High Priced Chain Jewelry Stores: Buyer Beware

Chain jewelry stores have been bombarding us with concepts of “love” for years with their suggestive messaging. After all, why bother if he didn’t get it from Jared … and, doesn’t every kiss begin with Kay?

A word of caution: everything that glitters is not always golden.

Popular chain jewelry stores are not all what they promise. Slick advertising and lavish retail space in premium locations are expensive, and force an extreme markup on fine jewelry—as much as 1,000 percent! Chain jewelry stores are known for offering hyped up sales at rock bottom prices. However, the quality of diamonds and gemstones sold by chain stores is generally mediocre to poor, making most pieces unworthy of their price point, even when offered at a deep discount.

Purchasing from a chain jewelry store means paying mightily for overhead and a big name. So, why not consider buying from an established pawnbroker and be guaranteed exceptional quality at a fair price?

There is a misconception that pawnshops don’t offer good prices to the public for their pre-owned jewelry. The reason is that shops buy jewelry based on overall value and rarity of the piece, rather than original retail price. That means a new engagement ring bought for $5,000 retail will fetch only 10 to 20 percent of that cost ($500 to $1000) when sold to a pawnshop. Pawnshops in turn are able to pass along notable savings to their clients by reselling the piece for 30 to 40 percent above actual value ($1500 to $2000)—a massive savings as compared to the 1,000 percent markup typical of buying new from a chain retailer.

Braswell and Son, premium resellers of new and pre-owned fine and vintage luxury jewelry, will ensure you get what you pay for and receive the customer service you deserve. With an on-site graduate gemologist and GIA trained staff, we hand select pieces based on genuine quality and value to offer the very best in affordable elegance. At Braswell and Son, you’ll find our professional guidance, quality selection and great savings to be more than a cut above the typical chain store experience!

Why Shop Second Hand or Pre-Owned?

With so many retail and online shopping opportunities, why should anyone consider shopping second hand or pre-owned?

We love this question, because the answers are what keep our clientele coming back to Braswell and Son, again and again. And, here’s why:

Amazing Customer Service

Most retail and online shopping experiences have become depersonalized. Sometimes, the big box and virtual options just don’t cut it. Our business is based on building personal relationships, and we depend on satisfied, repeat customers for our livelihood. We research trends, and educate ourselves in brand authentication and quality assurance to guarantee an outstanding customer experience.

Great Deals

Pre-owned does not always mean used or abused. Savvy shoppers know paying for a “new” label can cost a pretty penny. Braswell and Son offers an extensive collection of new and pre-owned items at well below retail prices. For the collector, our selection is an undeniable treasure trove of rare and one-of-a-kind vintage luxury finds. Whether you’re looking for an heirloom opal or a pair of sky-high Jimmy Choo heels, you will find deep savings paired with distinction.

Immediate Cash

Let’s be real, unfortunate financial circumstances can happen to anyone. Banks don’t grant small loans for immediate needs or unexpected emergencies. Pawnbrokers fill a niche unsatisfied by big lenders by providing immediate, short-term loans without a credit check or verification of employment. Pawn loans have an 85 percent redemption rate, meaning most people repay their loan amount and keep their item. What’s even better is the same item can be pawned over and over, potentially for a greater loan amount depending on current market value.

Exceptional Variety

Our premium inventory includes a wide selection of the highest quality, new and pre-owned computers, cameras, electronics and musical instruments, as well as art and collectibles. As a preferred reseller of affordable luxury, Braswell and Son represents excellence in fine and estate jewelry, and carries a large selection of designer handbags by Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Coach.

Shopping second hand doesn’t mean shopping second best. Look to Braswell and Son for a first rate shopping and pawn experience, and never pay retail prices again.

May 13th Celebrate The Grand Opening Of Our New Conway Location!

Enjoy food, fun, games and prizes as we celebrate the Grand Opening of our new Conway showroom, now located at 244 Oak Street, next to Ed’s Bakery and Auto Zone. Starting at 11:30am, we’ll be serving hot dogs and drinks. Kids can play on our inflatable bouncy slides, so bring the whole family! Participate in our All Day Diamond Dig for a chance to win a diamond (see details below), or Spin The Prize Wheel for a chance to win Braswell & Son swag, coupons, gift cards and more!

Special thanks goes to our Community Sponsors: Arbest Bank and Sam’s Club

Grand Opening Details

May 13th Beginning at 11:30am
244 Oak Street
Conway, AR 72032
(501) 328-2114
Click Here For Directions

All Day Diamond Dig

Spend $100 or more and you’ll have the opporunity to dig around our “Diamond Mine” for a chance to find and win a real diamond! (See store associate for details and information.)

Grand Opening Sales

Spend $100 & receive $10 off.
Spend $500 & receive $30 off.
Spend $1000 & receive $60 off.

You’re Invited To Our Trunk Show May 12 & 13th At Our Markham Store

Trunk Show Invite
You’re Invited to our weekend Trunk Show, May 12th & 13th!

Braswell & Son has Mother’s Day covered with a huge jewelry and designer bag show happening just in time. Don’t miss this great opportunity to find the perfect gift for mom at an unbeatable price.

Ask about our Friends and Family Discount: You and a friend can each earn $25 off your purcahse of $250 or more. Exclusions apply. See store for details.

Come shop our large selection of Vintage Louis Vuitton and designer jewelry. May 12-13 at 9101 West Markham in the same shopping plaza with Burlington Coat Factory. Just show us this post on your mobile device when you visit!

Click For Directions To Our Markham Store



Below Is Just A Taste Of The Incredible Selection In Store

Personal Expression: Looking Beyond the Traditional Engagement Diamond

Big, sparkly diamonds have been the traditional choice for engagement rings for over a century. It may come as a surprise to know that diamonds weren’t always considered the forever stone. In the 1900s diamonds were simply one of many choices among gemstones.

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.

Diamonds were a popular choice for engagement settings, however, tourmaline, pearl, emerald and even fiery carnelian were also fashionable at the time. 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.

Today, social constricts have become more relaxed and people are waiting longer to marry. Many women are now moving away from traditional engagement rings in favor of pieces that are more personally meaningful, and a true representation their unique style and values.

While not a true “lovers’ knot”, this ring features smoky gemstones and a knot motif design.

The decision to forego a diamond for a colored gemstone is sometimes moral. Some choose to skip a stone altogether. One poignant example being the stone-less, “True Lovers Knot.” The romantic design is made of two interlocking overhand knots, in two parallel, precious metal bands; each free to move about the other, yet inseparable.

Perhaps your perfect engagement ring is made of warm rose gold and Oregon sunstone, and tells a personal story about how you fell in love in late summer, on a sun-kissed beach in the Northwest. Or, maybe you’ve always associated rubies with passion, would like to support a local artisan, or have a vintage, heirloom sapphire that would add emotional value to an alternative setting.

There is no hard and fast rule that an engagement ring must feature a multi-carat diamond sparkler. An engagement ring should be a symbol of commitment, as well as a personal expression of style. Choose a style and stone that speaks to you—something that gives you joy, and that you will love to wear every day.

Braswell and Son’s discerning staff, and distinctive selection of new and vintage luxury engagement jewelry will inspire you to look beyond the standard diamond to create your own story.

Louis Vuitton Crossbody Bags Freshly Picked for Spring

Crossbody Bag Season
It’s spring … get out and play, but leave your big bag at home! The perfect crossbody bag is waiting for you at Braswell and Son.

Spring is here, and just in time! Time to get out there and bask in the glow of a brand new season. Plan an outing while the temperature is still comfortable; book a garden tour and take in the rich smell of cherry blossoms, or indulge in a daylong treasure hunt for vintage luxury finds.

For the fashionista, spring also marks the start of crossbody bag season. As the name suggests, the crossbody has a longer, adjustable strap that is worn diagonally across and close to the body allowing for hands-free mobility. A smaller alternative to a larger tote, the bag offers the added advantage of extra security and can be moved to the front of the body when seated—a perfect union of style, function and comfort.

The crossbody’s humble beginnings can be traced back to bags used by early messengers and the Pony Express. Today, premium designers are evolving the classic messenger by blending utility with beauty. The bags borrow details from vintage luggage and military design, and are made with a mobile society in mind.

One example, the messenger-inspired Louis Vuitton Monogram Musette, is luxury with benefits. Large enough to fit a laptop and easy to carry, the bag features a generous main pocket, a smaller phone pocket, and has enough room to stow a few essentials in case a day trip turns into an overnight stay. Discontinued and somewhat rare, the Musette remains a widely sought after collectible piece.

Another beautiful choice is the convertible Louis Vuitton Speedy Bandoulière 25. Originally designed for travellers in the 1930s, the bag’s classic lines are reminiscent of another time. The bag is thoughtfully appointed with a zipper closure, rolled leather handles and a secure lock and key. The Speedy 25 is definitely easy on the eyes, but what makes the bag extra special is its versatility. It can be worn across the body, on the shoulder or even carried, depending on the occasion.

It’s spring … get out and play, but leave your big bag at home! The perfect crossbody bag is waiting for you at Braswell and Son.

Shopping for Engagement Rings: Insider Tips

There is something insanely romantic about the idea of a man pouring over options with his lady in mind, and choosing a ring that will represent their lifelong love affair. However, let’s not overlook the daunting task that lies before him. His choice should be an elegant balance of quality, design, size and price. He knows the basics, but should keep the following in mind:

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

It’s All About Her

Taking cues from her taste in art, fashion and décor, he must shop for her personality and sense of style. If she is non-traditional, she may favor a modern setting with a yellow, blue, or black sapphire over a diamond. Likewise, if she is ethically minded, a lab created diamond, or a lower profile stone-less ring might be an excellent fit.

Buy Smart

To ensure the once in a lifetime purchase is a wise investment that she will love, shop at a reputable, and GIA affiliated seller of new or pre-owned jewelry. Stones above 1-carat should have a written grading report detailing any stone characteristics, enhancements or custom work that affects value, and come with an exchange policy.

Consider incorporating an heirloom stone into a new setting as a way to combine the old with the new.

Get Creative

Custom doesn’t always mean expensive. Don’t be afraid to request the stone from one ring be combined with a setting from another. Or, think about incorporating a stone that belonged to her grandmother into a contemporary setting as a beautiful way to carry family tradition forward. She will be taken with the thought and intention behind the one of a kind creation.


Opting for an Asscher cut, brilliant oval, or pear shaped like the one pictured here can result in savings at the register.

Work the Budget

To capitalize on budget, consider a stone just shy of a most popular size. For instance, choosing a 1.8-carat stone over a 2-carat stone can save up to 20 percent. Of the ten fancy cut diamond shapes, round diamonds are by far the most popular and most expensive. Going for a brilliant oval or Asscher cut instead can result in significant savings and afford the buyer a larger stone.

Trust in Braswell and Son’s extensive showcase of new and hand-selected vintage luxury engagement rings, expert guidance and generous return policy for the ideal ring.

Now, time for the proposal…

Rare Detail, Rose Gold and Vintage Luxury: 2017 Engagement Ring Trends

Let’s face it, choosing an engagement ring is a big deal. The choice must perfectly embody your partner’s individuality and unique style preference, represent the love and depth of commitment you share, and be a wise investment.

No pressure, right?

For Braswell and Son’s engagement and bridal specialists, it’s an honor to assist Central Arkansas couples in discovering the stone and setting that speaks to them. Here’s a look at three stunning style trends we favor for 2017:

All About Detail
We are delighted by the return of understated, classic designs where the magic is in the finer details. Think of a soft-spoken classic round diamond set atop a contrasting yellow gold and diamond basket; or a gently colored gemstone paired with a surprise precious metal halo; or a deceptively simple band with a delicately jeweled filigree woven into the side view to showcase subtle elegance.

This gold filigree diamond ring evokes subtle elegance.

The Warmth of Rose Gold
Warm and romantic, the gold and copper alloy is a favorite among artisans. It flatters all skin tones and offers a lovely contrast for a classic diamond setting. Especially intriguing is the emerging trend of tone on tone; the play of a pale orange-pink morganite or a blush colored citrine set in rose gold. We also like no rules layering; the use of rose gold as a contrast in customizable stacking bands—the ultimate in personal expression.

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

Vintage Luxury
Handsome, vintage era designs never go out of style. Alluring Deco and Edwardian period-inspired pieces marry bold geometry with intricately patterned settings, perfect for showcasing a traditional stone or an alternative black diamond or ruby. The daring yet delicate nature of the design is as important as the stone itself, and always reads as one of a kind.

If you’re looking for a trusted advisor to guide you through the process of selecting that just right engagement ring, you’ve come to the right place. Along with thoughtful guidance, Braswell and Son offers a choice of vintage luxury, new and pre-owned engagement and bridal jewelry, as well as a large selection of loose diamonds that will take you beyond the ordinary.

Colored Gemstone Engagement Rings: A Millennial Love Story

Princess Diana had an eye for style and turned royal tradition on its ear when she chose the iconic 18-carat oval sapphire for her engagement to Prince Charles. Her choice to forgo the classic diamond in favor of a colored gemstone was an expression of individuality that sparked a trend that today is more popular than ever—especially among Millennials.

For many Millennials, when it comes to expressions of love, there are no rules. “Generation Me,” known for its liberal shift in political and economic views, are deconstructing wedding traditions by their choices in creative invitations, offbeat yet elegant gowns, and distinctive gemstone engagement rings.

This tanzanite Halo ring is a stunning, unique alternative to the classic diamond engagement ring.

Perfect for alternative or vintage designs, colored gemstones open up a world of possibility. Durable stones such as rubies and sapphires are seen as a more expressive choice over diamonds, and better reflect the style and philosophy of the modern couple. With growing concern over the high environmental and human impact of the diamond industry, ethically sourced colored gemstones make a responsible choice.

Millennials value experiences like travel and education over physical investments. However, despite having the reputation of being a weak investment, the value of colored gemstones has increased along with demand and remains a healthy asset.

For some, the color and stone itself has a deeply personal meaning. A liquid blue sapphire represents wisdom, trust and depth of devotion. A fiery red ruby is a protective stone, and denotes stability and passion. And, a naturally radiant green emerald, the color a symbol of good luck and abundance may be perfectly telling of a love story without costing a fortune.

For Generation Y, it’s not all about monetary value, but emotional value. What a gift to have a luminous heirloom opal that has been in the family for generations, upcycled in a current setting to deepen the intent of a proposal?

When it comes to love, the choice of stone should be profoundly individual, and not limited by custom. At Braswell and Son, we specialize in vintage luxury, as well as fine and estate jewelry. Let us help you create your own love story.

Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors and Kate Spade: Three Fresh Handbag Picks for Spring

The ritual of women changing handbags at the start of a new season is as certain as the coming of spring. The opportunity to empty and inspect the contents of your current bag—the staples and leftover bits and pieces that represent the last 6 months of a life. It’s an excellent time to evaluate what works, and what can be left behind.

Spring is the ideal time to trade in an outdated handbag, or shop for a new to you designer piece. A simple change in handbag can inspire a fresh beginning and a brand new attitude.

Braswell and Son’s growing inventory is bursting with authentic, vintage luxury handbags and accessories. Take a look at three of our favorites:

1. Utility Reimagined
The canvas Louis Vuitton Neverfull bag in white azur is legendary for being a workhorse as well as a style icon. It’s spacious without being cumbersome, and ideal for a day out or an overnight stay. The smooth leather straps fit easily over the shoulder or arm, making it a versatile and comfortable choice. The adjustable side laces transform it from practical tote to swank city bag, and the light as air color serves as the perfect backdrop for the changing season.


2. Everyday Glamour
The Michael Kors Jet Set chain tote is sure to be the star of any ensemble. A bold contrast to the crisp whites of spring, the glossy, bluest of green finish promises more glamour than conservative winter styles, and the sophisticated gold chain strap delivers a bright pop of contrast. Roomy and elegant, but not overwhelming, the Jet Set is a favorite must have.






3. Fun Factor
It’s all fun and games with the delicate Kate Spade PXRU 5013 clutch. The clean design and unusual plastic material is sure to be evening conversation starter. The bold, scalloped flap is reminiscent of a new flower—truly, a classic clutch with a modern twist on flirty vintage detail.

Check out our must have’s and other premium inventory. Shop Braswell and Son for the very best in vintage luxury styles for spring!