Affordable Engagement Rings and How to Find Them


Affordable Engagement Rings and How to Find Them 

How much should an engagement ring cost? Affordable engagement rings.

How to find engagement rings under $1000

Finding the perfect, affordable ring for your loved one does not need to be difficult if you understand the best way to go about it.  You may have a tight budget but you still want to find a great ring that conveys just how much you love and care for your special girl.  With this in mind we’ve put together lots of useful tips and ideas to help you find a ring that will look much more than you actually paid for it.

If you want to know how to go about finding cheap promise rings and discount engagement rings – or learn about diamond ring alternatives and clever ways of choosing engagement rings in styles that look much bigger and more expensive than they are…. then read on.

Diamond Engagement Rings: Other Options

Cubic Zirconia and Diamond

Cubic Zirconia:

CZ affordable engagement ringCubic Zirconia (CZ) has become a popular alternative to diamond because of its great similarities – yet its much lower cost.  To an untrained eye, CZ can look identical to a diamond.  However, there are differences:  Cubic Zirconia has less brilliance and sparkle than a diamond and is also flawless, whereas diamonds often have some inclusions or impurities.  

When compared with a diamond, Cubic Zirconia is less hard, with a score of 8.5 on the Moh’s scale of hardness, compared with the perfect 10 of a Diamond.  Cubic Zircon is also more brittle and so even more vulnerable to knocks than a Diamond is.  

Cubic Zirconia gemstoneCubic Zirconia is much heavier than a Diamond.  When compared with a 1 carat diamond gemstone, a CZ stone of the same size will weigh around 75% more.   

There are many attractive styles of Cubic Zirconia rings that can be found in online jewelry stores.  These lab created diamond rings provide a real alternative to diamonds.  Because of their relatively inexpensive cost, you can afford to buy a ring with a much larger stone in a size that, if it were a high quality diamond, would cost you thousands of dollars.  

Depending upon the metal you choose, many Cubic Zirconia rings can be found for under £200 and for CZ rings in silver, for under $100.  

Cubic Zirconia rings therefore make a great choice as an alternative ring until such time when you can afford to buy your loved one a real natural diamond ring.

Cubic Zirconia and Natural Zircon

Natural Zircon
Natural Zircon

Since the introduction of Cubic Zirconia for simulated diamond rings, there has been some confusion between it and the Natural Zircon.  However the mineral compositions of these two stones are quite different. Natural Zircon is composed of the mineral zirconium silicate and the artificial Cubic Zirconia is made from zirconium oxide.

Although a small amount of Cubic Zirconia was discovered in its natural state in the 1930’s there have been no further discoveries and it was not until the 1970’s that Soviet scientists found a way to create it in laboratory conditions. 

Cubic Zirconia started to make its name in jewelry during the 1980’s when the well known lead crystal company Swarovski & Co began producing CZ for the mass market.   

Gemstone Engagement Rings 

Loose GemstonesGemstones engagement rings in their myriad of colors have made a huge impact and are now a popular choice for many newly engaged couples.  Gemstone engagement rings offer a number of great benefits:

  1. You can find beautiful, affordable gemstone engagement rings at a much lower cost than a diamond engagement ring.  Although high quality natural gemstones such as ruby, emerald and sapphire may be only slightly less expensive than diamonds, many other semi-precious gemstone rings can be bought at a much lower cost.

  2. Many inferior natural gemstones are now being treated and enhanced to transform them into attractive, less expensive gems.   Due to these technological enhancements it is now possible to find inexpensive ruby, emerald and sapphire rings.

  3. If you’d like to buy a diamond ring but can’t find one at the right price, choose a ring where a semi precious gemstone is the main feature but where it also has small less expensive diamond side stones or accents to give it extra sparkle

  4. Birthstone rings can make gorgeous engagement rings.  Choosing a ring with your loved one’s birthstone colors adds a personal touch that is sure to delight her.

Here are some popular gemstones that make very pretty and affordable engagement rings……….. 

Popular Gemstones For Affordable Engagement Rings

Red Gemstones:

Garnet gemstonejuly-birthstone-ruby





Ruby: it  may have been enhanced if inexpensive for its size.

Blue Gemstones:

Aquamarine gemstone - March birthstone Blue Topaz gemstone Tanzanite gemstoneBlue Sapphire gemstone




Aquamarine, Blue Topaz, Tanzanite
Blue Sapphire – it may have been enhanced if inexpensive for its size  

Green Gemstones:

 Green Amethyst gemstone Green Tourmaline gemstone Perisdot gemstone Emerald gemstone



Green Amethyst, Green Tourmaline, Peridot
Emerald – it may have been enhanced if inexpensive for its size

Purple Gemstones:

Iolite gemstone Amethyst gemstone  



Iolite, Amethyst

Pink Gemstones:

Pink Tourmaline GemstoneRose Pink Quartz Gemstone Pink Sapphire





Tourmaline, Pink Quartz
Pink Sapphire – may have been enhanced if inexpensive for its size 

Yellow Gemstones:

Citrine Gemstone






 Moonstone Gemstone Opal Gemstone Natural Pearl White sapphire



Moonstone, Opal, Pearl
White Sapphire – may have been enhanced if inexpensive for its size 


For more information birthstone colors, see our Birthstones Chart 

Affordable Metal Settings

The choice of the metal setting for your ring can make a huge difference to the cost of your ring. 

Choosing a less expensive metal setting with a beautiful gemstone is another way of achieving affordable engagement rings.   Look for Sterling Silver rings and those made from Palladium for less expensive alternatives to white gold and platinum.  

Silver rings: 

Many people can’t tell the difference between a silver ring and one made from more expensive white metals.   As an alternative to white gold and platinum it is quite durable as well.  As silver ages it can develop a patina that simply adds to its overall beauty.  

Because silver is softer and easier to work with than some other metals, you can find a lot of unique modern designs.  Some of these include the latest twisted band styles.  However, as the metal is softer than some other it can be more prone to scratching, although if the band is quite narrow it is less likely to show.  

Palladium rings: 

Palladium comes from the same group of metals as Platinum and has a similar whitish silver appearance.   Until recently, the price of palladium was higher than platinum.  However, since the price has now fallen, palladium rings make an affordable alternative.  

 However, although silver rings are very easy to find, only a few jewelers making palladium rings.  

9k and 14k Gold:

If you are set on buying a ring made from gold but have a limited budget then a 9k or 14k will be less expensive than one made from 18k gold.  

The price of a gold ring depends upon how many carats of gold it contains.  The number of carats of gold is an indication of the percentage of gold it has in it and not its weight, as it is for diamonds. Gold carats are indicated by the letter k or kt  or ct.  Most gold used for jewelry is 9k (sometimes 10k), 14k and 18k and they contain the following percentages of gold: 

9k gold  – contains 37.5% pure gold 

14k gold – contains 58.5% pure gold 

18k gold – contains 75% pure gold 

The remaining percentages contain metal alloy that is commonly made from such metals as copper, silver and palladium.  

The higher the amount of gold the more expensive the metal will be.  Therefore an 18k gold ring will be much more expensive than a 9k gold ring. 

Another benefit of buying a 9k or 14k gold ring is that, because they contain less gold, they are harder and more resistant to scratching.  Gold in its pure state is a relatively soft metal and therefore an 18k gold ring will be softer than 14k.  

The only downside to a 9k gold ring is that, depending upon the type of metals used in the metal alloy, some rings have been known to tarnish a little.  In many cases all the ring needs is a good polish to restore it – although some tarnishing might remain.  However, if this does happen in the future, you will hopefully by then, be in a stronger financial position to buy your loved one a better quality ring. 

Extra Tip: 

To save money when buying a gold ring, choose one where the setting is fairly plain and the band not too wide ie thick bands and complex designs are likely to contain more gold that will make it more expensive 

Stackable Rings 

Stackable ringsStackable rings are a popular way of building a collection of pretty rings that can be added to over a period of time.  Stackable rings are thin rings that stack together to be worn on the engagement ring finger.  

The cost benefit of buying a stackable ring is that many of them are inexpensive and you can spread the cost of a whole collection by buying further rings for your girlfriends’s birthday, on Valentine’s Day and other special occasions. 

Stackable rings come in a wide range of metals and gemstones and different settings so your girl can create her own unique collection of rings that will be totally different from any other engagement ring.   She will be able to mix and match styles and colors and enjoy choosing new ones to add to her collection.  Stackable rings make the perfect choice for women who have great individuality and love something new and different.   

Ring Styles

Subject to quality, the cost of a large diamond is usually much more expensive than many small diamonds of the same weight.  Therefore rings that are made from lots of small diamonds are likely to be less expensive than a large diamond solitaire.   With this in mind, here are two examples of ring styles that are made with small diamonds.  

Black and white diamond flower cluster - promise rings - rings with loveCluster Rings.  Formed from a cluster of small diamonds and set closely together, this style creates lots of sparkle and creates the illusion of the stones being one large diamond. 

Cluster rings can be found made from gemstones as well as from diamonds and make gorgeous engagement rings.  

Pave Diamond RingPave Rings.  These pretty sparkling rings are literally paved with lots of tiny diamonds that have been inserted into small holes in the metal ring.

The effect is to create a blanket of shimmering gemstones that can cover the whole ring or part of the ring as enhancements for the ring shank or enhancing the center setting.  

Discount Engagement Rings 

A number of online jewelry stores offer Discount engagement rings and Clearance Lines with reductions from 10% up to 70%. 

However, when buying a diamond you should always check the specifications to see how good the quality is that you are buying.  For more information on what to look for when buying a diamond, see our feature:  “How to Buy a Diamond”  

Layaway Plans

Many stores have started to promote the introduction of their Layaway Plans.  A Layaway Plan is an agreement whereby the store reserves a product for a customer until the customer has paid for the  item.   

The benefit of the Layaway Plan is that the price is fixed at the time of the agreement and the customer is given a period of time in which to complete all the payments – usually 3 months but can be longer.   The payments are usually undertaken on a monthly basis by credit card.  
























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