If you’re shopping for an engagement ring on a budget, you have plenty of gorgeous, high quality, affordable options to choose from. But if you’ve never shopped for bridal jewelry before, you may find it hard to locate these affordable options amidst the many highly priced rings in the engagement section.
The key to easily finding an affordable engagement ring you love is to understand which styles will give you the most bang for your buck. To help you do just that, below, we’re going over the five best affordable engagement ring styles. Along the way, we’ll also be going over numerous specific ring design elements that can help you maximize a smaller budget.
Solitaire engagement rings are the most classic engagement ring style. And luckily for those who are shopping on a budget, this chic ring style also happens to be one of the most affordable engagement ring setting style options.
Solitaire rings feature only one gemstone, so a solitaire setting is unadorned with expensive accents. The main contributor to a solitaire ring setting’s price tag is its precious metal. So, unless you choose a particularly expensive metal like platinum, a solitaire setting can be quite affordable. Yellow gold, rose gold, and white gold are all fantastic options for an affordable solitaire setting, since they offer style variety and are more affordable than luxe metals like platinum. Gold is also more durable than many other metals, including sterling silver. Like the solitaire design itself, gold is a stylish option that will stand the test of time
Depending on your choice of gemstone and ring design, a gemstone engagement ring can be an exceptional affordable engagement ring option. This is especially true if you’re willing to think outside the box when shopping for rings. For example, you may find gorgeous gemstone rings that aren’t described as engagement rings in collections of birthstone rings, promise rings, or fashion rings. But as long as a ring is made of quality materials and has the look you want for your engagement ring, there’s no reason you can’t use it as an engagement ring.
If you broaden your horizons when shopping for a gemstone engagement ring, you’ll discover a stunning array of dazzling, richly colored rings at affordable price points. Morganite, moissanite, and white sapphire engagement rings are on-trend options for gemstone rings, while ruby and blue sapphire rings are always classic choices. Then, other trending alternative engagement ring options include aquamarine rings, garnet rings, amethyst rings, citrine rings, and topaz rings.
Fancy shaped diamonds are beautiful and unique. On top of that, they’re generally less expensive than their round brilliant cut diamond counterparts, making a fancy shaped diamond ring an excellent affordable engagement ring option.
The reason fancy shaped diamond engagement rings are more affordable than round diamond rings is diamond shape pricing. Round diamonds are considerably more expensive per carat than fancy shaped diamonds, which is a category that includes every diamond shape other than round. In part, round cut diamonds are more expensive because cutting a round stone shape leads to more rough diamond waste and, therefore, higher manufacturing costs. Another main factor in the cost of round diamonds is demand. Making up over half of all diamonds sold today, round diamonds are incredibly popular, so diamond sellers know they can charge more for them. How much more? A round diamond can cost up to 30% more than a fancy shaped diamond of comparable carat weight and quality.
Alongside being more affordable than round cut diamonds, fancy shaped diamonds have a variety advantage. With options like princess cut, marquise cut, oval shaped, pear shaped, heart shaped, trillion cut, cushion cut, emerald cut, and more, there’s no shortage of stylish fancy shapes for you to choose from. Some fancy shapes also have a size advantage over round cut diamonds. Diamonds with elongated shapes, such as oval and emerald cut diamonds, look larger per carat when compared to round diamonds. With so much to offer in terms of affordability, style, and size, a fancy shaped center diamond is a wonderful option for an affordable engagement ring.
Diamonds become dramatically more expensive as they go up in carat weight, putting rings with high carat diamond centers out of reach for many people. However, if you’re shopping for an engagement ring on a budget, you can still get the glamour and brilliance of diamonds by selecting a ring that utilizes smaller accents to maximum effect.
Smaller diamonds are much less expensive than large diamonds, but they’re still dazzling and gorgeous. A ring that uses an array of smaller diamonds instead of one larger diamond can have plenty of impact without putting too much pressure on your credit card or bank account.
In addition to looking beautiful on their own, smaller diamond accents can make a center diamond look even more impactful. The eye perceives brighter things as looking larger. This means that a ring setting with a diamond halo, diamond side stones, or a diamond band can often make a budget-friendly center diamond look a bit more substantial.
People tend to think that custom engagement rings are inherently expensive, but that’s not the case. Every element of a custom engagement ring can be customized— including its price tag. When you create a custom piece of fine jewelry, you start by setting your own budget. Then, your jewelry designer will help you figure out how to achieve an aesthetic you love while also staying within that budget.
Working with a jeweler to create a custom piece can often help you maximize your budget far better than you could if you just browsed the new arrivals at the jewelry store. When you create a custom engagement ring, wedding band, or wedding ring set, you can put the bulk of your budget into what’s most important to you, then find balance with other elements of your design if needed. Creating a custom engagement ring can help ensure your ring has the exact design details you desire, whether that’s black diamond accents, a lab-created diamond center, intricate milgrain work, a mixed metal setting, a sculptural modern look, or any other element you dream of.
Another advantage of creating a custom engagement ring is being able to use materials you already own. For example, you could use a center diamond from a vintage engagement ring that’s been passed down in your family as the center stone in your new ring. If you already have a center stone, this could allow you to put more of your budget toward creating an ornate setting you adore.
Note that while some jewelers won’t use a customer’s own metals or stones in custom work, we’re always happy to do so at BVW Jewelers. We know how much sentimental value repurposed materials can add to a design, so we’re completely open to incorporating your materials into your new ring. If you’d like to learn more about creating your perfect engagement ring with our custom design team, visit our Custom Jewelry Design page.