Can you get a good engagement ring for £1000? The answer is yes. If you know what to look for, you’ll find many beautiful, high-quality rings under 1000 pounds. This guide includes our expert advice on the best metals, diamonds and gems – with examples of real ring prices – so you can find the perfect one for you.
4 Price factors
There are four things that influence the price of an engagement ring:
- The precious metal
- The diamond or gem quality
- The setting style
- The retailer’s overheads
Let’s start with gold
Gold gives you a huge variety of choice when shopping for an engagement ring under £1000.
Secondly, because you have the versatility of choosing either 9K or 18K purity – with 9K being the most affordable option.
Diamond engagement ring in white gold, £945
Or from £15.13 per month
9K or 18K gold?
If you can afford it, 18K gold is a great choice because:
- It retains its value over time
- It feels heavy and luxurious on the hand
- When it comes to 18K yellow gold, it has a rich, saturated colour
- When it comes to 18K and 9K white gold, you won’t see any difference
However, if you’re on a tight budget, 9K gold is a solid choice because:
- It’s a highly durable metal
- It is more affordable than 18K gold
- When it comes to yellow gold, the 9K gold colour is slightly paler than in 18K gold but still looks very beautiful
- With white gold, you won’t see any difference between the two
Diamond cluster ring in 18K white gold, £575
Or from £9.21 per month
Platinum is expensive
Platinum is the most durable but also the most expensive precious metal.
Therefore, if you want to find an engagement ring with a platinum band while staying under a budget or £1000, you will need to settle for a small diamond, most likely 0.33CT or under.
Diamond 0.25 carat ring in platinum, £995
Or from £15.93 per month
Silver won’t do
Even though it is temptingly cheap, silver is not a good option for engagement rings.
This is because it’s an extremely soft metal that bends out of shape easily.
Diamond price tips
Diamond prices depend on four quality factors, known as the Four Cs. These are cut, colour, clarity and carat weight.
To stay within your £1000 price range, you’d need to play with a combination of these factors.
Diamond halo ring in 9K rose gold, £755
Or from £12.09 per month
Pro tip: H/Si quality
If you’re looking for an engagement ring on a budget of £1000, your smartest, best value diamond quality choice is H/Si.
For diamonds under 0.50 carat, this quality will give you a sparkling white diamond with no imperfections noticeable to the naked eye.
If you want to get a higher quality, that’s fine too. But it’s not necessary and will ultimately make you compromise on carats.
A pear-cut halo ring with H/Si clarity diamonds, £569
Or from £9.11 per month
As a general rule, gemstones cost less per carat than diamonds.
In other words, if you compare a £1000 sapphire with a £1000 diamond, the sapphire will most likely be the larger stone.
This means that if you choose coloured gems over diamonds, you can get a larger stone for your money.
Which gem is best?
The best gems for engagement rings are those which are tough and hard-wearing, as well as beautiful:
- Sapphires, rubies, aquamarine, topaz and tanzanite are great options because they rank high on the Mohs Scale of mineral hardness.
- Emeralds are ok too, although you have to take care not to knock them as they’re a little more brittle than other gems.
- Some gems, like pearls and opals, are not tough enough for engagement rings.
A blue sapphire ring, £929
Or from £14.87 per month
Lab grown diamonds are real diamonds, just like mined diamonds.
They are created in a state of the art laboratory that mimics the natural conditions under which mined diamonds were created under the Earth’s crust.
They are a sustainable choice as no mining is required. Best of all, they can give you up to 50% bigger diamond for your money.
Half-carat lab grown diamond in 18K white gold, £985
Or from £15.77 per month
Your ring’s setting plays an important role in the price.
Depending on how much precious metal is used, and how the stones are attached, the price of your ring can vary a great deal.
Find out more about settings that favour your wallet – or see below 3 styles that give you ‘more bang for your buck’.
Pro tip: Small diamonds
Small diamonds cost less per carat than big solitaire diamonds.
Consequently, a ring that features several small stones, as opposed to one big single diamond, can give you a more luxurious look for your money.
Here are 3 examples:
Diamond cluster ring in 18K white gold, £865
Or from £13.85 per month
Diamond “One Carat Look” Ring in 18K gold, £999
Or from £16.00 per month
Diamond trilogy ring in 18K white gold, £839
Or from £13.43 per month
Choosing a retailer
Watch out for unnecessary costs that big chain retailers hide in their jewellery prices, like luxury branding, high street premises and large-scale distribution.
The problem is, ultimately it’s you who ends up paying for these overheads.
If you want to get the best value for your money, choose an independent brand or an online jeweller that have lower running costs.
Vintage style diamond ring in 18K gold, £919
Or from £14.71 per month
Can you get a good engagement ring for £1000?
The answer is yes, you can.
To get top value on a £1000 budget, focus on these options:
- Gold in 9K or 18K quality (9K is most affordable)
- Solitaires in H/Si quality
- Coloured gemstones
- Lab grown diamonds
- Settings with several small diamonds
- An independent retailer or online store
If you follow these guidelines, you’ll get the best value ring for your budget.
Read next, how to choose a ring style that she loves.
All prices quoted correctly on 27 July 20202 but may change any time after this date.