3 Places To Shop For Affordable Engagement Rings

Image via  Katherine Mendieta

A quick note…

Let me first start this post out by saying my engagement ring did not come from one of the sites listed below, so I don’t have any firsthand experience with these companies. Ryan purchased my diamond and setting from a family owned jewelry store here in Des Moines. (And the boy did GOOD!). However, I would still recommend any of the following options to those looking for an affordable, beautiful engagement ring!

How I found these sites in the first place…

With Ryan and I, it was never a matter of “if” we would get married, but simply a matter of “when”.

Back in June of 2018, we went to a jewelry shop in Dubuque and looked at rings together. I tried on several styles and options and quickly discovered the shape and level of detail that I was drawn to. I loved a thin band and an oval or a round cut diamond set within a halo of small diamonds.

We left the little store that day excited about the future and laughing about how surreal the whole thing felt. Realistically, I knew that just because we went ring shopping didn’t mean we would be getting engaged any time soon, especially with Ryan still being in grad school. But still, it was so exciting to know we were one step closer.

After several months (and a few margaritas, if I remember correctly) Ryan grudgingly admitted that he had tried to buy me the ring I liked, but was running into issues with the jewelry store’s financing company since his employment status was still a “student”. He tried to jump through several hoops but had always met a dead end and was frustrated.

Immediately, I hated the fact that something as simple as a ring was the cause of so much stress. To me, getting engaged is about so much more than the piece of jewelry you receive. I cared a lot more about getting to marry my best friend than I did about carats or clarity. I’ve said it many times before, the boy could have proposed to me with a damn Ring Pop and I would have happily said yes.

Image via  Katherine Mendieta .

Don’t get me wrong, having a beautiful ring to gaze down at every day (like I’m doing as I type this) is awesome. I catch myself staring and smiling at it all. The. Time. But it’s so important to remember that what makes the ring special is that it’s a symbol of someone’s promise to be by your side for a lifetime, not a symbol of financial status or even of your worth as a woman. (Ladies – the size of your ring does not determine how much your partner really loves you or your worth as a wife. Let’s stop thinking that way plz. And let’s definitely stop ring shaming)

My oldest sister Katie works as a wedding videographer and is well versed in what’s happening in the wedding world. After talking with her about how I was feeling, she brought up how a lot of people are moving away from diamonds all together and opting for gemstones and other alternatives. It wasn’t long before I was down the rabbit hole of google searches and becoming a self-educated expert in diamond alternatives.

I found several moissanite rings I loved on a few sites, shared them with Ryan and explained again that I wanted our engagement to be exciting and fun and not a financial burden. I also told him I would ultimately leave the decision up to him. (Little did I know he was donating plasma on the side to save up money.)

In the end, and as he was considering a ring from Do Amore, Ryan was connected with an AWESOME local jeweler (with financing that worked for him). He said it took him less than 5 minutes to pick out the beautiful ring I have now. I absolutely love my ring - I’m a bit obsessed, actually - and I really love the man who gave it to me.

So while we didn’t end up using one of the options below, I still wanted to share this list in case it can help other boyfriends and girlfriends who are looking for the perfect ring, but might not be comfortable spending a ton of money to get it.

Whether it’s a real diamond, lab grown diamond, moissanite, sapphire or a gemstone, it all means the same thing – someone really special thinks you’re worthy of a lifetime of love.

PS: If you’re curious what the heck moissanite is, click here.

PPS: Before you think I’m crazy for suggesting gemstone or sapphires as engagement rings-please take a look at what’s on Princess Kate Middleton’s finger.

Kate Middleton Ring

1. Do Amore

Image via Doamore.com

Image via Doamore.com

Do Amore offers diamonds, lab grown diamonds, moissanite and sapphires. You can pick your stone material, cut, size, and your band, which allows you to control your price but also create something you really love (or you think your partner will really love).

My favorite setting is the Elle.

2. Brilliant Earth

Image via BrilliantEarth.com

Image via BrilliantEarth.com

Brilliant Earth and Do Amore are both very similar, except that Brilliant Earth has a lot more options for colored gemstones. They also have a larger selection of settings.

I love their “Vintage” settings. Go to “Style” and select “Vintage” to see them all!

3. Etsy

Image via the  MinimalVS  shop on Etsy.com

Image via the MinimalVS shop on Etsy.com

Etsy is a great place to look if you want something totally unique but still really beautiful. A quick search of “engagement rings” will bring you pages and pages of beautiful options. Just make sure the band is made of quality metal – typically 14k gold/white gold is the standard. (You don’t want a low-quality metal that won’t stand the test of time or will leave those weird green marks). I would also read the reviews of the shop before you make any purchases, just to verify their product quality, customer service, etc.

Final thoughts…

So whether you’re planning to pop the question or trying to drop a hint, I hope these sites will help you find the perfect ring at the perfect price for that special someone.

And before anyone thinks I’m super cheap - I do believe an engagement ring is something you should have to work towards and save up for. I also believe that everyone has different incomes and different bills to pay, so while $2,000 is just loose change to some people, it may take months for someone else to set aside.

Just remember - at the end of the day, getting engaged is not all about the money. And you definitely can’t put a price tag on love.

Erin GallagherComment