Shopping online for affordable engagement rings can tempt any soon-to-be fiance on a budget to throw up their hands and head to the nearest candy store for a ring pop.
While they’re unarguably more delicious, we say no to ring pops!
You do not have to sacrifice quality to find a fantastic, affordable engagement ring that she’ll adore. You just have to think outside of the box a little and do some research. Let’s get started, shall we?
Affordable Engagement Rings Under $500
First of all, no law says that you have to prove your love with a diamond. That’s nonsense.
Second, modern brides are really digging diamond alternatives for lots of reasons. They’re unique and they’re more likely to be ethically-sourced and environmentally-friendly. Plus, if the stone has special significance to her, like a birthstone, for example, it’s more personal.
In fact, even the royal family opted to pass a sapphire engagement ring down the lineage rather than a boring old diamond. Now, sapphires aren’t exactly inexpensive, especially not that one, but you get the point.
Here are a few gorgeous engagement rings with alternative gemstones that make a statement all of their own and won’t break the bank.
1. Deep Blue Sapphire Solitaire Ring
The gorgeous deep blue of this sapphire against that unique shining silver setting will definitely take her breath away. Hard to believe this one is under $500, but it’s true!
2. Natural Green Emerald Ring With 14K Gold
If your true love is enamoured with emerald (the May birthstone, by the way), there’s this beauty of a ring. If she’s not impressed with this ring, we’re not sure what would impress her. We do know that when she goes to show it off, her friends will be green with envy!
3. Ruby Rose Gold Oval Engagement Ring
Bit of trivia for you: did you know a ruby is actually a red sapphire, which is the rarest and most expensive sapphire you can find in nature? It’s so unique, they decided to call it a ruby instead of a red sapphire. Who “they” is, we’re not sure, but we suspect it was some gemologist somewhere who figured it out.
Anyway, we think this is a ring fit for a princess! The rich red of this oval lab-created ruby is so striking with it’s little crown of diamonds- we fell in love with it right away.
For more examples of diamond alternative engagement rings, check out this guide we put together. Hopefully, it’ll inspire some ideas.
The Diamond Look Without the Price Tag
If you’d like to keep that diamond look, many gorgeous gemstones look pretty darn close to the real thing, like the moissanite in this ring:
4. Cathedral Colorless Moissanite Ring
She might need a welding mask to shield her from the glimmer of this beauty when she opens the box. Like in the Tom and Jerry cartoon! Remember? Right. Anyway…
Diamond Shopping on a Budget – Hacks
If you’ve made up your mind that you’ve got a diamond girl, and that’s that, there are some things you should consider to help keep you on track.
Size matters. Of course.
Everyone knows that the higher the carat, the more expensive the rock, but have you ever wondered exactly what different-sized diamonds actually look like on an average person’s hands? Smaller carat diamonds often look larger than you think, particularly with the right cut. Here’s a visual comparison to give you some perspective:
Not all cuts are created expensive.
Three words: emerald, cushion, Asscher.
Cushion-cut diamonds can be up to 45% less than a round diamond (the most expensive cut) of the same carat. So can emerald-cut diamonds, and Asscher cuts. Keep your search focussed on these three cuts and you’ll be more likely to find something in your price range.
We’d also like to take a second to point out that simulated, or lab-created stones will always be much less expensive than naturally-mined stones.
But you know what? Lab-created stones are much more environmentally-friendly, and if you’ve got a socially-conscious lady, they’re often a more ethical choice as well.
Here are a couple of simulated diamond rings in economical-but-equally-gorgeous cuts:
5. Emerald-Cut Simulated Diamond Engagement Ring
The emerald cut is so classic and sophisticated, it’s definitely one of our favorites. The funny thing about an emerald cut is it looks very expensive, and yet is one of the least expensive cuts you can get.
6. Marquise Moissanite Ring
If you’ve got a girl who loves art-deco or vintage styles, the Marquise is the way to go. It conjures up images of the roaring 20’s and the Great Gatsby, and we think it’s absolutely fabulous.
Setting and metals matter, too
Platinum is the most expensive setting available, followed by 24K, 18K, and 14 Karat gold. If you’re looking to cut some costs without sacrificing quality, 14K is an excellent choice.
We challenge you to put a platinum ring next to the same ring in 14K white gold and describe the difference.
Hint: Unless you’re a professional or some kind of metals savant, you won’t be able to see any difference.
You can also save some money by shopping for pave, prong, and halo settings over more expensive styles like a gypsy or channel setting.
7. Pave Petite Diamond Ring 14K White Gold
by Blue Nile
If your lady has never been the “big rock on her hand” type, this engagement ring is a great choice. Rings of this style are often associated with the promise of spending eternity together. The diamonds encircling her finger on this delicate ring will remind her every day that you’re in it to take care of her for the long haul.
8. 14K White Gold Halo Diamond Ring
Whether you choose white gold, rose gold, or yellow gold, this ring is stunning. A halo setting looks so sweet and we love its innocence. You may want to be ready with tissues when you present it to her as there will definitely be some tears of joy involved!
Affordable Engagement Rings Under $1000
9. Vintage Alexandrite Engagement Ring
This vintage inspired alexandrite engagement ring is fit for a princess of the modern age, perfectly encapsulating the fierce traditions of weddings past while embracing the bold styles of the 21st century. This colored gemstone will change tones depending on how the light hits it, making it truly eye-catching. We also adore the paired moissanite wedding band, cut perfectly to add just an extra bit of sparkle to this already stunning piece.
10. Round Cut Moissanite Engagement Ring
Sophisticated and absolutely timeless, this round cut moissanite is bound to be the ring your soon to be fiancée has been dreaming of! This is one of the engagement ring styles you are bound to see over and over again; but there is a reason for that – it’s a classic! This ring will never go out of style and will make whoever is wearing it feel totally glamorous. You really can’t do wrong with this choice!
11. Oval Cut Moissanite Engagement Ring
Wow. This ring will catch glances from across every room! The first and perhaps the most obvious feature in this piece is the giant center stone coming in at an impressive 7.5mm but that’s only the beginning. The stone is surrounded by two halos of cubic zirconia (or diamonds if you’re willing to splash out a little extra cash), the outermost halo aligned to resemble sunrays – and you best believe they are just as blinding!
12. Pear-Shaped Moissanite & Natural Diamond Ring
A pear shaped stone is perfect for anyone who loves the look of traditional engagement rings but also appreciates a more modern twist. This moissanite ring by NewadoJewel strikes this balance perfectly, accenting this particular pear shaped beauty with stunning natural diamonds lining the whole of the band. This also comes with an equally stunning wedding band, making this expensive looking set an absolute bargain!
13. White Gold Art Deco Cushion Halo Ring
This art deco inspired piece by highly rated Etsy seller rststudio is a knock-out! Dripping with opulence and screaming elegance, this ring will have the woman you love gasping for air. We especially love the tiny bit of detailing on either side of the center stone, giving it a unique flair and just a touch of vintage vibes.
14. Rose Gold Art Deco Engagement Ring
This ring set is the perfect blend of bold and feminine. The delicate diamond and moissanite accent stones gives resemblance to a princess tiara, while the crossed double-band and large center stone give it a prominence fit for a queen! You can also have your choice of morganite, alexandrite, or moonstone for the main stone, meaning you can make this ring perfect for her!
15. Rustic Raw Gray Diamond Engagement Ring
A raw diamond is a great choice for anyone who wants to give the gift of a real diamond without being weighed down by the hefty price tag. This particular gray diamond is especially stiking and is perfect for the woman who has seen enough frilly dresses and oversized diamonds to last her a lifetime! We especially love the unique style of prongs that really add to the naturally rustic feel of this ring.
16. Black Spinel Engagement Ring
Black spinal has always been and always will be a stone of elegance but this ring in particular gives an air of class that is nearly indescribable. The black center stone gives this a bold, upmarket, and rare feel that is perfect for any woman of no-nonsense confidence, while the halo of diamonds soften the look, giving it a more feminine touch. This piece is also very versatile, available with a yellow, rose, or white gold band.
Affordable Engagement Rings Under $1500
17. Celtic-Style Opal Bridal Set
This amazingly intricate set by BlossomandSuch looks like it was taken right out of a fairytale! Love and Lavender has featured this Etsy seller before (see 20 Opal Engagement Rings: The Queen of Gems) and loved them for their attention to detail and nature inspired design, however, this set brings it to whole other level!
18. Double Halo Engagement Ring
This brilliant engagment ring by highly rated Etsy seller LilyCreationShop is what dreams are made of! Bold, sparkling, and attention grabbing, it’s hard to believe it is being offered at such an affordable price! Present this ring to the woman you love and watch her get swept off of her feet!
19. Square Blue Topaz Engagement Ring
The deep blue topaz stone in this ring from Angara is beyond beautiful. Traditionally symbolizing a deep emotional attachment, this is the perfect ring for the woman you can’t imagine life without. Simple, elegant, and timeless this piece will be forever beautiful – a perfect choice if you are looking to create a family heirloom.
20. Raw Salt And Pepper Diamond Engagement Ring
If the love of your life is the kind of woman who loves to stand out from the crowd, then this salt and pepper diamond ring by Etsy seller BravermanOren may just be the perfect pick! This two-toned diamond slightly resembles a star filled sky or spinning galaxy and will leave admires getting lost in the details. The rose gold band looks especially sweet when contrasted with this dark stone, but if you really want to add some character check out the black gold band option!
21. Princess Cut Morganite Engagement Ring
The picture of romance and femininity, this princess cut morganite ring is perfect for your favorite girly-girl! We love that the design on either side of the center stone perfectly match the detailing in the paired wedding band and the soft pink stone adds a soft sweetness that really tones down the bold art deco shapes.
22. Yellow Cushion Diamond Engagement Ring
There is something about a yellow diamond that just screams “expensive”! That’s why this find by the USJewelryFactory is such an achievement. The brightness of the center stone paired with the decadent diamond accents makes is bound to bring a smile to her face and a skip to her step! Truly a stunning yet fun piece!
23. Oval Cut Garnet Engagement Ring
Aside from being the birthstone for the month of January, the garnet is traditionally associated with the heart, making it the perfect engagement ring if you want to show your partner just how deep your passion for them runs. This oval cut gemstone is especially beautiful and its deep tone sits in perfect contrast to the moissanite halo that frames it.
24. Mint Sapphire Engagement Ring
For a fun pop of color, check out this mint green sapphire engagement ring by aardvarkjewellery. We just adore this vintage inspired piece! It is equal parts unique and understated and is perfect for the girl who wants something feminine without dealing with the fuss of an overly large ring.
Be mindful who you give your money to
Brick and mortar shops will always have a higher markup because they need it for their, erm, brick and mortar. Though you may feel more comfortable actually holding the ring in your hand before you buy, ordering online is relatively risk-free.
Reputable jewelers will absolutely let you return your ring for a full refund if it’s not what you were hoping for as long as it isn’t damaged.
There are some great up-and-coming independent jewelry makers out there who would love to help you pick (or design) a ring, and they’ll often do it for much less than big-name jewelers. Where can you find them? Etsy, for a start.
Other than that, go online to sites like Angara, Blue Nile, and James Allen. Often, you’ll be able to design your own using our tips above on the most affordable gems, settings, and designs and come out with a ring she’ll love.
Go Get Her, Tiger!
We LOVE a good proposal story. If you’re lucky enough to be a witness to an impromptu proposal, there’s nothing better than watching the look of shock and joy on her (or his) face when he (or she) pops the question.
You were meant to be, so we know you’ll find the perfect ring for your fiance-to-be. We wish you all the luck and all the tearful hugs and kisses when she (or he) says yes!
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