From breathtaking diamonds to glittering gemstones and sparkling accent stones, engagement rings come with a lot of fanciful detail. Whether your taste skews modern-minimalist, timeless and classic, or unexpected and alternative (i.e. black diamonds, gemstones, and unique settings are totally up your alley!), an engagement ring is the most dazzling piece of jewelry in every woman’s collection. If you’re all about a single striking stone for your engagement ring sans embellishment, then a solitaire ring is undoubtedly for you—you’re surely dreaming of a decent-sized stone in this case, too. That’s where the downside comes in. Engagement rings are rather costly in general but especially so if you’re pining for a single, spectacular stone. Let’s say you’ve got your sights sets on two, three, four, or five (!!!) carats, well, buckle up. Because sizeable stones of that variety will one hundred percent set you back tens of thousands of dollars. Eek! But we’re not here to bring you down and tear apart your ring dreams. In fact, quite the opposite. We’re here to prove how there are loads of stunning solitaire engagement rings available that cost less than $5,000—and no, they don’t all come with minuscule stones that you’ll need a magnifying glass to witness.
When shopping for an affordable solitaire engagement ring, there are a few hacks to know. First, don’t get so hung up on carat size. If you’ve been dreaming of one, two, or three carats, look for stones that are slightly over or under your dream carat size. Also, you don’t have to have a white diamond. Gemstones are continuing to be a popular trend in the engagement ring world whether you’re for rubies, emeralds, or sapphires like Kate Middleton. If you have to diamond (hey, we get it!), think about your options: Lab-created diamonds are totally legit stones that cost a heck of lot less than those that are mined (plus, they’re a more sustainable option for those interested in an ethically made engagement ring). Or, you can opt for a stone that simply looks like a diamond such as white sapphires or morganite which both cost a lot less than the real deal. Another hack is considering raw, rustic, and rough-cut diamonds or salt and pepper diamonds which are basically diamonds with white and black inclusions in them. These options all make for a super-unique engagement ring that will not only stand out in a sea of white diamonds but will cost you less with a lot more character.
No matter your solitaire engagement ring preferences, ahead scroll through our edit of 24 rings that will have you saying “yes” in an instant.