What is the difference between Chamilia and Pandora bracelets?

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Pandora and Chamilia are both companies that sell upscale sterling silver charm bracelets and coordinating jewelry that allows women to create custom and personalized pieces.

Pandora and Chamilia bracelets both use a threaded system that allows beads to twist on the bracelet without falling off when you remove the bracelet. The beads are interchangeable and both companies offer all silver, all gold, or mixed beads as well as many options with gems, stones, enamel and colored glass. Both companies offer bracelets with either a lobster claw clasp or a hinged signature clasp.

Both companies offer a way to prevent beads from sliding to the bottom of the bracelet if it is only partially loaded. In essence the customer can create "sections" of their bracelet and place beads wherever they want. Pandora's clips need to be set on little joints that already exist in the bracelet. Chamilia's locks can be placed anywhere on the bracelet. Chamilia also offers connectors so you can make a double bracelet or necklace.

The beads from both companies are very good quality and start at around $25 for sterling silver. Overall, Pandora is a bit more expensive and has more (14K gold) beads in the $200 range than does Chamilia. Pandora has a reputation for being slightly more upscale partly because they have done aggressive marketing and product placement in magazines and with celebrities.

The Pandora beads are slightly larger and thus "heavier" than Chamilia's. The bracelets feel substantial and classic, even in all sterling silver. Chamilia has a softer overall look, with more pretty, pink and feminine beads, but this is a matter of personal opinion and most people like beads from both collections. Chamilia has more themed beads, like shells, martini glasses, beads that say "mom," etc., which appeals to some. Chamilia is also carries licensed Disney beads. You can combine beads from both companies on one bracelet. Either company offers the chance to create a very high-end look with silver and gold, or a more "fun" and whimsical look with charms and colors.

On the internet, you find slightly more quality complaints for Chamilia beads (metal discoloration, color scraping, etc) than for Pandora, but overall both companies offer high quality beads as compared to cheaper "no name" options that might be plated or filled rather than solid.

Pandora and Chamilia both release new beads several times per year. Pandora regularly "retires" certain beads, which increases demand and interest.

Pandora and Chamilia were involved in a lawsuit. Pandora claims that Chamilia has infringed its patent-pending bead threading system. The courts just delivered (August 2008) a decision that favors Chamilia, saying essentially that although the systems for threading are the same, more competition in the marketplace is a good thing. Pandora is appealing.

Pandora currently requires retailers to carry Pandora exclusively, which is why you do not see retailers that have both brands side by side. but some onlineshop will sale both of them, eg. www.hoobeads.com.
(Trollbeads are another charm brand with similar styles and designs, but Trollbeads usually do NOT fit on Pandora and Chamilia bracelets. Although there may be invidividual beads that will fit, they are not interchangeable systems. However, all Chamilia and Pandora beads will fit on Trollbeads bracelets.)

Chamilia is not the original bead company. Trollbeads is the original company, having been founded in 1976. Pandora was founded in the 1990s, and Chamilia in the 2000's.

Right i was at the markets which is local to where i live. and she was selling fake pandoras. But get this they were engraved pandora. I could tell because therewere engraved very poorly. We also asked for a certificate but nothing!
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