You're in love. You're ready to propose. But your budget isn't quite ready for the ring you have your heart set on.Some couples purchase essentially a starter ring - something pretty and modest that will be upgraded later either when finances allow or for a milestone anniversary.A small stone in a tasteful setting can be quite elegant. When focusing on a smaller carat size, think about the 4Cs. Be sure to get the best cut and clarity. A small but brilliant, high-quality diamond is more beautiful than a big diamond that?s a bit flawed. Lots of small diamonds can be less expensive than buying a single diamond of equivalent carat weight and still pack a visual punch. Look at rings twinkling with an array of small diamonds or halo rings with a center stone enhanced by a frame of tiny diamonds. Color is another option. Color gemstones, especially lab-created versions, can be both affordable and a real show-stopper.If you choose to upgrade your ring later, your original ring could move to another finger. Or the stones could be used to complement a larger diamond in a new setting. Perhaps you want to keep the setting, but exchange the center stone. A small solitaire is an ideal candidate for an enhancer ring or wrap. This allows you to keep your engagement ring, while also achieving a more grand and sparkling look.Regardless of the kind of engagement ring you can afford right now, remember that your relationship is what really matters and any ring you choose will be a beautiful expression of your love. EXPLORE OUR ENGAGEMENT GUIDE »
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