the complete guide to

Engagement Rings

The 10 best ways to buy quality on a budget

The average price spent on engagement rings in the U.S. is $5800.

Today you're going to discover how to find and choose an affordable engagement ring for a fraction of that cost.

And you don't need to sacrifice quality or style for a 'cheap engagement ring'.

In fact,

These expert tips will help you prioritize your budget. So whether it's under $1000 or under $5000, you'll get the highest quality, most beautiful ring for less.

This is a great place to start:

Whether you've already shopped around or are just getting started, you probably have a budget in mind that you'd like to aim for.

We're 3rd generation in the diamond industry and have designed engagement rings for 2 decades. So we've done this a few times. I hope this guide helps you find a stunning ring in your budget.

Here are the most significant 10 ways to find affordable engagement rings:


Or get tips for your price range:

But, before we learn how to save...

It helps to understand what makes the cost of an engagement ring.

While there are no exact numbers as it does depend on the price range, design and jeweler. The most significant cost factors will be your choice of main stone and the brand you decide to buy from.

Engagement Rings Under $1000:

1. Small Diamond Rings

You probably know that you can get a cheaper ring with a smaller real diamond. But you may not have been able to find any high quality or beautiful designs.

Such as this one:

As well as this one:

These more affordable but high quality engagement rings will usually have a diamond under 1/2 carat to keep the price under $2000. However, if you'd like to stay under $1000, I'd recommend a natural diamond no larger than around 1/4 carat to ensure you're still getting a beautiful diamond.

That said, if you want to get more - carat, style, pop! - then read on...

2. Moissanite Engagement Rings

Another affordable engagement ring option is to look at moissanite instead of diamonds. Top quality moissanite gemstones have similar hardness, beauty and brilliance to diamonds.

Above all, they're a fraction of the price.

Moissanite gemstones are almost always lab grown. In fact, the only known natural moissanite comes from outer space!

Therefore, you're guaranteed conflict free, eco-friendly, inexpensive engagement ring options just for opening up to this gorgeous gemstone.

For example:

3. Black Diamonds

For a relatively low cost engagement ring with style, look no further than black diamond engagement rings.

You'll get real diamonds, solid gold and usually high quality rings. Albeit rarely under $500.

However, be warned that these beautiful and affordable rings should be considered only if you know your partner is on board with this design choice.

Engagement Rings Under $2000:

4. Clarity Enhanced Diamonds

If you're aiming for a real, mined but affordable diamond engagement ring. And you'd like a solitaire design with a relatively large diamond over 1/2 carat.

But you're looking for engagement rings on a budget. Then clarity enhanced diamonds are for you! Clarity enhanced diamonds will save you up to 50% off the price of un-treated, natural diamonds.

And with the same appearance.

How is that possible? Essentially the clarity enhancement takes natural diamonds with low clarity and makes them visibly high-end.

Clarity enhanced diamond treatment

You can read a more in depth guide on clarity enhanced diamonds. Then come back if you'd like alternative affordable engagement ring options.

5. Eternity Bands

Looking at non-traditional engagement ring designs will also help you find unique but cheap engagement rings. Such as eternity bands. Especially when you don't want to compromise on the quality of the materials or the craftsmanship.

Generally, these are rings that don't have one main stone. Hence, you won't have the cost associated with a relatively expensive single diamond or gemstone.

For instance, these affordable real diamond rings:

As well as these lab grown diamond eternity rings:

And finally these moissanite bands:

6. Minimalist Engagement Rings

Taking away the frills will not only make your engagement ring more timeless and classic. But it'll also save on extras you may not need.

For instance, complex details can be more work for the goldsmith.

As well as small diamonds which are both more diamonds and more craft labor.

In fact, if you want all the focus to be on the main stone. Therefore, it's best to focus your budget that way too.

Engagement Rings Under $3000

7. Lab Grown Diamonds

When looking for a cheaper, yet real diamond rings, why not consider diamonds with a clear conscience?

Lab grown diamonds are truly identical in every way to mined diamonds, except their origin. In other words, you can think of them in the same way as a test tube baby and a naturally born baby.

You'll find affordable engagement rings with real diamonds that are beautiful, high quality and eco-friendly.

Such as these:

Engagement Rings Under $500

8. Promise Rings

Although traditionally promise rings tend to be cheap rings, commonly priced under $100, promise rings can in fact be made more high-end. Hence more suitable for engagement.

Even when made in gold and with real diamonds you'll find 'promise' engagement rings under $500.

Such as these:

9. Cheap Engagement Rings

(you might want to avoid)

Being that not everyone can afford real gold and diamonds, this might be a controversial one. However, unless your partner's expectations are aligned with yours, you may want to find another way.

The cheapest engagement rings are going to be those that are mass produced with lower cost materials. At best you'll be looking at silver and cubic zirconia, but other cheap metal alloys and synthetic gemstones are very commonplace.

In general, you'll find engagement rings under $200 or even under $100.

For example:

10. Learn About Diamonds

Buying an engagement ring may be one of the most significant emotional and financial purchases of your life so far. So it's a good idea to know what you're buying.

In truth, you're not going to be able to learn everything.

Plus, reading online isn't going to show you the true difference between one diamond to the next.

However, if you're considering spending a few thousand dollars, knowing the basics about diamond carat, color, clarity and cut will get you the best value for money.

That means paying for quality you can see.

While not overpaying for invisible details.

11. Avoid The Chain Stores

I've added this key bonus tip as it really umbrellas all the others. So it's really important.

When you choose a chain store such as Zales, Kays and the like, bear in mind that most of your budget isn't going into the ring. By all means, you'll find cheap and heavily 'discounted' engagement rings. However, you won't be getting a cost effective engagement ring.

Let me explain.

In one word, overheads. In fact, all chain stores have enourmous and multiple costs that are not your ring.

The store, rent, bills, salespeople, inventory and marketing are extremely significant.

Some of this is off-set by mass production, but mostly it's the materials used and the craftsmanship. Overall, that means quality.

In other words you'd be paying relatively more, because you're actually getting less. Only if you've fallen in love with a design and there's nothing like it anywhere else, does choosing this option really make sense.

Did I miss anything?

Now I'd like to hear from you:

Which direction did you choose and why?

Or was there a great tip on how to get a high quality and affordable engagement ring that I missed?

Either way, let me know by writing in the comments below:

Affordable engagement rings: 10 ways to buy on a budget