Engagement ring buying guide

At Forum Jewellers, we know that choosing an engagement ring can be as nerve-wracking as it is exciting. That’s why we’ve used our many years of experience to put together a guide that tells you everything you need to know about picking the perfect engagement ring.

There are several different styles of engagement ring (not to mention infinite possibilities when you create a custom design), but the most popular options are Single Stone, 3 stone, and Halo. Picking the right style for your partner is a hugely personal choice, diamonds are the most classic and traditional gemstone for an engagement ring. However, there are no rules for this and you may want to consider a colour gemstone, maybe the birthstone of the one who you are proposing to or a stone that has a lot of meaning to them.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

Can you tell me about diamonds?

Written below are the four C’s which are how diamonds are graded and priced. Here at Forum Jewellers we have over 40 years experience in selling diamonds, so when you come to view rings in store we will happily explain it in person.

Choosing a diamond

The four Cs Diamonds are measured by four factors:

Carat:  This is the weight of the diamond. 100 points equals 1 carat.

Colour:  The most sought-after white diamonds are colourless. They are graded by letter:

  • D-E – exceptional white
  • F-G – rare white
  • H – white
  • I-J – slightly tinted white
  • K-L – tinted white
  • M-Z – tinted

At Forum Jewellers, we focus on quality diamonds in the D-H range.

Cut:  There are more than 10 different shapes of diamond, including:

Each cut will reflect the light in a different way, giving a unique effect. The most popular diamond shape for an engagement ring is the round, brilliant cut, and the most popular style is the classic diamond solitaire ring.


When diamonds are created by carbon, the result isn’t always a clear gemstone. Deposits (known as ‘inclusions’) may form a ‘black spot’ and, as such, each diamond is unique. The rarest and most valuable diamonds have the least inclusions.

What metal should I choose?

Jewellery trends change, but at the moment the most popular metals for engagement rings is platinum. A good starting point would be to look at your partner’s jewellery collection (if they have one) to see which what colour metal they wear the most.

What is the difference between the metals?
White Gold vs Platinum vs Yellow Gold

White Gold
White gold is plated with rhodium, giving a bright white appearance, and is a cousin metal of Platinum. Over time, this plating will wear off showing a yellow hue, but it can be re-plated/re-rhodiumed by us at any time.

Platinum is rarer than gold. It is naturally extremely white, so it does not tarnish and is naturally hypoallergenic. It can also make the diamond appear brighter and is also harder wearing than gold due to its denseness.

Yellow Gold
There is no difference in price between yellow and white gold. Yellow gold engagement rings went out of fashion in the 1990s but is currently enjoying a comeback. It will be down to personal preference so take a look at the colour of jewellery your loved one wears.

How much should I spend?

The old adage stated that you should budget for three months’ salary. However, this is not a hard and fast rule! At Forum, we currently have a range of stunning engagement rings priced from around £300 to £9,999! So, there is a ring for every budget.

Can I spread the cost of buying the ring?

Yes. We offer 10 months Interest Free Credit – this facility is currently only available in store.

How do I know which size to buy?

Don’t worry about the ring size – find the ring you like, gift it and then return to the shop with the recipient and we will then measure their finger and either size if we have one in stock or order the ring in the required size.

What if they say no, or don’t like the ring?

In the unfortunate situation either of these scenarios happen, don’t worry. Simply return the ring and all the packaging and paperwork to us for a full refund, or we can exchange the ring for an alternative.

When and where should I propose?

When you propose is entirely up to you, but most people choose a significant date such as an anniversary or another day that means a lot to you as a couple. Surprisingly, given its romantic connotations, we’ve found that, in the UK, Valentine’s Day isn’t the most popular day to propose. Christmas Day is actually the most popular!

Fun fact:
Leap Day (29th February) is traditionally when women have the opportunity to propose. Don’t let that stop you though; we say, if you’re in love and the time is right, it shouldn’t matter who proposes!

As for the perfect place, it’s a good idea to think about how public you’d like the proposal to be. If your partner is a shy, private person, it might be better to pop the question on a quiet country walk rather than in the middle of a busy restaurant.

Think about activities and places that are special to you as a couple. If you both enjoy hiking, why not take a romantic walk along the Jurassic Coast (if you’re a Dorset local) before proposing over a picnic lunch? If the two of you have a favourite spot (perhaps the place you went on your first date), why not take them there? The perfect proposal in one that is heartfelt and reflects you both as a couple.

Should I insure my engagement ring?

We always recommend that you insure your engagement ring so that it is covered in the event of loss, theft or damage. You can either take insurance out with us at the time of purchase or add the ring to your home contents policy.


If the proposal is successful and you return to us for your wedding rings you’ll receive 10% off your wedding rings and an annual FREE ring clean.

We hope we have helped you understand the process of buying an engagement ring a little more clearly but if you have any questions, we are always here to support you. Just pop in store, complete the form below or call us on 01202 600350.

Make it personal

Did you know you could design your own stunning engagement ring?

At Forum Jewellers, we offer a bespoke engagement ring design service. What could be a more special symbol of your love than a custom ring that’s been designed with your partner in mind? Totally personal and you can incorporate significant symbols

A completely unique ring will not only be a great talking point but will almost certainly become a cherished family heirloom.

The engagement ring on the right is a stunning design we created for a very happy bride-to-be. You can read more about the process of creating a bespoke engagement ring here.

Forum Jewellers Broadstone

At Forum Jewellers, it’s all about our love for jewellery and people. Because we are so knowledgable about all our jewellery, you are assured of exceptional customer service – we’ve even won awards for it! We take the time to really get to know our customer’s requirements with trust, honesty…and no hard sell.

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