Personally I feel like Pandora has put an immense amount of effort in being a sustainable business. I think there is a genuine amount of effort here but there are parts where it shows to be partially performative. The rings tarnishing easily and the statements they make “WE WILL BE...” don’t sit right with me. If they were about a circular economy they would not create cheap jewelry knowing the lifespan of them would be short.
This ring is claims to be made of sterling silver and the gems are Cubic Zirconia. The ring has a stamp stating S925, which means it is “pure silver parts per thousand: S925(92.5% pure silver).” Not to get confused with sterling silver. To be S925 would mean only 92.5% is pure silver mixed with other metals. 88% of all silver used by Pandora in 2019 came from recycled sources. It seems to have an oxidized finish on the rings. I went through the reviews to see how customers enjoyed their rings and it seems that the rings tarnish very easily and many customers have not been pleased with the lifespan of the ring. They state they will never tarnish or decay but it seems on the contrary.
The cubic zirconia is made in a controlled environment, this is the most used gem throughout all of Pandora’s jewelry. It has been used the most due to its sustainability value compared to that of a diamond. These gems are made from a mixture of high purity zirconium oxide powders (including magnesium and calcium). The environmental cost of a Pandora cubic zirconia is just 0.001% that of a mined diamond, largely due to the vastly smaller quantity of energy required to produce cubic zirconia. It is not clear where their mining comes from although Pandora does make a claim that they are mined within parts of Africa.
All of Pandora’s silver grain suppliers have been certified under RJC and LBMA , as of 2020. They source all silver and gold grains from Umicore. Umicore’s eco-efficient process entails maximizing both the physical recycling of materials and the revenue obtained, while minimizing the associated environmental burden and total cost. Umicore does not have enough information to credit their statements of being certified recycled materials other than certification statements. The jewelry craftsmen themselves seem to be located in Thailand, they state that “Pandora benefits from a strong infrastructure, easy access to raw material suppliers and, most importantly, high-quality craftsmanship from a skilled, passionate workforce.” The conditions of the work facility seem to check out as they are compliant with“ ISO 9001 (quality), OHSAS 18001 (health and safety) and ISO 14001 (environment).”