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Sure, not every bride-to-be is drawn to supersize diamonds, but whether three or more carats is goals or you prefer a daintier approach, cost is always a factor when choosing your engagement ring. Not the most romantic part of your engagement story but a practical aspect that most couples face. Luckily, the market is filled with gorgeous engagement rings under $2,000, whether you choose a smaller diamond, diamond slice, gemstone, antique ring, or cluster ring.
"Consider working with smaller, independent designers rather than large companies who may have inflated costs," suggests jewelry designer Emilie Shapiro. Or, you can check out similar looks with ethical, lab-grown diamonds (they’re a totally legit option) to save a little cash and go bigger with your stone. "The center stone is where most of the cost comes from, so opt for less expensive stones or rustic-cut diamonds instead of a traditional-looking diamond. Moissanite and white sapphires have similar looks and you can get bigger stones at a lower price point."
Meet the Expert
- Emilie Shapiro is a NYC-based jewelry designer focused on handmade production and the sustainable use of recycled materials and natural gemstones. She is also the author of How to Create Your Own Jewelry Line and Creative Wax Carving.
An engagement ring under $2,000 hardly means you have to sacrifice. "Select a piece that reflects you, that you want to wear to celebrate your love and pass down to someone special one day," says Shapiro. "You're creating your own tradition, your own family, and you can decide what that looks like and it certainly can stray from mainstream looks."
Ahead, we gathered 57 of our favorite engagement ring options under $2,000.
Yi Collection Diamond Princess-Cut Petite Circle Ring
A delicate engagement ring for all of the minimalist lovers out there. A princess-cut diamond is set on an 18k yellow gold band. The setting employs a loop fastening that separates the stone from the band itself and is quite unique in the world of bridal jewelry.
Satomi Kawakita Homespun Solitaire Diamond Ring
A classic solitaire with heaps of that romantic, antique charm that ensures a piece is exalted to the ranks of prized family heirlooms. A brilliant-cut white diamond is set in 18k gold. But the band is where all the magic happens, quite literally, as its homespun texture looks as if "it’s been worked and kneaded by the hands of fairies."
Emilie Shapiro Mirage Path Diamond Ring
Infinity band lovers, rejoice! This five-stone ring has all of the eternity-ring look for a far more attractive price tag. A row of diamond slices is set in 14k yellow gold. We love the raw shapes of the diamonds giving this ring a much more organic aesthetic than its flush, identically shaped counterparts.
"Eternity bands are beautiful but tend to get a bit beat up on the underside of your hand," says Shapiro. "They are also tricky to size if you need an adjustment. Five-stone rings give the seamless look of an eternity band without having to worry about wear and tear from the bottom of your hand."
Blanca Monrós Gómez Florence Solitaire Opal Ring
The tender pearlescent glow of opals is oh so sweet and quintessentially bridal. Here, a diamond-flanked, milky opal is set in 14k yellow gold. The nearly opaque stone has warm-hued flashes of corals, pinks, and gold radiating from its center, perfectly complemented by the gilded glow of the yellow gold.
"When selecting an engagement ring with a nontraditional gemstone, think about how soft the stone is," advises Shapiro. "Opals are beautiful, but they are on the softer side so they can get scratched over time. It's something to be mindful about."
Allurez Cathedral Pavé Diamond Engagement Ring Setting
Opting for a half band of diamonds rather than a full eternity band is another way to stretch your budget. This pavé diamond band only extends halfway around the finger leaving the back polished but still has that infinity look. A diamond center stone is set in 18k white gold.
Emilie Shapiro Rough Diamond Halo Ring
Rough diamonds seem to possess an ancient, organic beauty that is both savage and captivating. "The rough diamond halo ring is one of my most popular styles of engagement rings for nontraditional brides," says Shapiro. "The juxtaposition of the rough and cut diamonds really tells a story of rough and refined." Here, a rough diamond is surrounded by brilliant-cut diamonds and set in recycled 14k yellow gold.
Shahla Karimi Love V Ring With Pear
Speaking of symbolism, this split-shank band was inspired by love and the "principle that all things exist as inseparable and contradictory opposites." The ring features a single pear-shaped diamond tucked between the shank and set in 14k gold. You can switch up the look of the ring by flipping it and alternating the positioning of the "V" shape.
Aprés Jewelry The Stella Ring Setting
Customizing your very own ring is the best way to get the look you love at a price point that works for you. Here we have a cushion-cut diamond solitaire setting in gold. From there you can continue to choose the stone and build the ring of your dreams and keep within your realistic budget.
Era Jewelry Mosaic Stack Ring With Diamonds
Even in a smaller carat weight, contemporary cuts will feel utterly spectacular and contribute to an ultra-unique look. A kite-shaped gem on a traditional pavé band is exactly what we had in mind. Here, a colored sapphire center stone is set on a 14k yellow gold, diamond-encrusted band. "Sapphires are actually a traditional engagement ring stone dating back to the Romans," explains Shapiro.
Kataoka Aronia Ring
Not everyone dreams of a full-fledged bauble on their ring fingers. Ornate, jewel-encrusted bands can be equally striking, made even more personal with the addition of hidden engravings and love notes. This piece has a smattering of accent diamonds set on an 18k gold, twisted band.
J. Hannah Demi Signet With Diamond
Signet rings tend to err on the more masculine side of the jewelry spectrum, imparting a strength and boldness to any look. This demi signet ring, however, has a much more feminine appeal with a smaller size and thinner design. The ring showcases a diamond center stone set in 14k gold.
Spinelli Kilcollin Adonis Ring
Not all engagement rings require gems and jewels. This understated design is oh so chic without the adornments of glittering minerals. A single 18k white gold annulet takes center stage as it hugs its 18k rose gold band. The design is based on the mythical love of Adonis and Aphrodite, with the band representing her emotions and the annulet symbolizing Eros's arrow (aka Cupid's arrow) of love.
Carbon & Hyde Elixir Mini Ring
Multi-stone engagement rings from three-stone styles to clusters create the image of a bigger ring for a lot less. This one has all the appeal of a larger, pear-shaped diamond through a strategically placed cluster setting. The ring is available in 14k white, rose, or yellow gold.
Emilie Shapiro Lunar Ring
Inspired by the full moon lighting up the dark night sky and reflecting gently onto the water, this ring features a rose-cut rainbow moonstone surrounded by a halo of rough blue sapphires and set in recycled 14k yellow gold. "Opals and moonstones are some of my favorite stones to work with because they have this amazing inner shine called a flash," explains Shapiro. "My [personal] engagement ring is a pretty, larger rose-cut rainbow moonstone. I love staring at it, and it feels so special."
Wwake Single Nestled Diamond Ring
Rose-cut diamonds are faceted to reflect as much light as possible, providing a lively glimmer that can rival that of a larger stone. This ring features a diamond center stone set in 14k gold. The gem is nestled in the curve of the band resembling a fresh drop of dew beading off a leaf.
Bario Neal Half-Moon Dyad Ring
Two ethically sourced, white sapphires are bezel-set in a casing of 14k yellow gold. The half-moon design of each stone, along with the central gap between them, could be representative of the two halves that make a whole. This ring is entirely handcrafted and ethically sourced.
Doyle & Doyle Art Deco Diamond Engagement Ring
The intricate design of an antique ring is incredibly eye-catching whether done in white or yellow gold or a mix of metals. This breathtaking art deco ring originated in 1935 and features a unique hexagonal mount. A diamond center stone is set in a filigree east-west design of 18k white gold.
Emilie Shapiro Solar Plexus Ring
"The solar plexus ring is such an edgy ring while still feeling feminine and timeless," says Shapiro. The ring features a rose-cut rutilated quartz with black inclusions that stand out beautifully against its silvery hue. The stone is framed by a halo of rough diamonds and set in recycled 14k yellow gold.
Helzberg Diamonds 1/2 Ct. Tw. Diamond Engagement Ring in 14k White Gold
Pear-shaped stones always give off the appearance of a larger carat weight due to their oblong structure. Here, a diamond center stone is framed by a double-halo design and set in 14k white gold. The band is intricately detailed with a spiral design and inlaid diamond accents.
Catbird Odile the Swan Ring
Black may seem like the antithesis of all things bridal, but there is a timeless beauty and undeniable elegance about a black diamond. Here, a rose-cut one is fringed by a single, brilliant-cut white diamond on each side. The design is set on an ultra-delicate 14k gold band.
KatKim Mini Peak Ring
Trillion diamonds have a unique duality about them, they simultaneously speak to an old-world eclecticism and reflect a contemporary modernity. The combination creates a dichotomy of unquestionable timelessness. This ring showcases a single trillion diamond set on a polished, 18k yellow gold band.
Januka Princess-Cut Diamond Position Ring
A bold design with a touch of whimsy. This strong band has the perfect mounting for a round stone, but instead, it is set with a princess-cut diamond that appears to be floating in the center like a single star shining through a round window. It's set in 18k yellow gold.
Vrai The Oval Signet Ring
Traditionally signet rings have been a deeply personal piece of jewelry, often used to seal letters with its owner's crest as proof of the sender's identity. It's not surprising that such a distinguished piece has made its way into the realm of bridal jewelry. Consider this 14k gold, oval diamond signet ring the symbolic marriage of your identity with that of your spouse-to-be's.
1909 by Erica Weiner Machine Age Ring
This beauty was inspired by a vintage piece from the early 20th century. The design presents a row of three diamonds, framed by four accent diamonds positioned at each directional pole. The ring features a corrugated marquise shape and is set in 14k white and yellow gold.
Charles & Colvard Forever One 2.70CTW Radiant Near-Colorless Moissanite Solitaire Engagement Ring
Much like white sapphires, moissanite makes a dazzling alternative to far more expensive diamonds. Here, a considerable 2.7-carat, near-colorless center stone absolutely stuns. The design is set in 14k yellow gold.
Grace Lee Crown Bezel Diamond Ring
Rose-cut diamonds are faceted in their namesake, rose-bud shape. Unlike other cuts that have a tapered bottom, rose-cut diamonds are flat which gives them a thicker appearance overall. This ring is mounted on top of its 14k gold band, not in line with it, allowing the unique shape to shine.
Shane Co. Marquise and Round Diamond Ring
Marquise cuts have an innately regal air about them and this glorious design definitely does not disappoint. A marquise-shaped diamond is encircled by a halo and considerable 14k yellow gold frame. The ring features a pavé band comprised of marquise-shaped scallops that mimic the central mount.
A.Jaffe Half Bezel East West Emerald Cut Diamond Engagement Ring
If it's bold that you're looking for, then you need not look any further. An east-west, emerald-cut diamond is only half bezel-set, allowing light to pour in from the top and bottom. An ultra-thick 18k gold band completes the contemporary style.
Elisa Solomon Anna Karenina Marquise Diamond Ring
A design created with a classic story of forbidden romance and the sheer opulence of a foregone era in mind. A marquise diamond center stone is surrounded by a melee of diamonds and flanked by two baguettes. Set in a platinum band encrusted with diamonds.
Vera Wang Love Collection 5/8 CT. T.W. Princess-Cut Diamond Double Frame Engagement Ring
The addition of a halo to any stone is a great way to maximize its size. And if you really want to go big, you'll make it a double. This princess-cut diamond is framed by not one but two pavé halos. The ring is set on a matching 14k white gold, pavé band with split-shank detailing.
What to Look For When Buying Engagement Rings Under $2,000
While it's entirely possible to buy a diamond ring for under $2,000, it's worth considering other, more affordable stones in your search. Plenty of lab-grown diamonds and alternative stones are not only much more affordable without sacrificing size, but they're a joy to wear (and stare at), especially if you're looking to make a statement.
If you're hoping for the look of a diamond, moissanite can be a convincing doppelgänger that rivals its durability. Morganite is a pretty-in-pink gem that's a compelling stand-in for a pink diamond. If you're looking for something bolder, sapphires, rubies, and emeralds are timeless stones you'll want on your finger for decades, and all are durable enough to be worn daily.
Simple settings, such as a classic solitaire or cathedral, allow the gem to take centerstage, which can make smaller stones appears bigger. The tiny stones that circle the center stone in a pavé and halo settings can also add impact. If you're not attached to the idea of having one center stone, cluster rings are an elegant, visually interesting way to save money without sacrificing style.
Gold—be it yellow, white, or rose—may be the, well, gold standard for engagement rings and wedding bands, but it is by no means the only option. Platinum is actually more expensive (white gold was first introduced as a more affordable alternative to platinum), although palladium is a compelling, if less durable, substitute.
Silver is the most affordable metal you'll find among engagement rings, although it's softer and typically mixed with other metals—aka sterling silver—so it can stand up to daily wear. Still, sterling silver is more likely to scratch than other metals. Titanium is a lightweight, scratch-resistant option; however, it cannot be resized. Similarly, tungsten is extremely durable—four times stronger than titanium—and scratch-resistant, but it can also not be resized.
What is the most affordable gemstone?
Semiprecious gemstones like aquamarine, morganite, amethyst, opal, garnet tend to be the most affordable. Precious gems—think sapphires, emeralds, and rubies—are typically more expensive, but rings with these stones can certainly be purchased for less than $2,000.
What's the best diamond alternative?
Moissanite can be mistaken for a diamond—the telltale difference is that it reflects more of a rainbow light where the diamond reflects white light. Moissanite is actually an incredibly rare, hard-to-mine mineral, so it's grown in labs, which is why it's so much more affordable than a diamond. If your heart is set on a diamond, consider lab-grown diamonds, which are nearly identical to the real thing.
How can I be sure my ring is a high-quality one?
Research retailers and talk to people who've shopped at the stores you're considering. A good retailer will be knowledgeable about the rings and gemstones, have a return policy, and—most importantly—be able to provide a gemstone certificate. This is a document from a gem lab that certifies a ring's weight and authenticity.