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$15K Engagement Ring Budget: What Can You Get?

Before you wander into your local jeweler, it is essential that you set an engagement ring budget to prevent stress headaches or worse: buyer’s remorse. Setting an engagement ring budget, whether a general range or a hard maximum, will allow you to remain calm and confident with a focus on celebrating your relationship rather than stressing about finances. 

In this blog, we will discuss engagement ring features and center stone options that adhere to a $15K budget. Ultimately, we will answer the question we know weighs heavy in your mind: what can I get with $15,000? 

So! Let’s talk numbers. 

Step 1: Narrow Your Search (Regardless of Budget)

The engagement ring shopping process is far less frustrating and far more enjoyable if you start with a general idea of the engagement ring style you believe would best suit your soon-to-be fiance. 

While you could certainly browse the cart-ready engagement ring options in our virtual showroom, you may prefer to customize an engagement ring to better align with your fiance’s unique tastes and preferences. 

Browsing static images of engagement rings in front of a white background is far different than watching an engagement ring in motion. Observing how natural light plays off of the facets of the center stone, how a pave diamond setting glimmers when the ring is tilted to its side, and how much real estate the center stone occupies on the ring finger are all important factors when considering an engagement ring purchase, which is not observable in a simple product image.

Our YouTube channel is rich with all sorts of useful videos that will allow you the opportunity to see various engagement ring styles in action from all angles and on an actual finger. 

Step 2: Choose Your Setting

An engagement ring setting refers to the way in which the gemstone is mounted to a metal band. This may seem like a super simple, one-size-fits-all engagement ring feature, but surprisingly there are many different setting design features that make a monumental difference in the overall appearance of your engagement ring selection. 

Additionally, the engagement ring setting is a significant chunk of the total cost of your final engagement ring price tag. Once you determine your preferred setting style(s), you can then calculate the remaining budget for your engagement ring center stone (and potential side stones).

There are six major setting styles from which to choose when designing an engagement ring: solitaire, pave, cathedral, halo, three-stone, and three-row.

****DISCLAIMER: The prices associated with each setting style below are generalized; the final price of each feature will vary based on center stone size.


The Solitaire Setting

A solitaire engagement ring refers to a gemstone mounted onto a plain, metal band. The elegant simplicity of the solitaire setting is a brilliant choice if you prefer to stretch your budget as far as you can with center stone carat size, diamond color, and high clarity.


Setting Style                        Metal Color        Cost
Solitaire                        White/Yellow/Rose Gold        $1,400
Solitaire                        Platinum        $1,600


When designing a solitaire engagement ring, you are not exclusively limited to the plain metal band and prongs. A decorated basket, a Hidden Halo™, pave prongs, or a Lauren B signature wrap is delicate diamond details you can add to your solitaire engagement ring. The cost associated with these extra diamond details ranges from an additional $600 to $800. 


2.30 ct Oval Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring


Oval Moissanite Pave Prong Solitaire Engagement Ring


The Pavé Setting

A pavé setting refers to a path of tiny “melee” diamonds lining the metal band. This setting option is the most popular with our clients, and for good reason: it adds sparkle without detracting from the center stone. 


Setting Style                        Metal Color        Cost
Pavé                        White/Yellow/Rose Gold        $2,600
Pavé                        Platinum        $2,800


As with the solitaire engagement ring setting, you can add additional diamond detailing to your pavé setting for the same cost listed above. 

1.76ct Emerald Cut Diamond Super Slim Band Engagement Ring


1.52ct Emerald Cut Lab Diamond Super Slim Engagement Ring


The Cathedral Setting

A cathedral setting refers to an extension of the girdle holding the gemstone. This setting style is considered more supportive of the center stone, which adds a layer of protection to prevent damage to the stone. 

This setting feature adds between $300 - $700 to your total setting cost depending on the style of your center stone and whether you choose a solitaire or pave setting. 

4.30ct Round Diamond Six-Prong Engagement Ring


Round Moissanite Six-Prong "Super Slim" Band Ring


The Halo Setting

A diamond halo refers to a row of small diamonds surrounding the center stone(s). A diamond halo is a great option for those with more glamorous taste or if you want to increase the surface area of your engagement ring. A halo can add up to a full carat size to the appearance of your stone. 


Setting Style                        Metal Color        Cost
Halo                        White/Yellow/Rose Gold        $2,900
Halo                        Platinum        $3,200


Cushion Cut Moissanite Classic Halo Engagement Ring


2.15ct Cushion Cut Lab Diamond Halo Engagement Ring


The Three-Stone Setting

The three-stone engagement ring features a larger center stone with smaller, proportionate side stones. There are no limitations with three-stone engagement ring pairings; the more unique, the better!

Three-stone engagement ring settings vary widely in price based on the size of the center stone and the size or proportions of the accompanying side stones. The following costs for three-stone settings do not include side stone costs:


Setting Style                        Metal Color        Cost
Three-Stone                        White/Yellow/Rose Gold        $2,500
Three-Stone                        Platinum        $2,900



4.2ct Radiant Cut Diamond Three-Stone Engagement Ring


2.01ct Radiant Cut Diamond Three-Stone Engagement Ring


Three Row Band Settings

If you feel that one row of pavé diamonds is simply not enough for your intended, you can opt for a three-row pavé band. This setting style features three rows of pavé diamonds on the top, the profile, and the bottom of the engagement ring. The result is an incredibly glamorous band with tons of sparkle. 


Setting Style                        Metal Color        Cost
Three-Row Band                        White/Yellow/Rose Gold        $4,800*
Three-Row Band                        Platinum        $5,400*

*The final cost of your three-row band will vary depending on your desired band thickness. 


3.26ct Pear Shape Diamond Triple-Row Engagement Ring


2.61ct Pear Shape Diamond Hidden Halo™ Engagement Ring

Step 3: Choose Your Center Stone

Now that you feel confident about which setting style you prefer for your partner’s engagement ring, you can choose your center stone and/or side stones!

At this point, you have an estimated setting cost, which as we mentioned, determines the remaining budget for your center stone selection. Here is a sample setting style and center stone budget:


Total Budget:    $15,000
Platinum Solitaire    ~ $1,600
Pavé Prongs    ~ $600
Remaining Balance (For Center Stone):    $12,750

Once you have calculated a loose setting cost and the remaining budget for your center stone, you can browse center stone options that align with your budget. 


Types of Center Stones

While a natural diamond engagement ring is a traditional choice, and the romantic rarity of a natural diamond center stone is not lost on us, there are plenty of alternatives for your engagement ring center stone that do not have the same price tag as a natural diamond. 

Of course, there are endless color gemstones and a few fancy-color diamond options if you think your partner would love a unique pop of color. Or, if you like the look of a large diamond center stone but not the price, you can choose a lab-grown diamond center stone. 

Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds. The only difference between a lab-grown diamond and a natural diamond is its origin. Both diamonds are identical in appearance, have the same durability, the same chemical structure, and the same brilliance. 

Lab-grown diamonds, as a result of both unlimited supply and a condensed production timeline, are a more affordable diamond alternative with fairly linear pricing as you jump from carat size to carat size.

If you’re still on the fence about lab-grown diamonds, check out Why You Should Choose A Lab-Grown Diamond Ring or learn more about them with The Truth About Lab-Grown Diamonds.


Natural Diamonds

Using the $12,750 budget example provided, you could choose a natural, oval shape diamond between 1.5 and 1.7 carats. 

The frugal option:

Carat Size: 1.51cts 

Color: G

Clarity: SI2

Price: $10,010

The on-budget option:

Carat Size: 1.70cts 

Color: I

Clarity: VS2

Price: $12,480


Lab-Grown Diamonds

Still using our imaginary $12,750 budget, you could select a lab-grown oval diamond center stone between 3.2 and 3.9 carats. 

The frugal option:

Carat Size: 3.29cts 

Color: E

Clarity: VVS2

Price: $11,645

The on-budget option:

Carat Size: 3.82cts 

Color: F

Clarity: VVS2

Price: $12,330

A Ring for Every Budget

At Lauren B, we have worked with a wide range of budgets and are prepared to guide you every step of the way to ensure that your engagement ring shopping experience is as romantic as your intended proposal. 

You can book a virtual appointment or visit our showroom at 44 East 46th Street, New York, NY 10017.