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When De Beers Consolidated Mines, Ltd. (better known now as just De Beers) needed a way to advertise their diamonds in the midst of the Great Depression, their clever marketing team came up with an idea: Convince the public that the only way for a man to prove his love is to buy an expensive diamond ring for her. The ad was so successful that it became customary for brides to expect a radiant sparkler when being proposed to—and is still effective today with over three-quarters of American brides wearing diamond rings.
Stones such as moissanite and white sapphires are a great way to achieve the appearance (and irresistible sparkle) of diamonds while paying a considerably less price—and allowing you to flaunt a larger stone!
But because it's present day and we're (for the most part) millennials, we know better than to think the only way our S.O. can show us love is through their bank account (and consequentially carat size). Thanks to understanding retailers, the options for affordable engagement rings are almost unlimited. It's why we picked out 57 of the most beautiful and unique engagement rings under $5,000, so you won't break the bank with any of these options—and there are countless styles to choose from. Plus, we consulted with industry experts Amanda Trevizo, a buyer for Shane Co. Jewelry, and Nicole Wegman, the founder and CEO of Ring Concierge, to learn more about selecting a sparkler that won't force you or your S.O. to pinch your pennies.
Meet the Expert
And, you don't necessarily need to sacrifice size for the smaller price tag. Take De Beers classic yellow gold princess-cut ring in yellow gold, which has all the classic glamour of your traditional solitaire diamond engagement ring. Or if you prefer a nontraditional gemstone, Retrouvaí’s diamond channel band ring with a barrel sapphire is a unique touch of color that will still look sizable and engagement-worthy on your hand (not to mention acts as the perfect something blue on your big day).
No matter your style, these rings are proof that it's not only possible to find your engagement ring on a budget, but that your dream ring doesn't have to cost you a fortune. Browse our edit to admire 57 budget-friendly stunners—good luck trying to pick just one!
Shane Co. Three-Stone Baguette Diamond Engagement Ring
Starting off with a bang, this dazzling three-stone engagement ring features a round center stone accompanied by two baguette diamonds on a simple band. With a choice between white or yellow gold, plus an array of colored stones to choose from, it's safe to say we're pretty obsessed.
Lane & Lanae Rock Paper Scissors Line Ring
For the understated bride who is still looking to make a statement, this one's for you. A round, baguette, and princess-cut diamond are bezel-set on a thin 14k round gold band. Perfectly aligned one after the other, there's nothing else quite like this simple sparkler.
La Kaiser Diamond and Topaz Aphrodite Shield Ring
A cluster of gorgeous diamonds scatter around this topaz center stone. Set in 14k yellow gold, this extraordinary piece exudes subtle vintage charm.
Barbela Design Diamond Nico Ring
A playful spin on a classic round solitaire, this diamond is bezel-set on a 14k rose gold band. With the choice of 14k yellow, rose, or white gold, the unique link design of the band complements any pick.
J. Luu Horizontal Baguette Diamond Ring
A sophisticated baguette center stone is horizontally set on a 14k rose gold band featuring pavé diamonds. This piece just may be the epitome of understated glamour.
J.Hannah Demi Signet Ring
We're calling this simplicity with a statement, and let's just say we're in love. This brilliant cut white diamond is set in an undoubtedly bold 14k yellow gold band.
Diamond Nexus Bali Classic Pear Cut Engagement Ring
Who ever said that saving money meant sacrificing sparkle? This pear-cut solitaire proves them wrong. Set in 14k white gold, the minimalistic band allows the diamond to take center stage.
Wwake Nestled Rose Cut Diamond Ring
How endearing is this two-stone engagement ring? A rose-cut diamond sits nestled in the curve of this 14k solid gold band as a daintier version of the same stone sits just below.
Eva Fehren Small Inverted Champagne Diamond Solitaire
A champagne diamond solitaire is set in 18k rose gold. More captivating champagne diamonds are set in the glimmering pavé-set band. This is minimalistic beauty at its finest.
Charles & Colvard Forever One Marquise Moissanite Halo with Side Accents
No matter where you go, all eyes will be on this marquise-cut, colorless moissanite engagement ring. Featuring a shimmering halo and double pavé band, all of this ring's beauty is set in 14k white gold.
Shane Co. Halo Diamond Engagement Ring
The most breathtaking contrast is created when this 14k rose gold ring meets its flurry of diamonds. With its emerald-cut center stone, we can't decide if the halo or the pavé-set band is our favorite feature.
A.Jaffe Halo Statement Marquise Engagement Ring
There is certainly no shortage of sparkle when it comes to this jaw-dropping engagement ring. A mesmerizing marquise center stone is surrounded by a diamond halo accompanied by an 18k white gold pavé band.
Lola Brooks Octagonal Diamond Engagement
An octagonal solitaire diamond is set on a square band in 18k palladium white gold in a matte finish. We love how this unique finish and unconventionally shaped center stone adds an interesting touch to this timeless design.
Sofia Zakia Pleiades Ring
A flurry of diamonds cascade across this sweet 14k yellow gold band. The round diamond center stone is flanked by smaller diamonds in various shapes and sizes.
Maria Canale Pyramide Statement Onyx Ring
To the cool bride, we wish we could pull this off like you do! This three-dimensional octagon of polished black onyx frames a diamond solitaire while the thick yellow gold band steals the show.
Adel Chefridi Cushion Rosebud Solitaire Ring
How pretty is this diamond solitaire set in 18k yellow gold? The captivating shimmer of the accent diamonds accompanied by the satin finish are most definitely the features that make this piece worthy of forever.
Waant Horizon: V619 Ring
Truly make your engagement ring your own by customizing its features. Choose between a pear, round, or oval-cut center stone accompanied by your choice of three different variations of gold or platinum. No matter which combination you may choose, this piece is the perfect blend between tradition and modern minimalism.
Ruth Tomlinson Solitaire Champagne Diamond Ring with Granules
We're falling head over heels for this champagne diamond solitaire engagement ring. Featuring 14k yellow gold, this one is absolutely perfect for the bride who appreciates dimension and texture.
ILA Collection Parson Ring
A diamond center stone flanked by diamond baguettes sit pretty on a pavé band. Set in recycled 14k rose gold, there's no doubt we'd say yes, too.
Parade Design Lumiere Bridal Ring
A marquise center stone is horizontally set on a stunning pavé band. Set in yellow gold, this ring is the epitome of classic elegance with an unexpected twist.
Jennifer Meyer Thin Diamond Yellow Gold Stacking Ring
Wear it stacked or style it solo, this thin yellow gold band showcases a pretty little round diamond. Less is more, right?
Brilliant Earth Harlow Diamond Engagement Ring
For the bride who believes more is more, we've got you, too! This eye-catching emerald-cut diamond is accompanied by an array of show-stopping tapered baguette diamonds. With a variety of metals, center stone shapes, and carat sizes available, customize this ring to your personal style and budget.
Shahla Karimi Triangle Eye Ring
We love a ring with a unique flair—and this one is certainly no exception. A trillion-cut diamond is set on a thick, yellow gold, curved band.
Xiao Wang Galaxy Pear Rose Cut Diamond Ring
The exquisite details of this pear-cut diamond ring make this the perfect antique-inspired engagement ring. Featuring flanked white diamond baguettes and topped with a pavé crown, this one is set in 18k white gold.
Anita Ko Me/You Pear Diamond Pavé Ring
Simplicity meets sparkle with this pear-shaped diamond solitaire. Accompanied by a shimmering pavé band, this center stone is set in 18k yellow gold.
Ileana Makri Triple Solitaire Ring
The classic three-stone engagement ring meets the well-loved halo design with this 18k white gold stunner. We love how this one appears as if its snugly hugging the finger.
Nora Kogan Cate Ring
This is modern, chic, and sophisticated all rolled into one! A diamond solitaire is bezel-set on an enamel band all while set in 14k yellow gold.
Luna Skye Gold and Diamond Double Band Topaz Trillion Ring
All eyes are on that band with this double pavé band in 14k white gold. Featuring trillion white topaz and a glimmering halo, there's so much beauty that meets the eye.
Jessie V E Femme Fatale 'Enchantress' Ring
Once again, the band takes center stage when it comes to this breathtaking morganite engagement ring. With the center stone set beneath the wavy pavé band, this is 14k rose gold magic.
Vrai & Oro the Signature Bezel Ring
We're utterly obsessed with this ultra elegant bezel-set engagement ring. With a simple yellow gold band, the emerald-cut diamond is the obvious star of the show.
Après Jewelry the Beatrix Ring
We know what you're thinking—we cant' take our eyes off of this beauty either. A T-bar style pavé band frames this emerald-cut center stone as a white diamond halo and 14k rose gold steal the show.
Jade Trau Astor 1 Ring
We're in love with the delicacy of this diamond solitaire engagement ring. This floating design set in 18k yellow gold is what dreams are made of.
Catbird Leda The Swan Ring
A pear-shaped diamond is flanked by diamond accents all while set in 14k yellow gold. This is such an effortlessly subtle way to put a spin on the timeless three-stone engagement ring.
Bario Neal Icon Hex Diamond Oval Ring
A triple diamond ring is set in an enchanting 14k yellow gold. The daringly unique design of this curved band puts a more untraditional flair on the three-stone engagement ring.
Grace Lee Hex Rose-Cut Diamond Bezel Ring
There's something so special about this hexagonal-shaped diamond engagement ring. Bezel-set in 14k yellow gold, this one is just oh-so-charming.
Danhov Carezza Double Shank Asscher Cut Diamond Engagement Ring
Hello, sparkle! Featuring white gold, this asscher diamond center stone is framed by a glimmering halo set on a pavé double shank band.
Jacquie Aiche Trillion Diamond Ring
Emphasize the unique beauty of a trillion-cut diamond with a bezel setting. Set in 14k yellow gold and on a pavé band, this one is a perfect example.
VRAI The Signature Ring
We'll say it time and time again—you can never go wrong with a classic. Set on an 18k yellow gold band, a dazzling emerald-cut diamond takes center stage. With an array of customizable features, create the ring (and budget) of your dreams!
Kavant & Sharart GeoArt TT Trillion-Cut Diamond Ring
Turn some heads with this double trillion diamond set. Featuring an eye-catching abstract design, the mesmerizing pavé details are accompanied by 18k yellow gold.
Selin Kent Helia Pavé Ring
Deriving inspiration from none other than the sun, this one-of-a-kind engagement ring is adorned with a half-sun diamond set on a pavé band of 14k yellow gold. Seriously, what more could you ask for?
James Allen Excellent Cut Round Diamond Filigree Engagement Ring
An intricate setting and band surround this round diamond center stone. Featuring diamond accents, this stunningly timeless piece is set in 14k yellow gold.
Allurez Diamond Frame Engagement Ring
There's something so romantic about a classic round diamond engagement ring—especially with details like that. Set in 14k white gold, we're crushing hard over this ring's gleaming halo and split shank pavé band.
Jennie Kwon Diamond Dolce Ring
Charming, romantic, and oh-so-enchanting—we can't seem to find the right words to truly capture this piece's beauty. A diamond center stone is flanked by a semi-pavé band all set in 14k yellow gold.
Van Cleef & Arpels Perlée Solitaire
A simple diamond solitaire allows this eye-catching beaded band to take center stage. Featuring 14k rose gold pearls, we haven't seen anything quite like this one.
Forevermark Center of My Universe® Cushion Halo Engagement Ring
A shimmering halo anchors this captivating cushion-cut center stone. Set in platinum and accompanied by a pavé-set diamond band, this piece possesses enduring beauty.
Erstwhile Jewelry Art Deco Diamond Engagement Ring
A show-stopping vintage ring like this speaks for itself. Set with multi-shaped diamonds and set in platinum, this Art Deco engagement ring is sure to make a statement.
Rachel Boston Contra Emerald Ring
An emerald-cut diamond stone is set horizontally on a pavé diamond band. Set in 18k yellow gold, we love the contrast between this timeless metal and stunning array of brilliant diamonds.
Sofia Kaman Simple Solitaire Pear Shape White Sapphire Ring
It may not be a diamond, but this gorgeous white sapphire does the trick. A great way to cut costs, this center stone accompanied by pavé accents and 14k yellow gold prove that sapphires can be a girl's best friend, too!
Kataoka Twisting Diamond Solitaire Ring
How sweet is this diamond solitaire on its 18k yellow gold twisted band? We're in love with the subtle charm that this piece naturally exudes.
Shahla Karimi Landmark Series Flatiron Ring No 2
Inspired by the Flatiron Building in New York City, you're bound to fall in love with this trillion diamond engagement ring in a New York minute. Set in 14k rose gold, this is perfect for the bride who appreciates architecture or simply loves a geometric design.
Carbon & Hyde Cobra Ring
We're obsessed with how this pear-shaped diamond ring appears as if it's effortlessly draped around the finger. Set on a pavé band, this pretty little piece is set in 14k yellow gold.
Fantasia by DeSerio White Gold Triple Cubic Zirconia Ring
Just because you're on a budget doesn't mean you're going to settle for any less than the most glitz and glam! This cubic zirconia engagement ring gives you just that. The center stone is flanked by two trillion cubic zirconia side stones all set in 14k white gold.
Gillian Conroy Pear White Diamond & 18k Yellow Gold Sophia Ring
We love how the horizontal positioning of this pear-shaped engagement ring adds just the right unique touch to this timeless engagement ring. The white diamond center stone, set in 18k yellow gold, is nothing short of stunning.
Brilliant Earth Petite Shared Prong Diamond Engagement Ring
You're bound to love this for a lifetime—we promise. This simple oval-cut solitaire accompanied by a pavé-set diamond band is set in 18k white gold exuding the most priceless ever-lasting beauty.
Sofia Kaman Marquise Mosaic Art Deco Ring
Almost as if the diamonds are peeking out of the thick platinum band, this trapezoid and trillion-cut Art Deco engagement ring is incredibly chic. For the bride who is simple and subdued, this icy slice of sparkle may be just perfect.
Effy Classique Diamond Ring
Set in 14k white gold, multi-shaped diamonds adorn a pavé band while a cluster of diamonds resemble a center stone. We're obsessed with how the three elongated emerald-cut diamonds sit in the center of this pretty halo.
What to Look for When Choosing an Engagement Ring Under $5,000
"The simpler the band, the less you'll be spending on extra adornments, and the more your budget can go toward the diamond. Skipping micropavé or additional side stones will help to keep costs lower," says Wegman. If you're opposed to a simple band, there are a variety of creative alternatives to achieve that show-stopping look. Textured, beaded, linked, or split-shank designs are just a few of the ways to create intricacy and shimmer.
Thankfully, there is much more to the engagement ring world than just diamonds! An array of captivating colored stones as well as stones that resemble diamonds get you the look for less. If you're still itching for that diamond, that's okay, too! There are creative ways to fulfill that dream while still cutting costs.
"Avoid popular shapes like ovals or the more expensive cut, round brilliants, to keep costs down. You should also stay right under the colorless range and purchase a G-color diamond, almost 8 percent less than an F color but an almost imperceptible visual difference. We also advise buying just shy of the carat because there's a price jump at every full carat mark," Wegman suggests.
"By opting for a simpler setting, you'll be able to maximize the size of your diamond while staying within your budget. If you're dead-set on having additional diamond details or a three-stone ring, it's certainly possible to find this for under $5,000," Wegman states.
No matter your style, a ring can be created to capture the essence of your dream ring while keeping your bank account happy, too. Some jewelers have tools for finding an engagement ring within your budget. Shane Co.'s Budget Buddy allows you to enter your budget before giving you an array of possibilities to obsess over.
What is the most affordable engagement ring style?
"A simple solitaire will be the most affordable setting," states Wegman. "You can always find an affordable engagement ring in every style! There is not just one thankfully," Trevizo assures.
What is the most affordable gemstone?
"Semiprecious stones, such as morganite, are very inexpensive and make beautiful diamond alternatives," Wegman suggests. "Sapphires and other gemstones can be more affordable than diamonds, but like any center stone, you are paying for how rare something is, so size, shape, and color can play a role in pricing. Do your homework and then work with your jeweler, so you can see a variety of looks and pricing," says Trevizo.
Can I add more diamonds or stones to my engagement ring later?
"This is a great question to ask the place you are purchasing from. It could ultimately depend on where you would like to place the additional stones and the design and structure of the ring. If the place you are purchasing from has an in-house jeweler, you can always loop them into the conversation," Trevizo recommends.