The Engagement Ring: A Financial and Emotional Investment

The modern engagement ring isn’t always considered a true investment because of its depreciation after the original sale. However, couples continue to spend outrageous amounts of money on an ornament that is to become the one and only tangible symbol of an emotional commitment. In a fluctuating market based completely on demand, there are several factors to consider guaranteeing the best value for your investment in love.

The value of components, rarity and history determine the worth of an engagement ring. The metal aspect accounts for only 5 to 25 percent of the total value, with yellow and white gold, and platinum being most popular. Platinum is five times more rare and is significantly more durable than gold. It will cost a bit more, but is well worth the investment. Choosing platinum will maximize the value of your ring by resisting wear and ensuring a secure, brilliant setting for your stone of choice.

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

The center stone is by far the most valuable element in any design, counting for 75 to 95 percent of total worth. Popular carat sizes come with a significant mark up. Staying just shy of common carat sizes will save up to 30 percent. Modern cut, white diamonds have become a bit mundane; instead, think about an orange, pink, green, red or black fancy cut diamond, which are around 1,000 times more rare and expressive.

Other asset worthy rarities to consider are antique, old mine cut and European cut diamonds. Cushion shaped and handcrafted, old mine diamonds are known for their square shape and were popular during the Edwardian and Victorian eras. Round in design, European cut diamonds have deeper proportions and were fashionable during the Edwardian and Art Deco periods.

Materials and workmanship, as well as history and commitment to love are the true measure of a ring’s value. Still, the single best way to invest in an engagement ring is to shop for vintage luxury and estate finds. For specialty pieces that are certain to hold value over time, look to the rich selection of affordable luxury at Braswell and Son.

Natural and Lab Made Colored Diamonds: A Kaleidoscope of Choice

As a gift to the Queen, a promise to a lover, or the star of a luxury vintage treasure, the diamond is truly nature’s crown jewel. For years, people coveted what the stone lacked—brilliant and varying color. Now, collectors of fine gems are falling in love with colored diamonds—both natural and laboratory grown—as an expression of their own personal, luxury style.

Colored diamonds are produced when small amounts of trace elements are present during formation.

Natural diamonds are created deep below the earth’s surface, whereby carbon is exposed to extreme heat and pressure over eons of time. Colored diamonds are produced when small amounts of trace elements are present during formation. Color variations exist across an endless spectrum—pink, champagne, cognac, vermillion, azure, even mysterious noir—seductive stones affected by a varied collection of naturally occurring factors producing brilliant results.

Diamonds are classed by what is commonly referred to as the 4Cs: color, clarity, cut and carat. In addition to the 4Cs, the value of a colored diamond relies most heavily on hue, rarity and strength of color. Generally, an uncommon or intensely colored stone will reflect a greater value.

Laboratory grown, or engineered diamonds are produced by an artificial process under a highly controlled lab environment that carefully replicates the conditions under which diamonds are naturally formed. The gems are birthed from a tiny carbon seed made of pre-existing diamond, and exposed to extreme pressure and heat. Carbon atoms are arranged in a diamond crystal structure identical to naturally occurring diamonds, with color occurring by the inclusion of minerals during the deposition process. Lab grown diamonds have the same physical, chemical and optical properties of mined, yet cost upwards of 20-30% less. Created without the heavy environmental and human burden commonly associated with traditionally mining, colored, cultured stones have become an increasing popular sustainable and socially conscious choice.

When it comes to diamonds, beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. A gemstone should be as colorful as the wearer, and reflect her own personal style story. Let Braswell and Son’s graduate gemologist and GIA trained staff assist you in choosing the perfect colored diamond or stunning, luxury vintage piece.