Cheap diamond engagement rings might be the way to go if you want to stay out of debt but you also have to consider the future. You want to make sure that you propose to her with a ring that she'll say yes to. Here are tips for finding cheap diamond engagement rings that still look good.

Skip the solitaire. Sure, diamond solitaries are the traditional shape but they are also expensive. You'll almost always pay more for larger carat weight engagement rings. You can try an invis set ring where all the stones are really close together. You'll pay the price of a cluster ring but get the impact of a large diamond. Up close though you will be able to tell that they are smaller stones so only try this approach if your future bride has agreed to stick to a budget or she has a modern design aesthetic.

You can still get an affordable engagement ring that has a lot of presence. Again, keep the center stone smaller to save money. You can get a bigger bang for your buck by buying a ring guard or two bands instead of just one wedding band. This way there will be an entire stack of diamonds that will get noticed across the room. For a bride with traditional or vintage style find a ring that has diamonds around the center stone and on the band to really maximize the bling while staying under budget.

There are a few don'ts that you'll need to consider when buying an inexpensive engagement ring. She'll be wearing this item everyday so you don't want to have her looking at her hand all the time and thinking that you are cheap. Go for high quality stones. You want a clear, bright diamond. Sure, cloudy and heavily included will allow you to get a bigger stone but in this case it can be a huge letdown. You'll also want to avoid getting a CZ ring. She's probably been dreaming about this piece of jewelry since she was a little girl and it's doubtful that her engagement ring was made out of glass in her imagination.

Another option to lessen the cost and get a cheap engagement ring that looks like a million bucks is to just change up where you shop. Jewelry stores, especially in the mall may mark up their rings as much as eight or nine times. You want to beware of online auctions where you only end up paying a few hundred dollars for the ring because these can often be fraudulent. Instead, discuss with your girlfriend about buying a ring out of the want ads. Make sure that you have enough time to have the ring inspected to make sure it's real. Some women think that it's bad luck to accept a ring from a broken engagement so you'll need to have an open dialogue about this.

Consider the overall cost. Sure, that ring might seem like a lot of money now but you can really end up paying less with a little careful planning. If you put money away for a few months you'll be able to pay for the ring outright which can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in interest payments over the years. You might have to end up getting a second job for a few months to accomplish this but it can save you a lot of headaches later on.

Skip the gold. Again this is a topic for discussion before you purchase the item. In men's jewelry there is a huge trend towards tungsten and titanium rings to help cut down on the cost of gold. These rings are still durable and fashionable. In fact you might even prefer the brushed look over a shinier gold band.

Check out the clearance section. Granted, you will probably never find a ring under the price of the bare diamonds and gold. You can find clearance sections in most jewelry stores. The weird thing about this is that you'll be wearing the ring forever so how is anyone going to know if you bought the item a year after it came out? You can still find a traditional ring that no one will guess was on clearance.

Another option for an affordable engagement ring is to go with a unique style. This might mean going with a birthstone or a vintage piece. Again, ask your intended how she feels about having a colored gemstone. There are a lot of vintage inspired pieces out there that are high end. You might as well as just go to the source and save money although the ring may need a little cleanup.

Sometimes less is more and this is true of engagement rings. You might be able to get her the ring she really wants as long as you just skip the wedding band. You can always give her a band on an anniversary or as a birthday gift. She may agree that it's better to have one high quality ring instead of two cheap rings that she might not be as proud to show off.

The one thing you want to beware of is impulse buys. Remember that she'll be wearing this piece everyday so you don't want to get an item just because it's a bargain. Both of you could regret that purchase for a very long time. Do your research beforehand and sleep on it before you make a big decision. You can even make a checklist that includes price, overall style and carat weight so you can carefully weigh and judge your options. This will keep your values in check when you go shopping because your budget isn't the only overall consideration.

You need to walk a fine line in getting cheap engagement rings and still getting a ring that she'll be proud to wear. Remember that women place a lot of worth on their wedding set. Talk with your fiancé beforehand and explain the situation. She may even want to go shopping with you so she can get an inexpensive engagement ring that looks anything but cheap.