Updated March 31, 2022

Best Engagement Rings for Under $5,000

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Got a $5,000 engagement ring budget? Learn how to pick diamonds and settings for the best deal, how to maximize your budget, and where to shop for your ring.

A $5,000 engagement ring budget is about the national average.

At this price range, you'll have no problem getting at least a 1-carat diamond. You can also pick from a wide range of settings to make the ring look super luxe.

In this guide, find the best engagement rings for under $5,000. Plus, learn how to get the most out of your budget and where to shop for best engagement rings.

What Engagement Ring can You Get for $5,000?

With a $5,000 budget, you can easily find a ring that your S.O. will love. You'll likely score a 0.75 to 1-carat diamond ring, depending on the diamond shape, color, clarity, and ring style. If you're open to a lab-created diamond, you can even get a 2-carat stone.

If you feel a little lost, but still want max control over the ring's look, consider designing your ring. Don't worry - it's easier than it sounds. You simply pick a loose diamond, then the setting (we'll tell you how further down.)

With $5,000, you'll pretty much have your choice of setting styles - from solitaire to halo to vintage. Find out how to shop for the ring below.

How to Shop for a Ring Under $5,000

There's no shortage of budget-friendly options for under $5,000. To narrow it down, think about:

  • What style of ring do you want?
  • Do you have a carat goal?
  • Are you okay with a lab diamond?
  • Are you considering an alternative gemstone?

If you have your heart set on a natural diamond, just remember it'll cost more and the diamond will be smaller. If you're okay with a lab diamond, you can get something bigger.

First, decide what style of ring you want. Most "proposees" agree that the ring style is actually the most important factor.

So, brushing up on rings styles and quizzing your S.O. on their style preferences can help you find the right ring at the right price (more budget-maximizing tips later on).

For example, if you really want a fancier halo ring that costs $3,000, then you have $2,000 left for the stone. Then you can see what size diamond you can get for that price.

The Best Engagement Rings Under $5,000

Below, explore a few gorgeous examples of engagement rings you can get for $3,000 to $5,000.

1. Tiffany Style Solitaire Ring Under $5,000

Is size your #1 factor? Then you'll want to look for a solitaire ring. Solitaire settings are simple, so they cost the least. This lets you save most of the budget for the diamond itself.

To get to 1 carat, you'll need to downgrade color and clarity slightly. We recommend I color and SI1 or VS2 clarity for best value.

If you're okay with a lab diamond, you can get a 1.7-carat diamond in the same setting. The ring will look significantly larger.

2. Glamorous Halo Engagement Ring Under $5,000

Is your S.O. looking to make a statement?

Enter: the halo ring, which often looks more expensive than it is. This style has a ring of diamonds around the center stone, making it look huge and sparkly.

If you find a halo ring just over your budget, consider downsizing your center stone. With halo rings, you don't need as big of a diamond to make an impact.

If you're looking at lab diamonds, you can get a 1.5-carat lab diamond to stay within the $5,000 budget.

3. Delicate Nature-Inspired Ring Under $5,000

For responsibly-sourced diamonds, look no further than Brilliant Earth. This online retailer is known for their ethical diamonds and gorgeous vintage- and nature-inspired rings.

4. Designer Engagement Ring Under $5,000

You can even score a designer setting with a $5,000 budget. By choosing a lab diamond, you can get a decent-sized stone within your budget.

How to Maximize Your $5,000 Budget

A $5,000 engagement ring budget is pretty generous. But of course, you want to get the best bang for your buck.

Here are some ideas to maximize your budget, in order of savings potential.

1. Shop Online

Buying an engagement ring online is the biggest money-saving hack. Because of the lower overhead, online jewelers can be 40%-50% cheaper than traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

Plus, shopping for a ring online is totally safe if it's from a trustworthy jeweler. (Stick around to the end, where we list some of our favorite online jewelers.)

2. Design Your Own Ring

Believe it or not, designing your own ring can save you more than buying a pre-made ring. You can fine-tune the diamond specs and metal options to match your budget.

For example, if you want a super-luxe setting, you can offset that by getting a smaller or slightly lower-quality stone (or a lab diamond). But, in a store, that's not so easy. You're limited to what the store has already paired together.

What size diamond can you get for $5,000?
You can score a 1-carat natural diamond for $5,000, if you balance color and clarity wisely. For lab-created diamonds, you can get a 1.7-2-carat diamond for $5,000.

3. Consider a Lab Diamond

Lab diamonds are now priced much as 60%-70% cheaper than natural diamonds. You can get a much larger stone for the same budget.

Lab diamonds are identical to real diamonds mined from the earth. Professional gemologists can't even tell them apart without special devices. There is no physical difference, so it's mostly just a mental hurdle.

4. Choose an Alternative Shape

Round diamonds are the most expensive diamond shape. Other shapes can cost as much as 40% less and your ring will stand out from the sea of round diamond rings.

Another benefit is that other shapes (like oval, pear, and marquise) look a lot larger than round diamonds of the same carat weight. You can get a stone that looks bigger but costs less.

5. Go for an "Off-Size" Diamond

Diamond prices increase significantly at coveted carat weights, like 1 and 1.5-carat.

Instead, look for a diamond just under those "magic numbers." For example, a 0.9-carat can be up to 20% cheaper than a 1-carat diamond.

And there's no visible size difference between a 0.9 and 1-carat diamond. The diameter difference is literally only 0.2 mm - the thickness of a piece of paper.

6. Forget "Perfect" Diamonds

Tiny flaws or slight color tints in a diamond are NBD - you can't even see them! As long as it looks flawless to the naked eye, you're good.

For the best value clarity grade, look for "eye-clean" VS2 diamonds. At this grade, the flaws are usually too small to be seen with the naked eye.

For color, pick H or I color for a diamond that still appears white. If you're going for a yellow or rose gold ring, you can even downgrade to a J or K color diamond.

But don't compromise on cut! Diamond cut is what makes the diamond sparkly. We recommend an Excellent/Ideal cut. A well-cut diamond will be brighter and look larger.

Where to Buy Engagement Rings Under $5,000

Here are some of the best places to shop for quality engagement rings.

James Allen: for biggest variety
James Allen offers a large selection of natural diamonds, lab-created diamonds, and gemstones. They also have a wide range of settings at all price points, including designer rings.

If you're hoping to design the ring yourself, James Allen is a solid pick. You can cherry-pick your own stone and setting. Because of the large variety, you can easily find choices within your budget.

Blue Nile: for classy engagement rings
Blue Nile also has a huge inventory and similarly competitive prices. The main difference is that Blue Nile doesn't offer lab diamonds or gemstones. All their diamonds are certified by GIA - the leading gemology lab.

Brilliant Earth: for socially conscious shoppers
Brilliant Earth is likely your best bet for ethically-sourced diamonds. But they have a ton of lab-created diamonds and loose gemstones, too. Brilliant Earth also earns points for their unique nature and vintage-inspired settings.

Whiteflash: for high quality diamonds
If you're looking for the best quality diamonds, Whiteflash will fit the bill. They have extremely high-cut standards for their diamonds. Their A Cut Above diamonds are cut to the ideal proportions and angles to maximize sparkle.

Clean Origin: for lab diamonds
Clean Origin only sells 100% ethical and eco-friendly lab diamonds. It offers the best pricing for lab diamonds among the retailers we looked into.

Bottom line

$5,000 is a generous budget to get just about any style of engagement ring you want. To really get the most out of your budget, consider buying your engagement ring from an online jeweler.

By designing your own ring, you can decide which features are the most important and how to allocate your budget.

If you choose a simpler setting (like a solitaire), you can get a larger diamond and have that be the center of attention. If you choose a more ornate setting, the diamond will be smaller, but the overall ring will look bolder. You have a lot of room to play around.

Anna G is a research director 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.

Best Place to Buy an Engagement Ring

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