November 17, 2021

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 setting styles that will make the ring look super luxe.

Here are 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 get 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.

The best way to get the ring of your dreams is to design your own ring by picking a loose diamond and setting. You'll pretty much have your choice of setting styles - from solitaire to halo to vintage.

How to Shop for a Ring Under $5,000

You have a lot of choices on a $5,000 budget. 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 understand it'll be more expensive 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. For most women, the overall ring style is the most important factor. Knowing the style will help you understand what kind of diamond you can afford (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

Here are some gorgeous examples of engagement rings you can get for $3,000 to $5,000 in different styles.

1. Tiffany Style Solitaire Ring Under $5,000

If you want the largest center stone possible, 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.

Here is a 1.0-carat round diamond set in a 14k white gold solitaire. This classy 6-prong style gives you the Tiffany setting look for much, much less.

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.

via James Allen

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

Are you all about the bling and making a huge statement?

Halo rings often look more expensive than they actually are. This style has a ring of diamonds around the center stone, making it look huge and sparkly. Halos are more expensive, but you don't need as big of a diamond to make an impact.

We love this classic halo ring on James Allen. This is made with a 0.8-carat natural diamond.

via James Allen

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

Check out James Allen's selection of gorgeous halo rings. You can add your own diamond or gemstone to create a custom ring.

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

Brilliant Earth is known for their ethical diamonds and gorgeous vintage- and nature-inspired rings.

We picked this beautiful ring with leaf-shaped accents and a 1.5-carat oval lab diamond. This ring is feminine and perfect for nature lovers.

via Brilliant Earth

4. Designer Engagement Ring Under $5,000

With a $5,000 budget, you can even get a designer setting!

We created this gorgeous Verragio ring on James Allen with a 0.8-carat lab diamond. The setting price is higher, but by choosing a lab diamond, you can get a decent-sized stone. Verragio is known for romantic, super luxe fairy tale rings.

via James Allen

5. Kate Middleton Inspired Sapphire Ring Under $5,000

Are you looking to stand out with a more alternative ring?

How about channeling your inner royalty with this Kate Middleton-inspired sapphire ring? We replicated the famous duchess' ring with a lab-created sapphire and a sunburst halo (at just a fraction of the price).

via Brilliant Earth

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 smart tips to maximize your budget, in order of the savings potential.

1. Shop Online

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

Shopping for a ring online is completely 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

Yes, believe it or not, designing your own ring can save you more than buying a pre-made ring. You can tailor your diamond specs and metal preferences to match your budget.

For example, if you fall for a fancier setting, you can offset that by getting a smaller or slightly lower-quality stone (or a lab diamond), whereas in a store, you're limited to what the store has already paired together.

What size diamond can you get for $5,000?
It's possible to get 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. Plus, your ring will stand out more 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 as much as 20% cheaper than 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

People can't see tiny flaws or slight color tints in a diamond. So you only need a diamond that looks flawless.

For the best value clarity grade, look for eye-clean VS2 diamonds. At this grade, the flaws are usually small enough they can't 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.

You can design your own ring by cherry-picking 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. A 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 the leading jeweler for ethically sourced diamonds. They also have a great selection of lab-created diamonds and loose gemstones. Another thing that sets Brilliant Earth apart is 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 for 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 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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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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