Diamonds are always amazing. They are beautiful and stunning. Whoever wears it, she will look great. DIamonds surely are the girl’s best friend, but they can also be your wallet’s worst enemy.

If you’re shopping for an affordable engagement ring, you may have to carefully think a bit more outside of the box. You should understand all about it. Bigger carat sizes, flawless clarity, and unique settings all hike up an engagement ring’s price, making your dream ring a very serious investment.

You can try swapping out a natural diamond for a lab-created diamond, they are legitimate diamonds too. Or maybe a similar-looking diamond alternative like white sapphire, moissanite, or morganite as an alternative—all are equally eye-catching and cost a lot less than mined diamonds. For an alternative engagement ring, consider a colorful gemstone (a super popular choice when affordability is a concern), a ring with enamel (which is super trendy right now), a cluster style ring of smaller stones set together to create the illusion of a bigger center stone, or opt for a unique setting with detailed metal work (antique rings are a great option for this style). Another way to keep the cost down is to pick from a variety of metal settings instead of platinum like yellow gold, rose gold, or sterling silver. Also, sticking to minimalist bands and bezel settings will keep the cost down—we know, we know, you may have had your heart set on a pavé band or halo, but truthfully, simpler styles are more of-the-moment anyway. So think of it as the cooler, more modern alternative!

In fact, even though you want a beautiful engagement ring, doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. There are many ways to signify a lifelong commitment without going in the red zone of your checking account or racking up a serious credit card balance. Whether you’re dead set on a diamond or open to gemstones, cluster rings, or antique styles, ahead, we found an array of unique budget-friendly engagement rings under $1,500 that are as affordable as they are stunning.