Looking for the perfect ring for your spouse-to-be? The high price of diamond engagement rings can be offputting. However, you don’t have to break the bank to find the perfect combination of quality, style, and value.
Vintage rings, diamond alternatives, birthstones, and sterling silver rings are all great examples of cheap engagement rings.
Below, I’ll outline some of the best cheap engagement rings and give you some tips on getting the most value for your money!
Why Purchase A Cheap Engagement Ring?
Don’t let the advertising fool you…
If you’re reading this, you’ve likely seen commercials for big-name jewellers touting that the best way to win a woman’s heart is to buy her a diamond ring. This is just clever advertising and is designed to make jewelry shoppers feel inadequate if they purchase more affordable jewelry.
With that in mind, here are some reasons to consider buying a more affordable engagement ring.
- You can save money for a better wedding ring: If your engagement goes well, the engagement ring will quickly be replaced by a wedding ring, which will likely stay on their finger for far longer. Saving money on a short-term engagement ring allows you to save up for the “big ring” they’ll wear.
- You can save money for your wedding or honeymoon: Gifts can be easily forgotten, but experiences and memories last a lifetime. The money you save on an otherwise expensive engagement ring could be used to pay for a honeymoon in the Maldives or be put toward your wedding festivities.
- Things don’t always work out: The average engagement length is around 16 months. Not all engagements make it to marriage, though. If things don’t work out, at least you will have saved a bit of money.
Cheapest Engagement Rings In Canada: Save Money
The average engagement ring costs around $3,500 in Canada.
That money could also be used to make a down payment on a new car, save up for your honeymoon, or be saved in an FHSA account to help purchase your first home as a married couple.
The good news is that there are plenty of affordable engagement rings to choose from. No matter your style or budget, here are some high-quality rings that don’t break the bank.
1. Promise Ring
Promise rings symbolize commitment and are an affordable alternative to traditional engagement rings. Promise rings have been used by many cultures as a sign of love.
Promise rings are usually simple in design and often don’t contain any gemstones. They tend to be smaller than traditional engagement rings, and the band may feature unique twists and designs.
Promise rings are often sold as pairs for both partners to wear, which makes them stand apart from traditional engagement rings, where only the bride-to-be wears a ring.
2. Solitaire Ring
Solitaire rings showcase a single gemstone, which serves as the centrepiece. This style of engagement ring is both classic and affordable.
The simple design highlights the stone, often featuring a round cut to showcase its multi-faceted design.
Solitaire rings can be made with many different band materials and stones, which means they can fit any budget. Some of the most budget-friendly solitaire rings include:
- Sterling silver and gemstone solitaire
- Birthstone solitaire
- Moissanite solitaire
- Cubic zirconia solitaire
You could even opt for a lower-cost diamond solitaire if you’re willing to spend a bit more money. Consider purchasing a lower-carat diamond or one with a simpler cut.
3. Cluster Ring
A cluster ring is the exact opposite of a solitaire. This ring style features multiple small stones that are arranged in a cluster, often around a single medium or large-sized stone. The smaller stones can create a halo lighting effect that is quite eye-catching.
Although cluster rings can be expensive (i.e., an all-diamond cluster), they can also be affordable. For example, a cluster ring may feature a more affordable gemstone, such as an opal or purple amethyst, surrounded by small low-carat diamonds.
Even though this ring may contain real diamonds, the smaller diamonds are far more affordable than single, large diamonds. This gives the illusion of a brilliant diamond ring at a far lower cost.
4. Wedding + Engagement Ring Set
Wedding and engagement rings can be sold as a set. These rings may feature a large wedding ring and a smaller engagement ring.
Although the two rings may be given as separate gifts, they’re often designed to fit into each other and may include special slots or notches, allowing the smaller ring to fit into the larger ring.
Compared to buying a single engagement ring, wedding and engagement ring sets can be more expensive upfront.
However, they can help you save on the total cost of purchasing a wedding and engagement ring separately. They’re also great if you’re planning a shorter engagement, as you don’t have to go back out and shop for a wedding ring separately.
5. Vintage Engagement Ring
Purchasing a vintage ring can often allow you to get very high-quality materials at a far lower price than you’d pay brand-new. Plus, it’s a more eco-friendly alternative that makes recycles our planet’s limited resources.
High-quality rings can last for several generations. Precious metals and stones may become slightly tarnished over time but can be easily cleaned up with some cleaning and polishing.
Many jewellers may sell restored rings at a discounted rate compared to brand-new rings. In many cases, these will already be polished and cleaned. The advantage of purchasing vintage rings from a jeweller is that the ring has likely been vetted for quality, so you can ensure it’s legitimate.
Alternatively, you can find vintage engagement rings at:
- Pawn shops
- Flea markets
- Estate sales
Just be sure that you trust where you’re getting your secondhand ring from, as scams are everywhere. Ask for documents that certify the quality of the stones and precious metals.
The one drawback of vintage engagement rings is that it may be hard to find the right size. Many rings can be resized at a jeweller, though.
Make sure the ring can be resized before spending money on it. Some older rings may have been previously resized and may not be able to be resized again without risking their integrity.
6. Non-Diamond Gemstone Rings
Despite diamonds’ expensive price tag, they’re actually one of the more common stones on our planet. For this reason, many economists call the diamond market a complete scam. Stones like rubies, sapphires, and emeralds are far rarer than diamonds but often cost less.
If gemstones like rubies and sapphires are out of your budget, consider other more affordable gemstones and birthstones, such as:
- Blue topaz
- Yellow topaz
These stones showcase brilliant colours and are just as eye-catching as diamonds. The best part is that they can often be purchased for a fraction of the cost of diamonds. When paired with a high-quality band made of gold or sterling silver, you’ll have a high-quality engagement ring that’s bound to impress.
7. Floral Design Ring
Floral ring designs are very popular as decorative rings but may also be used as engagement rings. These rings typically feature twisting band designs that imitate the natural curves of a flower or vine.
Floral rings also may not completely encircle the finger and may have a small space, making them suitable for multiple finger sizes.
They may feature solitary stones or clusters along the band, which add a nice flair of style. From the type of stones to the band material, you’ll find a lot of flexibility with floral-style rings.
8. Stackable Rings
Stackable rings are typically smaller and feature a thin band with multiple small or medium-sized stones embedded around the band. They’re called “stackable” rings because they’re designed to interlink with other rings on the finger.
Stackable rings are often given as gifts, with new additions gifted on anniversaries, birthdays, or holidays. Given their smaller size, they’re often more affordable than individual engagement rings that feature more prominent gemstones.
9. Sterling Silver Ring
Sterling silver rings are an all-time classic that will never go out of style. Sterling silver is a durable yet beautiful precious metal that looks great with various stones. While sterling may tarnish more quickly than gold or platinum, it can be easily polished and can last a lifetime if taken care of.
Picking The Cheapest Engagement Rings: Stones And Wedding Bands
Now, let’s go over some tips on choosing the best cheap engagement ring for the price.
Diamonds are often associated with engagement and wedding rings. However, they’re not always the most cost-effective choice. Some alternatives that look just as stunning as diamonds include:
- White sapphire
- Morganite (which has beautiful champagne tones)
These stones are often indistinguishable from diamonds based on looks alone. Since they’re more affordable, you’ll be able to get a better-quality cut and size for your money.
Stone Size, Count, And Cut
In addition to the type of stone, the cut and size of the stone play a major part in the overall cost of a ring. Larger gemstones are rarer and require more work, while smaller ones require fewer cuts and are generally more affordable.
In many cases, rings that feature multiple small stones (cluster-style rings) are cheaper than those with a single large stone with a high-quality round or emerald cut.
Used vs New Engagement Ring
New engagement rings may feature more modern designs, but used engagement rings are a great alternative if the quality is your primary concern. If you know where to look and don’t mind doing a bit of polishing, purchasing a vintage engagement ring can help you save big on a high-quality ring.
Wedding Band Material
Wedding bands made from platinum, gold, yellow gold, or rose gold tend to be the most expensive. If you want to save money, consider purchasing a gold-plated stainless steel ring or a more affordable precious metal like sterling silver.
Budgeting For Your Engagement Ring
To wrap up, here are a few tips on budgeting for your engagement ring so that it doesn’t break the bank.
- Compound Your Savings: A high-interest savings account allows your savings to compound with interest every month, helping you save even faster.
- Layaway Program: Many jewellers offer layaway programs, where you’ll make scheduled weekly payments. Once you’ve paid the ring off in full, it’s yours to take home.
- Credit Card: You may be able to finance your purchase with a credit card. Major department stores may offer special credit card programs that give you an interest-free term to pay it off over time without added interest fees.
- Buy-Now-Pay-Later: If you’re looking at a more affordable ring, consider a BNPL program that allows you to pay off your purchase with four bi-weekly payments. If you make your payments on time, you typically won’t pay any interest.
Which rings stood out to you the most? These diamond ring alternatives are often more eye-catching and more personal than traditional engagement rings.
Once you propose, you’ll need to start saving up for your wedding. Not sure what to expect? Keep on reading to see the average wedding cost in Canada!