As cliché as it might sound, diamonds truly are a girl's best friend. Classic studs, adorned bangles, or massive engagement rings, diamonds are always in fashion. But landing a sparkler that makes you squeal without breaking the bank isn't always easy. Subbing in cubic zirconia or costume jewelry may save you a few dollars now, but just ask DeBeers, a diamond is forever. Think of your first diamond purchase as an investment or even a milestone. Much like your first paycheck, you'll never forget your first diamond.
Follow our guide to bling on a budget (everything's under $500!) and give your jewelry box a reason to squeal.
CLASSIC: 14k White Gold 1/2 CT TDW Diamond Stud Earrings, $410
If bling's your thing, then these 1/2 TDW diamond stud earrings are perfect for you. A halo of brilliant round white diamonds surround a sparkling center diamond, adding up to 28 round cut diamonds in all. These gorgeous stones catch the light just right to twinkle on your earlobes. Looks like this pair has transformed the classic diamond stud from basic to brilliant.
MODERN: Claire Kinder Studio, Speckled Band with Diamond, $260
Claire Kinder Studio's speckled band with diamond is a simple, affordable, and modern way to put a glamorous glint on your ring finger without having to spend a lot. Incredibly subtle, a single diamond sits in a 10k gold speckled band. Understated and ideal for everyday wear, the lone diamond adds just a hint of luxury
JUST FOR FUN: 10k Gold Diamond Cupcake Pendant, $101
The world's affinity for cupcakes has parlayed into jewelry. This 10k gold diamond cupcake pendant is just as sweet as the real thing, the diamonds play the icing atop the cake and the pendant comes in a cupcake shaped box for extra sweetness. Inexpensive and fun, send this piece to your kid sister for her middle school graduation or buy two and fashion your own friendship necklaces with your BFF.
UNIQUE: 1/7 CT Black Diamond 10K White Gold Bow Ring, $195
Black diamonds have an edge that classic diamonds don't. Their shadowy undertones catch the light just as well as regular diamonds but send a different message; we're gorgeous and different! Slip this black diamond 10k white gold bow ring around your finger and you won't be able to forget how fabulous this accessory looks! A delicate way to differentiate yourself from cookie cutter jewelry, black diamonds set their wearer apart from the crowd in the most luxurious way possible.
TIMELESS: Elsa Peretti, Diamonds by the Yard Necklace, $495
Drip with diamonds in this Elsa Peretti diamonds by the yard necklace. Three round diamonds sit nestled on a 16" sterling silver chain, catching the light every time the necklace moves. Drape over a black blazer for extra twinkle or pile atop other necklaces for an over the top look.