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Buying Guide For A $15,000 Engagement Ring

By Mike Fried,

$15,000 is a significant budget for an engagement ring, meaning you’ll have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to diamonds and settings. In fact, this budget puts you well within the top seven percent of couples when it comes to engagement ring spending.

As American Express explains: “A one carat engagement ring typically costs around $5,500, but most couples spend over $6,000—and 7 percent spend over $10,000.” American Express

Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:

What to look for when buying a $15,000 diamond ring?
What does a $15,000 engagement ring look like?
What size diamond ring can you get for $15,000?
Where can I find the best deal when buying a diamond ring within a $15,000 budget?

$15,000 Engagement Rings

Proposing to your significant other should be a magical moment – one that she and you should never forget. A truly spectacular diamond engagement ring can help make that moment all the more special.

If your budget is as high as $15,000, you’ll have your pick of beautiful diamonds and stunning settings to choose from, to make up the perfect engagement ring. Look at this gorgeous 1.70ct Emerald cut diamond with this Petite Floral Halo setting as an example.

While you won’t be able to afford a diamond worthy of celebrities and movie stars, a $15,000 budget gives you enough where you won’t have to make any major concessions.

Though you’ll be spoiled for choice with a budget this large, you should be aware of the best ways to distribute your budget, to ensure your ring actually looks like a $15,000 engagement ring.

Read on for tips on how to pick out the perfect engagement ring in your price range.

$15,000 Engagement Ring in Rose Gold with a 2ct Oval Diamond from James Allen
To help you with the diamond buying process we lean on our expertise and experience. The author of this article, our CEO, Mike Fried has over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. Mike started from the bottom, sorting and evaluating hundreds of thousands of diamonds to learn every facet (pun intended) of diamond quality and value. Mike followed that up by spending years buying and selling diamonds on the wholesale market as well as selling tens of millions of dollars worth of diamonds to diamond retailers.

Mike Fried has written hundreds of articles and helped answer more than 30,000 emails from our readers. This has given him a unique perspective on what information truly helps our readers in their quest for finding the perfect diamond engagement ring or piece of jewelry.

Mike is recognized as an industry expert and has been quoted in publications such as Us, People, Page Six, The Next Web and more.

To read more about our process for secret shopping and reviewing companies and additional details about how we operate, check out this article.

What Kind of Engagement Ring Can $15,000 Buy?

If your budget for an engagement ring is as high as $15,000, you’ll be able to focus on personal style preferences, more so than simply figuring out what you can afford that fits your budget. In our article discussing how much should you spend on an engagement ring, we note that 15k is well above the average consumer.

With this budget, you may be able to get a diamond as big as 2ct, which is significantly above average for an engagement ring. A 2 carat diamond will make for a beautiful ring, and will certainly bring the “wow” factor with its size.

A $15k budget truly affords you a wealth of choices. You can just about have your pick of diamond and setting style with a center diamond between 1-2ct. On one hand, you can choose to put most of your budget towards a high carat diamond, such as this 1.98 Carat, J/SI1 Round Brilliant, and pair it with a simple solitaire setting like this.

Alternatively, you can go all-out on a flashy, extravagant setting, like this halo setting, and go a little lower in carat, like this 1.40 Carat, H/VVS2 Round Brilliant.

You’ve also got the choice of meeting in the middle and getting creative – for example with a Dot Dash Split Shank Setting and a 1.60 Carat I/VS2 Round Cut Diamond. The choice is truly yours.

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What Does a $15,000 Engagement Ring Look Like?

A $15k engagement ring will steal the show in just about any room it’s in. You’ll be able to afford a larger-than-average diamond, as well as a stunning setting.

There are truly a huge number of choices available to you at this price range. You can go flashy with a vintage setting, pair a large, beautiful diamond with a simple setting, or somewhere in between.

The following ring from Blue Nile pairs a 1.54 Carat, H/VS2 Oval Cut Diamond with a 1/4ct French Pavé Setting for a total of $13,521.

15k engagement ring with oval cut diamond

A side stone setting can also be a great option at this price range, such as this ring with a 1.71 Carat, I/VVS2 Emerald Cut Diamond in a Three-Stone Tapered Baguette Setting for $13,619.

15k engagement ring with emerald cut diamond

Alternatively, you can let the setting truly take center stage, with this ring from James Allen, featuring a 0.80cttw Grande halo setting, paired with a 1.40 Carat, H/VVS2 Round Diamond for $14,760.

15k engagement ring with round cut diamond

How Many Carats are in a $15k Diamond?

If you’re buying a diamond for a $15k engagement ring, the sweet spot for carat weight is likely to be in the range of 1.50 to 1.80ct. This is going to allow you to put your money towards decent grades in Cut, Color and Clarity, as well as leaving some space in your budget for a nice setting.

A1.53 Carat, H/VVS2 Round Brilliant Diamond, for example, leaves you $950 to spend on a setting, while staying within a $15k budget.

Alternatively, by going a little bit lower in color and clarity grades, or choosing a less popular diamond shape, you may be able to find a diamond above 2ct within your budget.

Shapes such as Princess, Cushion and Emerald are traditionally less popular than Round Brilliant Diamonds, and therefore cost less per carat.

Here are some diamonds above 2 carats for under $15,000:

Differences Between a $15,000 Engagement Ring and $10,000 Engagement Ring

With a budget of $15,000, you’ve got a bit more room to play with in terms of setting and carat weight. While you can still afford a beautiful setting for an engagement ring $10,000 and under, you’ll have to drop a little lower in carat weight.

Instead of finding a 1.50-2.00ct diamond you’ll be looking at a 1.20-1.30ct diamond.

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$15,000 Diamond Ring Cut, Color, Clarity and Shapes

While you’ve certainly got a lot of freedom when shopping for a $15000 diamond ring, you should still understand the basics of how diamonds are graded, and how these grades affect pricing, so you can make sure you get the best value for your money. Along with Carat, these grades are Cut, Color and Clarity.


Of all the diamond grades, cut is the one you don’t want to compromise on. A diamond’s cut grade refers to the quality with which it has been cut and polished. A well-cut diamond should display a huge amount of fire and brilliance, while a low grade in cut indicates a dull, relatively lifeless diamond.

“Cut quality is the factor that fuels a diamond’s fire, sparkle and brilliance. The allure and beauty of a particular diamond depends more on cut quality than anything else.” Gemological Institute of America (GIA)

We recommend only looking at diamonds with an Ideal or Excellent cut grade, to ensure your diamond shines like a diamond should. A beautifully cut diamond will have significantly better light performance and a far more impressive appearance than a diamond with mediocre cut quality, even if it has a slightly smaller carat weight.

Diamond's cut chart


Color is a rating of how colorless a diamond is. Grades range from D to Z, with higher grades indicating the diamond is completely colorless, while lower grades having a distinct yellow or brown tint. The price of a diamond invariably rises with each grade.

Your goal when judging color should be to find a diamond that appears colorless in its setting. The sweet spot for this is generally between G and K. Above this range, you’re going to be paying a premium with no visible difference to show for it. While grades lower than K will be noticeably yellowish, and not worth looking at if your budget is as high as it is (unless you choose a setting completely in yellow gold).

Diamond Color Chart


Clarity grades a diamond on the amount of imperfections and inclusions it has. The grading scale for clarity ranges from FL (flawless), to I3 (inclusions 3, meaning clear visible imperfections are present).

As with color, each grade in clarity comes with a jump in price. And as with color again, the higher grades don’t look any different to the naked eye.

You should look for an eye-clean diamond, meaning it looks clear to the naked eye. This is generally in the range of VS1-SI1, however different shapes may mask inclusions better or worse than others.

It’s not worth spending for a grade much higher than this, as you’ll be paying a premium, without any clear difference when you look at it.

Diamond Clarity Chart

Diamond Shapes

Diamond shape is not a grade, but it does affect the price and value of your ring.

Round brilliant diamonds are the most common and popular of all diamond shapes. That does mean, however, that they are the most expensive.

In most cases you’ll be able to afford a higher carat diamond by opting for a non-traditional shape, like a Cushion or Princess Cut Diamond.

Diamond Shape chart

Certain shapes also appear bigger, even at the same carat weight. Elongated shapes like Pear and Oval Cut Diamonds have a larger surface area, meaning that you may be able to get a diamond that seems bigger, without paying for anything extra in carat weight.

In the end, diamond shape is a matter of personal preference, and it’s impossible to say that one shape is “better” than any other.

Where to Buy a $15k Engagement Ring

The best place to get a $15000 engagement ring is from a reputable online jeweler. Online vendors are generally able to offer the best range, as well as value for money, due to their business model which requires lower overhead costs to run.

There are several online jewelers that have established themselves as leaders today in the field of diamonds, engagement rings and other fine jewelry. Here are the vendors we recommend you go to for a $15k diamond ring:

James Allen

James Allen offers a great selection of high-quality, GIA and AGS-certified diamonds, as well as a range of beautiful settings in different styles. Their commitment to the customer experience is second to none, with top of the line tools to allow you to inspect diamonds online, paired with excellent customer service.

Shopping at James Allen also allows you to use their 30-day return policy, so you don’t need to stress out if you bought the right ring.

Blue Nile

Like James Allen, Blue Nile also offers a large and diverse range of both diamonds and settings. Blue Nile are known in particular for their inventory size, which is simply the best out there. Their diamonds come with grading certificates from the GIA, and their diamond search tool makes it easy to sift through over 400,000 diamonds to pick out the perfect centerpiece for your $15,000 ring.

Brian Gavin Diamonds

Brian Gavin Diamonds is known for one thing, above anything else – high-quality cuts. The diamonds you’ll find in their collections are the best you’ll get in terms of fire, brilliance and proportion. They also carry a more than adequate range of settings to help you cap off the perfect diamond ring.

With a budget of up to $15,000, you can afford to make a bit of a splash, so for a truly one of a kind cut, consider a diamond from Brian Gavin Diamonds.

$15k Diamond Ring Inspiration

Your options for a $15,000 engagement ring are just about endless, so it can be tough to know where to start your search.

If you’re feeling at all lost, check out the following $15,000 diamond rings as inspiration to see what you can put together for your budget.

2.02 Carat, K/VS1 Round Brilliant Diamond with a 14K Yellow Gold Split Shank Solitaire Setting from James Allen ($14,620)

15k engagement ring with a 2ct round diamond

This $15000 solitaire engagement ring goes heavy on carat weight, with a huge 2 carat round diamond in a simple and affordable solitaire setting, with 14K yellow gold to mask the diamond’s slightly lower color grade.

1.75 Carat, H/VS2 Cushion Cut Diamond with a Petite Twist Setting in White Gold from Blue Nile ($14,594)

15k engagement ring with a cushion cut diamond

With a Cushion Cut Diamond, this ring offers something a little different to a traditional Round Brilliant Diamond, along with a touch of flair from the setting design, featuring a twist pattern, 0.10ct in accent diamonds, and a high-quality white gold band.

1.65 Carat, H/VS1 Emerald Cut Diamond with a Trio Princess Cut Pavé Setting from Blue Nile ($14,945)

15k engagement ring with an emerald diamond

This ring offers a huge amount of all-round fire, with 10 melee accent diamonds, two larger Princess cut side stones and a stunning 1.72ct Emerald Diamond in the center of it all.

1.40 Carat, G/VS2 Round Brilliant Diamond with a Split Band Halo Setting from James Allen ($14,390)

15k engagement ring with a round diamond

Go all out with this setting, which features 0.78ct of accent diamonds in a split shank pattern, and an additional ring of accent diamonds surrounding a beautiful 1.40 Carat Round Diamond.

Email Our Experts for Assistance With Buying an Engagement Ring

With a $15,000 engagement ring budget, you can afford to buy a truly stunning, one-of-a-kind diamond ring. You’ll have your pick of settings, from flashy vintage settings to simple solitaire rings, and a huge range of diamonds to choose from, up to or slightly above 2 carats.

While you have a lot of flexibility at this price range, you still want to take note of how to get the best value for your money, and ensure your $15k diamond ring lives up to its price tag. For that, we’ve outlined the recommendations above, which will help you make the best purchase possible.

And if you find out you want to spend more money on the ring, check out our guide on a 20k engagement ring.

For more assistance in picking out the right diamond or the perfect setting, contact us and we’ll be happy to aid you in your search.

Here are more specific budget topics to browse:

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab created diamonds online.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
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  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisals
  • One free resizing within 60 days of purchase
  • Free ring inscriptions
  • Best-in-class high quality imagery of all diamonds in stock
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Best-in-class packaging
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Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. Blue Nile have generously offered our readers an exclusive one-time use coupon. (Click Here to save $100 off $1000 purchase)

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What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment
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About the author

Mike Fried Mike Fried Mike Fried has over 25 years experience in the diamond industry working with Leo Schachter Diamonds, Moshe Namdar Diamonds, and joining The Diamond Pro in 2007. He is recognized as an industry expert and has been quoted in publications such as Us, People, Page Six, The Next Web and more.

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