Downsized dazzlers: Celebrity-style engagement rings that don’t cost a fortune

In the United States, we don’t have royalty, but celebrities fulfill a similar role for many star-struck fans. We buy pop culture magazines to follow their lives and admire their trendsetting fashions. We can’t seem to get enough of celebrity couple news, either – especially when they get engaged or hold a secret wedding.

Maybe part of the fascination with Hollywood romances is just the splendor of it all – from custom-made Vera Wang gowns to engagement rings we couldn’t afford in a lifetime. Luckily, you can wear an engagement ring that looks like a million bucks, for a reasonable amount of money.

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Hilary Duff

Singer/actress Hilary Duff sports a gorgeous 14-carat radiant-cut diamond ring that’s worth an estimated $1 million. And while it’s certainly dazzling, Duff told entertainment magazine Us Weekly that after wearing it to bed one night, she woke up with scratches on her face. You can get similar sparkle – without the facial damage – for around $160.

Gisele Bundchen

Supermodel Gisele Bundchen, wife of football New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, wears an understated round solitaire four-carat ring by an unknown designer, valued at around $100,000. But you can sport the same bling for a fraction of that cost – in the neighborhood of $1,000.

Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba’s five-carat ring with a price tag of $90,000 is impressive – if not a little on the inexpensive side, for most Hollywood brides-to-be. The asscher-cut stone gleams from a distance, but if you’re willing to settle for less than five carats, you can get a similar look for a few thousand dollars.

Paris Hilton

Don’t expect good taste when Paris Hilton is involved. Her 24-carat honker of an engagement ring cost a cool $5 million and the designer still couldn’t expect to put his or her name on the steroid-enhanced engagement ring. Rumor has it that Hilton found the rink too bulky and later down-sized to something a bit more sensible. But dazzling doesn’t have to be ostentatious. You can get the right amount of flash in a classic princess cut engagement ring for a fraction of that $5-million price tag.

The fascination with bling

Countless celebrities – Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Garner, Reese Witherspoon – have been seen sporting gorgeous rocks, but unless you’ve got your own security detail and a multi-million-dollar income, you’re better off emulating styles you love, rather than scheming up ways to afford them. You can have a glamorous diamond ring that will last a lifetime and still be able to afford that down-payment on a new home, or college for your yet-to-be-born child. And like a lot of Hollywood starlets out there, you can work with a jeweler to design your own ring, so you’ve got a piece of jewelry uniquely suited to your tastes.

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