The decades-long marketing campaign started by the De Beers cartel has made sure the diamond was ingrained in culture so much so that almost every girl wants a diamond ring for her engagement. The problem with diamonds is that they are infinitely expensive, even now that more people are in on the reality that they are neither rare nor valuable.

Now that you have found the right girl and are thinking of popping the question soon, you are torn between spending a few months’ salary on a rock that’s only pricey because of advertising, or buying something a lot more reasonable but can still mean something to you and your significant other.

Take heart. There are other options for a lovely engagement ring. As long as you’re sure your girlfriend will only burst into tears of joy at your proposal and not tears of despair over not getting “a girl’s best friend,” you should be safe with these choices:

Moissanite

Nearly as hard as a diamond with twice the sparkle and for a fraction of the price, the moissanite has become increasingly popular as an alternative to the diamond.  The original pieces of this naturally occurring silicon carbide were discovered by French chemist Henri Moissan in 1893 in a meteor crater in Arizona. Today, these stones are made in labs.

Knot

A typical knot ring doesn’t even have any stones. It is usually made of a precious or semiprecious metal or a combination of at least two. It’s inexpensive and the perfect ring to symbolize tying the knot with a girl who doesn’t like extravagance.

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Your girlfriend’s birth stone

Now, if your girlfriend was born in April, you may want to try the first two options above instead. Otherwise, ask a few jewelers about rings bearing her birthstone. You’ll be surprised how beautiful any of these stones look when they are perfectly cut and set, and they cost a lot less than diamond rings. A sapphire, for example, is the third hardest mineral on the Mohs Scale, and it costs about a third of the price of a diamond of equal size.

It’s a bad idea to lose all your savings or go into debt just to give your girl a diamond ring. If she would take nothing else, you should probably think twice about marrying her anyway. Kidding aside, you don’t have to give in to the pressure of buying a diamond; a lovely ring takes its meaning from what you and your fiancée give it.