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.
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.
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…
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…
Rule #1 – Never Buy “Uncertified” or Diamonds With Dubious Grading Reports
One 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 AGS. These 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…
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.
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 Blue Nile 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…
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…
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 Blue Nile 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.
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.
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.
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…
When seen from a distance, the halo diamonds make the center diamond appear like a single large stone.
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
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)
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
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.
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.
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.
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 ?
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!
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 !
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!
Which is better value, a 2 carat solitaire or a 3 stone 1 carat each ring. Both have the same colour and clarity.
Depends on color/clarity combination. In general, I would say the 2 carat solitaire would be more valuable.
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.
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.
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.
If you want to know how big a 3 carat diamond is, go to this url: https://beyond4cs.com/carat/size-chart/ and you will be able to see them in real life sizes.
How would I go about getting the setting without the stones in India? I have my own diamonds.
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).
I have a 3-carat diamond that I paid $18,000 for 25 years ago. I was offered $9,000 by a local Indian jeweler. Why would he make such a low offer to me? Guess he has to make a profit too, but it sure annoyed me.
Well, I don’t know details but what I know for a fact is most diamonds are marked up too high to begin with. From what I see based on experience, most consumers would be lucky to get 50% or even 40% of their money back in an attempt to sell off their diamonds.