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 was to buy an expensive diamond ring for her. The ad was so successful that it became only customary for brides to expect a radiant sparkler when being proposed to—over three-quarters of American brides wear diamond rings.
But because it's 2017 and we're millennials, we know better than to think the only way our S.O. can show us love is through their bank account (and consequentially karat size). Thanks to understanding retailers, the options for affordable engagement rings are almost unlimited. Our editors picked out 45 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.
And you don't necessarily need to sacrifice size for the smaller price tag. Take Beverley K's Diamond Halo Engagement Ring, which has all the classic glam of your traditional diamond engagement ring. Or if you prefer a non-traditional gemstone, Megan Thorne's Ribbon Crown Blue Sapphire Ring is a unique touch of color that will still look sizable and engagement-worthy on your hand. Looking for something a little different? This selection also features rings with beautiful settings and multiple stones, like Trumpet & Horn's Kingsbridge ring.
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. After all, the whole expensive diamond engagement ring trend was an advertisement anyway!