eye (peridot), zodiac sign (Scorpio), and big smooth heart

I also thought I'd try to replicate this bracelet in the photo above
(with a few substitutions)
Charms on my bracelet (above) starting at the clasp going clockwise:
moon (clear cz), smooth spacer, big smooth heart, birthstone dangle (coral), small roses spacer, ribbed clip, gold-tipped flower, big bubbles spacer, faith hope and charity, mushroom, bear head (Winnie-the-Pooh), web, gold flower clip, birthstone dangle (chrysophase), big bubbles spacer, big roses spacer, crisscross spacer, turtle

Second catalogue
Charms from second catalogue starting at top left:
gold flower clip, ring cluster, gold smooth spacer, gold cross dangle, gold bubbles spacer
gold big roses spacer, gold heart dangle, web (diamond), gold star dangle, gold-tipped flower, waves and dots, gold cluster, gold graduation cap dangle, apple with worm, gold flat spacer, gold big smooth heart, king's crown, and gold quilt pattern

First sample bracelet with First Fifteen and Classics
Charms on my bracelet (above) starting at the clasp going clockwise:
ribbed clip, DNA, mushroom, snail, faith hope and charity, gold-tipped flower, big smooth heart, ladybug, confetti, circles (clear cz), row with dots, strawberry, heart (clear cz), gold-tipped flower, sun moon and stars, sideways fish, dice, peridot eye, and gold flower clip

Second sample bracelet with First Fifteen and Classics
Charms on my bracelet (above) starting at the clasp going clockwise:
ribbed clip, web, ring, 8-ball, blossom, Zodiac sign (Scorpio), gold-tipped flower, starburst clip, waves and dots, snail, rose leaf, strawberry, ring cluster, starburst clip, gold-tipped flowercloverdice, spple, band, large roses spacer, gold flower clip

My Predictions for the 20th Anniversary Classics

My predictions

In trying to predict which "classic" charms would be used as the 20th Anniversary series, I looked at the "First Fifteen" charms and the earliest "Classic Pandora." I considered which were likely to be popular charms that people would buy for themselves or buy as gifts. And I also thought about which charms Pandora would be able to engrave without making significant changes to the charm, ruling out those with too much pattern or depth, the ones that had stones, and the highly oxidized.

So I'm predicting that eight of these ten charms will be included, starting from the left: ladybug, turtle, big smooth heart, suitcase, snail, sideways fish, cupcake, apple with the worm, everlasting love, and the silver rose. My apple is not the one with the worm, but I thought I'd include it for the photo. And I suspect they will also include the king's crown, because it was engraved as a gift for passengers on one of the Pandora cruises, but I don't have the charm to include in my photo.

I took my photos in February and it looks like one of my predictions was correct: the big smooth heart for April.

Final Request:
Please tell me which charms you would like to hear about or what topics you want to read about. You can leave comments below or you can email me at shift.training@gmail.com Stay tuned for monthly blog posts.

Related Posts

How many balls are you juggling? - a story about how it feels to be juggling so much in your life, you feel that if someone throws you one more ball they may all come tumbling down around you. Seems like a timely topic when some people are suddenly working from home, teachers are thrust into online teaching, and parents have their kids at home while we all practice social/physical distancing. Read about the "waves and dots" charm and why I'm talking about "The Cat in the Hat."

Advice on managing anxiety - from a turtle! - a story about my very first charm, on the very first day of my recovery from an eating disorder, and one of the most important reminders when I'm in fight-or-flight mode and tempted to binge. I share one of the most effective ways to slow down racing or anxious thoughts.

The turtle part 2: advice for anxious parents - a story about how heart-breaking it is when you see your children struggle, with strategies we used for helping our son with intense emotions like anger and anxiety.  You can also read one of the best pieces of advice I've come across for anxious parents - from a turtle!

Prescription for panic: ice, ice baby - a story about how to calm a body revved by stress, how to understand what's going on in your body when you're angry or anxious, and how to rescue yourself from a panic attack.

Pandora bras and butts, oh my! - a story about bare butts, titties and studs, and the charm that reminds me not to take life too seriously. I hope this story won't ruin the meaning you assign to the April charm, the engraved big smooth (or "puffy") heart.

Moving from self-criticism to self-acceptance - inspired by a simple silver rose - a story about negative self-talk, how to stop criticizing ourselves and how to be at peace with wherever we are at the moment, inspired by the rose charm (one of my predictions for the Twelve in 2020)

Will he always love me? My explanation of panic attacks - a story about what triggers panic attacks for me, the therapy that helped, and the reason for the Everlasting Love charm (another of my predictions for the Twelve in 2020)

Photo Gallery

This was my first bracelet called my Lucerne Recovery bracelet. The name references the Lucerne dangle and Lucerne clips. On this bracelet you can find the rows and dots, sun moon and stars, candy cane spacer, crisscross spacer, web, birthstone dangle, and faith, hope and charity/love.

My Sacred Woods bracelet is home to the peridot eye charm (on the right). On this bracelet you may notice one of the original "mini" spacers called the "ridged" spacer, right beside the clasp. Often an openwork charm will be large enough to slide over the threads and get tangled with the clasp. One of these mini spacers prevents that from happening. I've done the same in the Lucerne bracelet above.

The Sparkle and Shine bracelet is a collection of retired charms with clear cubic zirconion. On either side of the centre dangle you can find the band, circles, blossom and heart with cz .

band, circles, blossom, heart

This bracelet, my mother and son bracelet, contains the turtle and the sideways fish.

This bracelet is all classic/vintage two-tone charms, many of them with diamonds. You can see the gold-tipped flower spacer on either side of the central vintage heart dangle.

I love the gold-tipped flower spacers so much that they are one of the few charms I have repeats. You can see them on this two-tone Serenity bracelet on either side of the central Serenity dangle. In the central section of this bracelet you can also see the two-tone apple and two-tone cupcake, two of the charms I predict will be in the Twelve for 2020.

This bracelet is a chronology of my late mother's life. You can see the confetti charm beside the centre dangle, representing the confetti at my parent's wedding. There is also the DNA charm and the suitcase charm on the left.

This is my True Colours bracelet which has the ribbed clip at the end and then the silver charms, snail, ladybug, clover, dice, strawberry, mushroom, and then right by the clasp a smooth spacer. 

This Treasured Hearts bracelet, named for the central "treasured hearts" charm, contains the 8-ball charm. When designing this I found that the hidden romance charms seemed to cover part of the central heart-shaped charm so I placed a smooth spacer on either side to give it more, well, space.


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