Married men like myself completely understand why grooms-to-be might want to find some (great-looking-but-still-very-affordable) engagement rings under $500.
When I first saw the price of my future wife’s ring, I cringed so hard that I nearly pulled a muscle in my face.
The traditional rule of thumb was that diamond engagement rings should cost about three months’ worth of your salary.
That might have made sense a gajillion years ago when the rule was invented, but today? Not even close.
The cost of living (not to mention jewelry) has skyrocketed over the past few generations, while our salaries have mostly remained flat.
As a result, parting with three months’ worth of wages today isn’t just unreasonable—for a lot of us, it’s batsh*t crazy.
Fortunately, the one thing that’s advanced as quickly as price inflation is technology, and today jewellers are able to offer some great looking engagement rings that won’t force you to miss your mortgage payments.
In this post we’ll show you where to find the highest quality, best made and most affordable engagement rings under $500, so you can find the perfect ring for your bride to be.
Stun Your Bride (Without Breaking the Bank):
Affordable Engagement Rings Under $500
Kay is one of the biggest fine jewelry stores in North America, and their size allows them to offer a large range of unique designs across an equally wide price range.
They have one of the best selections of sub-500 diamond rings in both modern and classic ring styles, many of which include a real diamond.
At this point it’s worth noting that, no matter where you shop, the carat and stone weight of any diamond in this price point will be fairly small.
You can still get a great-looking ring in this price range, but you should adjust your expectations, and understand that you’ll be choosing from among the smaller stones.
How to Score a Deal at Kay
With that said, Kay also has a pretty big clearance section where they frequently put some of their more expensive rings on sale.
So if you’re willing to act fast and snag a nice one when you see it, you can score a prestigious ring that should cost more like $700 or $800 for less than $500.
And if you can’t quite afford a real diamond, you can save some money by opting for a diamond alternative.
In the past that often meant settling for cubic zirconia rings, which imitate the look of diamonds but come at a much more affordable price.
But today some modern brides choose to skip the diamond altogether in favor of other options like white sapphire, pearl and other alternative engagement rings that are less traditional, but just as quality.
A Few Sub-$500 Options from Kay:
If you ask my wife, she’ll tell you that Blue Nile is the best place to find the perfect engagement ring, but that’s because she’s extremely biased:
This happens to be where I bought her ring, a princess cut diamond center stone set atop a white gold band, surrounded by smaller diamonds.
That ring cost more than $500, but what’s great about Blue Nile is that they offer two ways to keep your costs low.
First, they have a small selection of rings that cost 500 bucks or less.
And while the product offering at this price point might not be huge, it’s high quality, classic and elegant, which means all of their sub-500 dollar rings look like they cost a lot more.
But if you don’t like any of those suggestions, they also offer you the opportunity to build your own rings and customize a piece of jewelry that suits your exact parameters.
You can choose from a wide variety of engagement ring styles and pick everything from the ring sizes down to the prong setting, controlling the price point all along the way.
Another nice advantage with Blue Nile is that they offer both free shipping and free returns, so if your future fiancée doesn’t love the ring you chose or designed, you can send it back for a full refund.
(And then redirect that money to buy her the ring she wants, of course.)
Sub-$500 Options from Blue Nile:
I know, I know:
When you’re looking for a beautiful engagement ring, you might not think to look on the same website where you buy your toilet paper and razor blades.
But Amazon actually has a pretty wide selection of gorgeous engagement rings, along with wedding rings and wedding bands.
And while those with money to burn can certainly find some ridiculously expensive engagement rings there, Amazon has always catered more to those of us on the more price-conscious end of the spectrum.
As a result, they offer a pretty wide variety of cheap engagement rings that feature everything from (small, but real) natural diamonds to white topaz, cubic zirconia and other affordable alternatives.
Sub-$500 Options from Amazon:
You Know Where to Find an Affordable Engagement Ring
But You’ve Still Got Two More Rings to Buy
If your proposal goes the way you expect it to, you’ll soon find yourself with not one but two more rings to buy:
First you’ll need a wedding ring for her that complements her engagement ring, which you can find at any of the three stores listed above.
(Don’t worry, the engagement ring is always the more gorgeous ring with the larger diamond, so the wedding ring will be a bit cheaper!)
But once you’re done with her rings, you’ll also need to find a wedding ring for yourself.
The three stores listed above all carry a wide variety of men’s rings at a broad range of price points, but if you’re not that into jewelry (and few guys are), then choosing a wedding ring can be a little overwhelming.
To help you narrow down your choices, I’ve put together a list of some of the coolest, most unique and (in my opinion) all around badass mens wedding bands.
The list is organized based on the material used in each band.
So whether you’re looking for a traditional white gold wedding ring or prefer cool (and more cost-effective) contemporary metals like tungsten or stainless steel, we’ve made it easy to find the right ring to suit both your style and your budget.
More Resources ↓
More Men’s Accessories & Style Advice From Irreverent Gent:
- How to Wear a Pocket Square (Like a Boss)
- How to Wear a NATO Strap (and Why You Totally Should)
- How to Wear a Pocket Watch in the 21st Century (Yes, seriously)
- The 11 Best Warby Parker Sunglasses for Men
- How to Measure Your Belt Size
- The Most Essential Types of Men’s Hats
- The 29 Best Warby Parker Alternatives
Banner image: jcomp via Freepik
Intro image: Ömer Karakus via Unsplash