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For some, getting married is one of life’s most meaningful experiences — but it’s also one of the most expensive. And those costs start with the engagement ring. Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a jeweler in the family (jealous), but if not, when it comes time to pay for that sparkler, you’re looking for the best places to buy an engagement ring.
One study finds that the average engagement ring costs $3,756. If that price hurts to think about, the good news is that you can find quality engagement rings for significantly less money. And no, you don’t have to purchase it out of someone’s trunk or trust your Uncle Frank to give you a “deal.” Read below to see our picks for the best places to buy an engagement ring without blowing your budget.
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1. I Do, Now I Don’t
An online reseller for jewelry, I Do, Now I Don’t (IDNID) is full of engagement rings from major brands like Tiffany & Co, Zales, and Kay Jewelers. Their selection is surprisingly varied, and you can find rings for more than half off retail. Plus, all items are verified by certified gemologists, so you know you’re not getting ripped off. In our search we found a Neil Lane engagement ring and wedding band set marked down to $1,200. If purchased new from Kay Jewelers, it sells for $2,199. This is a 45% savings.
Keep in mind that what may be on IDNID one day may be gone the next, as these are all one-off resale items. Still, it’s a great site to peruse for a hidden gem (see what we did there?).
2. Facebook Marketplace
Motivated sellers on Facebook Marketplace may be willing to sell their engagement ring for a huge discount. If you find a ring you like, ask to meet at a local jewelry store to verify its authenticity. This is definitely not the time to take anyone’s word for it regarding quality and legitimacy. A cursory glance at my own Facebook Marketplace produced dozens of engagement ring sellers. I did find a .55 cts natural center round-cut diamond ring with side baguette cut diamonds selling for $1,400. Again, this would need to be verified by a local jewelry store before negotiating with the seller.
You might not think to look for fine jewelry at the same place you stock up on butter and eggs, but you should. This warehouse club specializing in bulk goods is also one of the best places to buy an engagement ring. Costco is known for offering high-quality rings without the huge markup associated with other stores.
The only downside is that rings are sold in one standard size, and Costco does not offer ring sizing. If you buy a ring, you’ll have to pay to get it resized somewhere else. Typically resizing costs between $20 – $60, but if the resize is more complicated, you’re looking at a range between $50 – $150.
4. James Allen
Online retailer James Allen has a user-friendly website where customers can shop by style, gem cut, and metal type. You can also design your own ring if you prefer total creative control. On top of their reasonable prices, they run promotional discounts occasionally. Around the winter holidays (aka cuffing season), they had 25% off sitewide with some exclusions, like loose gemstones.
The site offers free resizing and a lifetime guarantee. James Allen has a 4.2 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot with about 1,150 reviews, so it’s well regarded by those who have shopped with them.
Ritani offers ethically sourced and lab-grown diamonds for couples who want a cost-conscious and sustainable ring. Users on Reddit love Ritani and claim they have some of the best prices for diamond rings. They have a 4 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot with more than 500 reviews.
From our own search of rings on the site, the prices do appear very competitive. For example, a Solitaire Diamond Tulip Cathedral Engagement Ring breaks down to $488.25 for the setting and then to $270 for a 0.95-ct radiant lab diamond. This brings the total to $758.25.
6. Blue Nile
Markups are the primary reason why engagement rings are so unbelievably expensive. This is probably due to the fact that there’s emotional attachment to the purchase and the item. So if you want to save money, you’ll need to avoid markups like the plague.
Research found that Blue Nile only had an 18% markup, which is one of the best in the industry. Blue Nile’s price range is extremely wide. Their most expensive ready-to-ship diamond engagement ring is $37,500 (holy moly), but then prices drop considerably between $5,700 and $1,190.
7. Brilliant Earth
Customers who want a conflict-free diamond should consider Brilliant Earth, who sells lab-grown diamonds. With all of their engagement rings, you choose the setting first (with a listed setting price) and then choose the diamond you want to pair it with (with these prices varying based on size, clarity, etc). The ability to pick and choose a setting and diamond separately in your price range could make the engagement ring shopping experience more flexible. Brilliant Earth also offers free shipping and free returns.
Catbird is a New York-based brand that’s perfect for brides who want a fair price and a ring that didn’t come from a department store. Catbird’s rings are made from either recycled or ethically sourced gold and diamonds. While their prices aren’t as low as other retailers, you’re likely to find more interesting designs for the modern bride.
If you want something nontraditional, they have exquisite rings featuring precious gems that aren’t diamonds, like opals and sapphires.
9. Frank Darling
For brides with unique taste, deciding where to buy an engagement ring can be a little trickier. In this case, the only answer is to get one custom made.
Frank Darling offers free custom rings and will match you with a personal designer. There is a $2,000 minimum requirement for a custom ring, and it takes about three weeks from final approval to arrival. So this is going to take a lot of planning and forethought. Settings (before the addition of a diamond) start at $800.
The retailer also has a Diamond Price Match guarantee, so if you see a cheaper diamond on an approved site, you can get the same price from Frank Darling.
10. Do Amore
A veteran of Shark Tank, Do Amore’s engagement rings come from recycled metal with ethical stones, including both natural and lab-created diamonds. They offer ready-to-ship rings, as well as custom options. If you already own a band, you can buy a loose stone from Do Amore, which cuts down on your cost.
You get a really broad range of prices with this retailer, but there are a couple of ready-to-ship offerings under $2,000.
When buying a ring on Yadav, you can choose from a natural or lab-grown diamond. All of Yadav’s rings are conflict free and custom made. They offer a wide selection of settings, bands, and styles to hone in on the exact kind of ring you want.
Yadav offers a Lifetime Upgrade policy on all natural diamonds. If you want to get a bigger stone later on, you’ll only be charged the difference between the current stone and the new one.
12. With Clarity
With Clarity offers lab-grown and natural diamonds, along with both pre-made and custom rings. If you’re not sure what kind of ring to buy, you can order two replica rings from With Clarity to try on at home. They also provide free engraving and a lifetime warranty for some rings and stones.
How to Find an Affordable Engagement Ring
Comparing prices for engagement rings is notoriously difficult, even among stones of the same size. Every gem may have a different clarity or number of flaws. A 1-carat diamond with more flaws may cost less than a .75-carat flawless diamond, for instance.
If getting the best value is your most important priority, then you should steer away from major retailers like Tiffany & Co, Zales, and other brick-and-mortar chains. They have some of the biggest markups on jewelry because you’re partially paying for the label.
Many local jewelers have prices that rival online stores. Find a couple of popular local jewelers and see what they offer.
If you’re really looking for a deal, try a pawn shop. Many offer high-end rings with low-end prices. Try visiting a few pawn shops to see what you can find — you may be surprised at what’s available.