Finding the perfect engagement ring is a big deal. Besides your wedding band, it's the only piece of jewelry you plan on wearing... for like ever! Now, dreaming up the ideal gem is easy. You've probably been pinning celebrity sparkle to your secret "Future Mrs." Pinterst board for months, but the reality is that your guy probably doesn't have a Kimye-sized bank account. And, in most cases, it's your man's financial status that determines which rock you get (Pssst, guys: as a general rule, most jewelers suggest you shell out about three months of your salary).
Since most fiancés-to-be spend just over $5,000 on an engagement ring, we hunted down the prettiest, most unique bling within that budget. And now, we're ready to deliver the good news: You don't have to sacrifice a smidge of style to stay within your five-grand range.
To start, scale back on carat size. There is a noticeable cost difference when you choose a center diamond that is less than 1 carat — even if it's just 1 point smaller at .99 carats. Another idea: Take the center stone out of the equation by looking for ring designs made up of smaller diamonds set in a unique way. Or, skip diamonds all together by choosing a less conventional (but super trend) center stone, like a sapphire or topaz.
Click through to find the most inspiring cost-conscious sparkle. Once you spot your favorite, let the hint dropping begin! You're welcome.