You're ready to get engaged, but how can you pop the question without blowing your bank account? Some of the hottest engagement ring trends are perfect for the budget-conscious groom. From colored stones to simple settings, your options are endless.

ALTERNATE METALS

Platinum has become the new "it" metal for engagement rings, but it comes with a hefty price tag. Fortunately, there are plenty of metals on the market that are still beautiful, elegant and less expensive. Palladium is similar to platinum in look and feel. Yellow gold and silver are both traditional and more budget-friendly. While prices vary, a similar ring in platinum will cost almost twice as much as a white-gold ring.

SIMPLE SETTINGS

For some couples, an elaborate tension or bezel setting is the perfect choice. For others, the more cost-efficient option is to stick with a simple, traditional prong setting or a channel set band. And keep in mind that solitaires are less expensive than embellished options, like three-stone rings.

DOUBLE DUTY

Who says you have to have an engagement ring and a wedding band? One hot new trend is opting for a beautiful wide band with multiple rows of diamonds instead of a single, thin band. Another favorite - rings with a split shank. This is where the band actually splits in half, creating a wider ring base. Not only does it look amazing, it also adds to the width of the ring!

ROUGH CUTS

Perfect for the earth-friendly, nature-loving bride-to-be, rough-cut diamonds can be just as gorgeous. These diamonds haven't been cut or polished, so they look just how they did when they were found. This organic style is becoming more and more fashionable as couples strive to become more eco-conscious. While prices vary, you can find a small, rough-cut diamond for as little as $600.

COLORED GEMSTONES

Add some flair to a traditional ring with a colored gemstone. Whether she's all about the bling or more sophisticated and subdued, there's a perfect hue for your bride-to-be. For a sweet, simple style, try a violet or pink stone like kunzite, topaz or tourmaline. More delicate options are yellow or orange spinel, garnet and citrine. Want to wow her? Go for deep gray or black smoky quartz or spessartite. Other trends: green peridot, garnet, emerald, blue sapphire, chalcedony, aquamarine and rich red ruby or rubellite. With colored stones, you'll most likely get a more impressive-sized rock for your money.

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(For wedding-planning advice, tools, photos, and more, visit WeddingChannel.com.)

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