No Rules Engagement Rings: What to Spend and Why

Engagements and weddings are big business. Big, as in couples spend on average of $30,000-plus on a ring and ceremony. Slick and compelling marketing by the diamond and retail jewelry industry pushes spending between 1 and 3 month’s salary on a ring, suggesting the amount spent is directly reflective of the love you feel toward another person—illogical thinking, to say the least.

Over the years, expectations and traditions have relaxed as brides and grooms have taken a more personal approach to engagements and weddings. Despite this shift, diamond engagement rings continue to be extremely popular and pricey. Before getting caught up in the intoxicating current of an engagement, couples should pause and remember there are no rules when it comes to love.

Choosing an engagement ring should be a highly personal decision—a decision not based on monthly salaries, investment calculators, or societal pressure. For years, Braswell and Son have been helping couples find the very best in affordable luxury engagement and bridal jewelry. We recommend setting a budget reflective of income, goals, and lifestyle. Also, be realistic and discuss priorities, expectations, and considerations such as personal style, activity level, and meaning.

Braswell and Son carries an extensive and unique collection of exquisite vintage luxury engagement and bridal jewelry, hand selected by a discerning GIA trained staff. Our pricing is based on a small percentage of the actual value of a ring’s precious metal and gemstone components, and not over-inflated retail prices that often carry a markup of 1,000 percent. The way we do business allows us to take the time to get to know our customers, make solid recommendations and pass along amazing quality, character, and savings.

Love and life are all about balance. Most would agree that blowing big bucks on an engagement ring and accruing debt would equal a less than perfect beginning to a successful marriage. Don’t sacrifice a spectacular honeymoon or a down payment on a home for an expensive ring. Shop the best of both worlds—elegance at a reasonable price at Braswell and Son.

Engagement Ring Inspiration Worthy of Love Itself

Few things inspire hope and positivity as love does. Love influences our behavior and moves us to be better people for others and ourselves. No wonder an engagement with its details creates such a fuss—especially with the ring. The connection between two people is singularly unique and deserves a ring equally expressive. Here are three inspirational engagement ring trends worthy of a second look:

If she’s ethically minded or non-traditional, a colored stone or lower-profile stone may be just right.

Gemstone Alternatives
Diamonds have a tremendous following, but the earth is rich with exquisite stones. Colorful gemstones as an alternative to diamonds continue to gain popularity as more brides value self-expression and ethical sourcing. Most gemstones come in a countless range of colors and cost far less than a diamond of the same size and grade. Some women are choosing stones for their subtle energetic properties. For instance, a peach blush morganite stone is thought to attune to the heart chakra, encourage lightness within the spirit and symbolize deepening love.

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The notion of the diamond being the quintessential engagement stone resulted from a well-crafted, exceptionally effective, multi-decade marketing campaign that positioned the gem as the one and only choice.

Stacks on Stacks
Mix it up with stacking bands—the ultimate way to showcase your own intimate love story. Completely customizable, each band fits together to give the illusion of a larger ring. Add a band for your engagement, marriage, milestone anniversary or the birth of a child. Choose a style where interlocking bands are part of a base design or take an edgier route, mixing platinum and rose gold with pavé diamonds and birthstones to create the ultimate statement in personal style.

Mixed Metal Details

Intricately patterned settings are perfect for showcasing a traditional and alternative looks.

Sometimes the smallest details make all the difference! Customizing a white round diamond set in a white gold setting with a rose gold halo creates a contemporary update to a classic look while giving the illusion of a larger center stone. Similarly, a brilliant citrine or yellow diamond set in platinum with elegant yellow gold prongs is a sublime presentation all its own.

As curators of fine engagement and bridal sets, Braswell and Son houses choice precious metals and stones, including yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, platinum, silver, fine jewels, and diamonds of every cut, color, and karat. Braswell and Son—your premier source for engagement ring guidance and inspiration.

Chanel Handbags: Back to School Inspiration

French designer Coco Chanel, fashion designer, businesswoman and student of life created a signature style empire that embodied practicality, freedom and elegance. Chanel applied her unique design philosophy to her clothing, jewelry, fragrance and renowned handbag collections, making them a coveted favorite among women of all ages. Durable yet versatile, luxe yet relevant, Chanel handbags adapt easily to both university and professional life. Without question, Chanel gets an A+ in our book!

Not only are Chanel bags a hot item; they are investment quality pieces that hold their value for years to come. For young women there is no better time to invest in functional foundation pieces, and Braswell and Son makes it affordable for those on an academic budget.

As a premium reseller of vintage luxury, pre-loved designer handbags, Braswell and Son offers new and like-new Chanel pieces at a fraction of retail. With 10 percent down and affordable monthly payments, you can have that lambskin Overnighter Weekender Shoulder bag in time for holiday break. With a spacious interior and woven leather chain straps, it has enough room for small electronics and makes an ideal carry-on travel bag.

Another intelligent choice for the savvy coed is the classic Medallion Tote bag. With supple, pebbled calfskin leather, signature gold-tone hardware and medallion charm, generous interior and secure zip closure, the Medallion Tote delivers sophisticated durability. A study in hardworking opulence, the classic tote adapts easily to everyday style and shows the world you’re much more than the average up-and-comer.

For special events and first dates, the Chanel Mini Double Flap is a true statement of feminine independence. The Mini Double Flap tops its class in function and flair, with room enough for essentials and style for days. Made of butter-soft lambskin in a variety of colors with silver hardware detail, the Mini Double Flap is the perfect punctuation to any look.
A woman’s handbag is both a modern day survival kit and a mark of intellectual influence. A Chanel bag is a fundamental accessory for collegiate life and beyond. Shop smart—shop Braswell and Son for back to school vintage luxury deals.