October 15, 2021

Best Engagement Rings for Under $1000

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There are lots of engagement rings available for under $1,000. Here are some smart tips and ideas for finding affordable rings without breaking the bank.

Got a tight budget? It doesn't mean you need to settle for a tiny engagement ring.

You can easily find a beautiful, unique ring for under $1,000.

In this guide, review the best engagement rings under $1,000 that still make an impact. Plus, discover some engagement ring shopping tips to save money.

What Kind of Engagement Ring Can You Get for $1,000?

If you want a traditional engagement ring on a $1,000 budget, your best options will be a lab-created diamond or moissanite stone.

Keep in mind, you probably won't be able to get a multi-carat diamond with a $1,000 budget. But you still have plenty of options. In this article, find out how you can get a 0.7-carat diamond ring for under $1,000.

Or, if you like the idea of an alternative engagement ring, you can always choose from a large variety of colorful gemstones. You can actually get a much larger, more elaborate gemstone ring for the same budget.

How much does a 1-carat engagement ring cost?
You can expect to pay at least $3,000 - $6,000 for a good quality 1-carat diamond engagement ring. However, if shopping at physical retailers, the price can even be double that.

What Size Diamond Can You Get for $1,000?

Got $1,000 and want a diamond? That's completely doable! Just keep your expectations in line.

The key is the balance color and clarity so you can get the biggest (but still good looking) diamond on a small budget. If you want a larger diamond, you'll have to sacrifice some quality.

Here is a chart with our recommendations for carat, color, and clarity for diamonds less than $1,000. You'll be able to get a better quality lab diamond for the same money.

Natural DiamondLab Diamond
0.5 caratJ, SI1G-D, VS2
0.6 caratK, SI2G-D, VS2
0.7 caratK, SI2G-D, VS2
0.8 carat--G-D, SI2

As you get lower to SI2 territory, it's important to able to see the diamond (even if it's just online photo/video) to make sure it's eye-clean. Also note that K color will have a more visible yellow tint.

How to Get an Engagement Ring Under $1,000

Here are some gorgeous engagement rings you can get for less than $1,000. Below, review some real examples and where you can buy or design your own similar rings.

1. Lab Diamond Engagement Rings Under $1,000

If you still want a real diamond, a lab-created diamond will give you more bang for your buck.

Lab diamonds are real diamonds with identical properties. But because they're made in labs instead of mined from the earth, they can cost as much as 60% - 70% less. This gets you a larger stone.

With a $1,000 budget, you can get a 0.6 - 0.7 carat lab diamond ring. This is a decent size that's large enough to be seen, especially on smaller fingers.

Check out this ring with a 0.7 carat lab diamond set in a 14k white gold solitaire. This simple design is classy and draws attention to the diamond.

Where to buy:
James Allen has a huge selection of lab-created diamonds in all shapes, at all price points. With their affordable settings, you have lots of choices to design your own lab diamond ring for under $1,000.

What size diamond can you get for $1,000?
You can get a 0.3-0.4 carat natural diamond for $1,000. However, for lab-created diamonds, you can get a 0.6-0.7 carat diamond for $1,000.

2. Moissanite Engagement Rings Under $1,000

Moissanite is a gemstone that looks just like a diamond, but actually comes from meteors! It's affordable, very durable, and has major sparkle.

The average cost of a 1-carat moissanite is just $500 to $600 - easily under $1k. This is the best option for a diamond-looking ring that's still impressively big and brilliant.

This moissanite ring from Brilliant Earth is just a hair under 1 carat. You'll have to choose a simple solitaire in order to remain within budget.

Next to diamonds, moissanite is the 2nd-hardest gemstone known to man. It's a forever stone that will last a lifetime.

3. Sapphire Engagement Rings Under $1,000

Sapphire rings are trendy right now. A colored gemstone will definitely stand out from the sea of white engagement rings.

This custom-designed blue sapphire ring with this 0.98 carat oval stone and a dainty rose gold twist band. This ring looks a lot more expensive than it actually is!

via James Allen

Where to buy:
James Allen offers loose sapphires in blue, pink, and yellow at super-affordable prices. Besides sapphires, you can also design your own ring with emeralds and rubies. You can find 1-carat gemstones starting at just $300.

No matter which stone and setting you choose, setting an engagement ring budget should be your first step. Use our engagement ring calculator to get a customized budget based on your savings, lifestyle, and other factors.

4. Gemstone Engagement Rings Under $1,000

Other semi-precious gemstones also make elegant engagement rings with a fun pop of color. They're great to express personal style.

You can choose a gemstone in her favorite color, her birthstone, or another color based on its symbolism. A gemstone ring can be very meaningful.

Check out Blue Nile's gorgeous garnet gemstone ring at a very affordable price.

via Blue Nile

Here are some popular gemstones for under $1,000:

  • Morganite: a dreamy peachy-pink gemstone perfect for romantics
  • Garnet: known as the stone of commitment; a cheaper alternative to ruby
  • Aquamarine: symbolizes a peaceful marriage
  • Amethyst: symbolizes peace and trust
  • Peridot: known as the stone of compassion
  • Topaz: comes in a variety of colors and symbolizes strength and confidence

Where to buy:
Take a look at Blue Nile and With Clarity's selections of ready-to-ship gemstone rings for under $1,000.

Can you get sapphire engagement rings for under $1,000?
Yes, James Allen offers sapphires at incredible prices, starting from just $300 for 1-carat sapphire. But keep in mind that the cheaper stones will not have as deep blue coloring as higher-end sapphires.

5. Diamond Cluster Rings Under $1,000

A cluster ring is when a lot of small stones are clustered together. From further away, it looks like a bigger diamond. Many small diamonds together can be much cheaper than one single larger diamond,

Because small diamonds are used, they can form a lot of designs and shapes. Usually, you'll see this in vintage-inspired styles. It's a great way to get a unique-looking ring on a small budget.

Where to buy:
A lot of jeweler chain stores offer cluster rings. See Zales' large selection of cluster rings under $1,000.

Shopping Tips to Save on Engagement Rings

Here are some final tips to maximize your $1,000 budget.

Choose an alternative shape
Round diamonds are the most expensive diamond shape - costing as much as 40% more than other shapes. And plus, lots of other diamond shapes appear larger than round diamonds, giving you more size for your buck.

For example, you can get a 0.6 carat oval lab diamond starting at just $500. The same in round is at least $700.

Use a cheaper metal for the ring
Most engagement rings are set in 14k or 18k gold or platinum. This can be expensive. Even a very simple band can be $200 - $800.

To maximize budget, go for a 10k gold ring instead. 10k gold costs significantly less than 18k gold because the gold content is a lot less. You can find a 10k gold band for as low as $50. There's no difference in appearance.

Downgrade color and clarity
You won't be able to get a large diamond for under $1,000. Since the diamond is smaller, you don't need high color and clarity grades. Look for eye-clean SI1 clarity diamonds and J color.

Don't compromise on cut. Diamond cut is what makes the diamond sparkly. Get an Excellent/Ideal cut if you can. A well-cut diamond will be brighter and look larger.

Where to Buy Engagement Rings Under $1,000

Here are some recommended places to shop for affordable engagement rings. These retailers offer high-quality jewelry and have plenty of options for rings under $1,000.

James Allen: for designing your own ring
James Allen offers a large selection of lab-created diamonds and gemstones. Because of the large variety, you can easily find stones in the lower price range.

You can design your own ring by cherry-picking your own stone and setting. However, keep in mind that because of the smaller budget, you'll be limited to the simpler solitaire rings.

James Allen

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Charles & Colvard: for Moissanite
Charles & Colvard is the leading jeweler for moissanite. This is the best choice if you want a diamond look-alike at a much cheaper price.

Blue Nile: for gemstone rings
Blue Nile offers a selection of affordable gemstone rings in elegant designs. You can even find good sales on certain rings.

Catbird: for dainty, unique rings
Catbird is a popular woman-owned and operated jewelry store from New York. All their jewelry is entirely made in the Brooklyn studio. All materials used are ethically sourced or recycled.

Their beautifully designed rings offer a bit of luxury even on a small budget. Check out their selection of gemstone rings and champagne-colored diamonds for something truly different.

Etsy & local indie sellers
Small indie jewelers often offer unique ring designs that you won't find in traditional jewelry stores. You can get a one-of-a-kind ring that no other bride has. Plus, you'll be supporting a small business. It's a win-win.

However, you may not get as much detail about the quality of your stone. And since you're shopping with individual sellers, be sure to understand the refund policy.

Does Tiffany offer engagement rings for under $1,000?
Tiffany has a small selection of gold and sterling silver rings for under $1,000. You can even get a ring with a tiny diamond.

Bottom line

It's entirely possible to make a big statement even on a small budget. Having a limited budget lets you get creative and opens you up to alternative rings.

Hopefully, we've given you some good ideas of the types of rings you can get for less than $1,000. You don't need to be limited to small or simple rings. There are lots of options available, no matter what your preferences are. But just make sure you're shopping from a reputable seller.

Anna G is a contributing writer at CreditDonkey, a diamond jeweler comparison and reviews website. Write to Anna G at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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James Allen

Search for Diamonds

Shop for diamonds at James Allen, a CreditDonkey #1 recommended partner for the best online experience.


Best Place to Buy an Engagement Ring

Tips for Diamonds
Buying an engagement ring is a big decision and not just because of the cost. Whether you're looking for value, a huge selection, or sheer luxury, here's a list of the best places to shop for a diamond.
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