The Enduring Charm of Low-Cost Baubles, Bangles, and Beads

Pandora was something of a godsend for jewelers during the dark days of the 2008–2009 recession. The brand kept their cash registers humming at a time when they weren’t selling much of anything. But there was always a nagging question lurking beneath the hype: How long will this last? Isn’t all this charm stuff just a fad? Nearly a decade later, it is clear that the charm—or bead, depending which company you talk to—business is here to stay. There are now more companies selling charms than ever, and the two largest brands—Pandora and Alex and Ani—are among the best-known names in the industry. While jewelers have relied on inexpensive products to drive traffic in the past, it’s rare for so many low-end brands to become so big and so powerful. Pandora, the biggest name in the field, has proved to have extraordinary staying power, if not without controversy. The Danis

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