3 Carat Diamond Ring – Shopping And Price Guide

When it comes to buying an engagement ring, nothing is more daunting than making sure you made the right decisions. After all, we are talking about spending thousands of dollars (or even hundreds of thousands of dollars) on a special and emotional purchase.

Now, if you are in the market for a 3 carat diamond ring, you are going to LOVE this article. Because today, I’m going to reveal the insights to buying a three carat diamond (the right way) and help you avoid costly mistakes.

Here at Beyond4cs.com, we utilize a scientific approach to buying diamonds instead of relying on marketing BS. The best thing is, this isn’t rocket science. Click here to read up on the use of Idealscope and ASET imagery to determine a diamond’s light performance.

How Much is a 3 Carat Diamond Ring?

Before I reveal the guidelines to choosing a 3 carat diamond, let me address the biggest question most consumers are concerned about; pricing. So, how much does a three carat diamond engagement ring costs? Well, it depends.

You see, the price of a 3 carat diamond ring varies according to the diamond’s quality. Typically, it will range between tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Let me show you an example of a diamond with perfect specifications in color, clarity. This D, internally flawless diamond costs an astounding $243,970 because of its rare material properties.

d internally flawless 3 carat diamond ring price

Obviously, diamonds with similar specifications will be in the higher end of the cost spectrum. What if you don’t have an excess of $200,000 to plunk out for a jewelry purchase?

Well, the good news is, you can still buy an affordable 3 carat diamond at a fraction of that cost. All you need to do is to be smart and balance out the 4Cs. Check out the next diamond…

3 carats i vs2 diamond pricing

This I colored stone is one that I would highly recommend to people looking for a large diamond on a budget. The cut quality and light performance of this stone is great. More importantly, it is a much more affordable 3 carat diamond compared to the D/IF option.

With that understanding, let’s move on to the things you need to bear in mind when making selections…

The 3 Golden Rules to Buying a Three Carat Diamond Ring

Rule #1 – Never Buy “Uncertified” or Diamonds With Dubious Grading Reports

trap diamond scamOne prevalent problem in the industry is that unethical jewelers abuse inflated appraisals and certificates obtained from unreliable gemological labs like EGL.

Here’s a fact.

Everyday, unsuspecting consumers get scammed and ripped off by jewelers as a result of misrepresentation. Believe me, I’ve seen this happen time and time again where jewelers exploit a consumer’s greed. And I say this from experience because I frequently receive emails from these people asking for help.

Don’t let the next victim be you!

To prevent such problems from ever occurring to you, buy diamonds that are only graded by GIA or AGSThese 2 gemological labs are highly respected and authoritative because of their reliable grading standards.

This means you know exactly what you are getting when the grading report says an I color VS2 clarity. In contrast, diamonds with in-house appraisals or certificates from unreliable labs like EGL have grossly inflated grades; giving consumers the illusion of “cheaper” diamonds when they are in fact paying more for lower quality diamonds!

Rule #2 – Cut is Always KING

The most important factor that determines a diamond’s beauty and sparkle is CUT; not color nor clarity.

I’m emphasizing this because many consumers have a misconception that better color and/or clarity automatically equates to a more beautiful diamond. This isn’t true.

Let me illustrate why by using these 2 diamonds as examples…

d if 3 carat diamond

D color; Internally flawless – $223,540

three carat i vs2 fifty thousand

I color; VS2 clarity – $48,240


If you didn’t know better, you would probably expect a D color internally flawless diamond to be the “perfect” choice. After all, it costs a whopping $200k and what could possibly go wrong? Right?

Well, as you can see for yourself, the D colored IF diamond displays excessive darkness under its table facet. This “perfect” diamond has mediocre proportions and suffers from sub-par light performance.

In contrast, the I colored VS2 diamond on the right only costs a fraction of the D colored diamond. But, it is a thousand times more appealing to look at. In terms of light performance, I can assure you the I colored diamond will take the cake in a side-by-side comparison.

The bottomline is; a diamond doesn’t need perfect color or clarity to look great. These are factors that determine their rarity in the supply chain and their corresponding “value” because of demand and supply.

Rule #3 – Buy Online: Better Selections, Prices And Quality

Wait… What? Am I crazy?

I know some naysayers would argue that I’m nuts to even suggest making such a huge purchase online. Well, guess what? These people are missing out on the best way to cherry pick diamonds and getting better value out of their money.

Of course, you don’t have to take my words for it. In fact, I want to pose a challenge to you. Head to your local jewelry store and ask for a 3 carat diamond ring to be shown to you. Do leave a comment to let me know if you have any luck finding one within your exact specifications. (i.e. a three carat F/VS2 GIA triple excellent or G/SI1 AGS 000 etc…)

I’m willing to bet you are going to have a tough time finding a store with large sized diamond rings in stock. Even if they do, you will probably have a measly one or two options available to choose from.

And let me tell you, the odds of finding a well-cut diamond in a local store are heavily stacked against you.

The proof is always in the pudding. James Allen and Enchanted Diamonds are 2 awesome vendors with exceptional service standards and diamond selections. Check them out for yourself…

Why Shopping For a 3 Carat Diamond Online Is The Way to Go

If you’re serious about getting the best diamond (in terms of value and cut quality) within your budget, you need to take on a systematic approach in making selections. Make sure you read the step-by-step guide I had written here

Now, there are a few reasons why shopping for a three carat diamond online is a wiser move than shopping at a physical store.

First of all, you can easily get access to diamonds with a variety of color/clarity combination. This means you have the ability to cherry pick the best stone (for your budget) out of all available options as opposed to having an extremely limited selection at local stores.

Do you want to be “forced” to buy that 3 carat D/IF diamond if it is the only available option when you are looking for a G/VS2 stone or vice versa? I’m sure you don’t.

Online vendors like James Allen and Enchanted Diamonds are places where you can get instant access to hundreds of 3 carat diamonds at the click of few mouse buttons. Click this link to view all available three carat stones instantly…

hundreds of certified loose diamonds

A massive selection of three carat diamonds in all shapes and sizes become instantly available.

Secondly, you get to inspect diamonds at a level of detail that far exceeds what you can experience at local stores. Yep, that’s right. And the best part is, you don’t even need to use a loupe or strain your eyes when examining diamonds!

Click on the image below and try it for yourself…

easy interface to inspect diamond under magnification

Interact with the diamond under 10X magnification and see details like never before!

Here’s where things get even better. Besides high definition videos, vendors like Enchanted Diamonds and James Allen also provide tangible cut data you can use for analysis. This is a huge plus point since it enables you to make rational decisions away from pushy sales people.

gia certified excellent cut round j si1 listing

arrows patterning slightly crooked misaligned
heart patterning defects assymetrical
aset image ideal cut three carat

With tangible information like these, it takes the guesswork out of buying diamonds. For your convenience, you can also use reference charts I had compiled on ASET, Idealscope and optical symmetry to perform your own comparisons.

James Allen and Enchanted Diamonds are highly recommended vendors who feature real videos/photographs of their diamond listings. Their intuitive websites and awesome sales policies are reasons why they keep earning raving reviews from their customers.

Go Big Without the Cost of a 3 Carat Engagement Ring

As you can see, the price of a well-cut 3 carat diamond ring (with decent clarity/color) may still be out of reach to most people. Fortunately, there’s more than one way to wear three carats of diamonds on your finger (or at least, create the illusion of wearing a three carat ring).

1. Skip The Solitaire

The bulk of an engagement ring’s price is largely determined by the center stone. More importantly, prices increase exponentially as carat size goes up. By choosing a 3-stone ring or a band with pavé diamonds, you can achieve a total weight of 3 carats and pay 50% less than than a single 3 carat solitaire ring.

3 carat engagement rings with channel setting

With a 2 carat diamond as the center stone, you can get a 3 ctw ring at significantly lower prices.

2. Use a Halo or Cluster Setting to Create a Larger Look

Size does matter when it comes to buying diamonds. And I’m speaking in terms of pricing and a lady’s desire. If you can’t afford a 3 carat ring, there are ways to achieve the look of a large diamond with the correct setting.

Check out the halo ring design below…

halo engagement ring with 3 carat appearance

When seen from a distance, the halo diamonds make the center diamond appear like a single large stone.

Three Carat Diamond Engagement Ring Designs And Ideas

Before we wrap things up, I want to show you some great looking ring designs for 3 carat diamonds in the market. Hopefully, this can help spur some ideas to help you find your dream ring.

Platinum Princess Shaped 3-Stone Channel Set Engagement Ring

3 carat princess cut diamond ring

This ring design features 2 princess cut diamonds beside the main center stone to create an accent effect. Flanking the center stage diamonds are 8 princess cut melees set in channels.

14K White Gold Pave Set Engagement Ring (Cushion Center)

3 carat cushion cut diamond ring

With a beautifully crafted halo to emphasize the diamond’s shape, this ring provides a ton of brilliance in a refined manner. An ideal choice if you are someone looking for a glamorous 3 carat cushion cut diamond ring.

14K White Gold Sapphire Bezel Solitaire Diamond Ring

floral shanks three carat solitaire ring

This stunning ring showcases a designer floral shank and an impressive crown-like mounting. Melee diamonds are encrusted on each of the 6 prongs to give the ring an all-round sparkle. To add the icing on the cake, an enticing color contrast is created by carefully positioned sapphires.

To see more designs and find your dream engagement ring, click here to visit James Allen today! Their online shopping experience is second to none. If you need a second opinion or require assistance to pick out a diamond, feel free to drop me an email. I’ll do my best to help you out.

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14 Comments

  1. Patrick Byrne-
    September 7, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    I recently came across some three carat solitaire engagement rings on sale for around $20,000. The jeweler claims that I’m getting a wholesale pricing for the last few cushion cut rings he has on hand. Sounds like a great deal but I thought I better run it through you. Your opinion is highly valued.

  2. Paul Gian-
    September 8, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Without knowing specifications, there’s no way I can tell you whether this deal is worth it. Chances are, you are going to get ripped off. Wholesale scams are pretty rampant in the industry and what you are describing to me sounds like a textbook trick for misrepresentation by the seller.

    http://beyond4cs.com/engagement-ring/beware-of-cheap-diamond-deals/

  3. carolyne-
    January 12, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    Hi Paul,
    Please explain today’s article on buying a 3ct diamond. You gave two examples with GIA certificates. Diamond 1 : color D and clarity IF priced at $223.540 and Diamond 2 : color I and vs2 clarity, priced at $48.240.
    When I looked at the GIA certificate of diamond 1 there is nothing about the cut, so one doesn’t know if it is excellent cut, very good cut or good cut. But on the GIA certificate of diamond 2, we have the cut which is excellent. I believe that cut is the most important of the 4 Cs, it gives the sparkle and brilliance. May I ask why was the cut omitted from the GIA certificate for that quarter million dollar diamond ?
    Carolyne

  4. Paul Gian-
    January 13, 2016 at 5:45 am

    The D IF diamond priced at $223,540 has the following certificate: GIA 13112751

    This GIA grading report is very old and dated to 2004. At that time, cut grading standards weren’t established yet. GIA only introduced the cut grade around 2006-2007.

    Anyway, if you have a discerning eye, you don’t even need to look at the grading report to see that this diamond is poorly cut.

    Hope that clears things up!

  5. Carolyne-
    January 25, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Thanks Paul,
    Now I know GIA certificates issued before 2006 do not carry the cut grading, no one has ever mentioned this before ! I’ll be more careful when I buy GIA certified diamonds at estate sales or auctions. Every day we learn something new !
    Thanks again.
    Carolyne

  6. Tobias Armstrong-
    March 3, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    I had no idea that there were even guides for how to buy a 3 carat diamond ring. That thing must be absolutely massive, not to mention super expensive. The fact that you can spend that much money on a little rock kinda blows my mind, honestly. If you’ve got the money though, I say why not! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Tina-
    March 16, 2016 at 1:05 am

    Hi Paul
    Which is better value, a 2 carat solitaire or a 3 stone 1 carat each ring. Both have the same colour and clarity.
    Thanks Tina

  8. Paul Gian-
    March 23, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Depends on color/clarity combination. In general, I would say the 2 carat solitaire would be more valuable.

  9. Tibbe van Daatselaar-
    June 10, 2016 at 3:47 am

    How much does a 3 carat diamond cost if it is offered as a 2nd hand sale? The diamond is 3.10 carat, G color, VS2 clarity. I was offered a deal from a jeweler for my trade in.

  10. Paul Gian-
    June 10, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    The factors that decide how much a 3 carat diamond ring costs is decided by quite a number of factors. Most importantly, who issued the grading report for that stone? Is it GIA? Is it HRD? Is it some unknown gem lab which misrepresents the diamond’s true quality? Read the pricing article that can be accessed from the navigation panel and find out the details you need before making any purchase.

    If you make an impulse purchase, you will likely end up on the losing side of the transaction.

  11. Jane Mc.Coy-
    November 8, 2016 at 3:14 am

    Do you have any graphical illustrations on how big is a 3 carat diamond ring when it is worn? Also, I’m trying to look for information on how big a three carat oval diamond is beside a round cut.

  12. Paul Gian-
    November 8, 2016 at 3:17 am

    If you want to know how big a 3 carat diamond is, go to this url: http://beyond4cs.com/carat/size-chart/ and you will be able to see them in real life sizes.

  13. Rebecca Holtorf-
    August 3, 2017 at 1:43 am

    How would I go about getting the setting without the stones? I have my own diamonds.

  14. Paul Gian-
    August 3, 2017 at 4:24 am

    Get in touch with the vendors to see how this may be arranged. I would have to warn you against this as there is some skill and art in selecting the diamonds used so that they match each other to create a great looking piece. If you supply your own stones, you need to keep this in mind (I’m not sure how you bought those stones or your degree of diamond knowledge).

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