3 Carat Diamond Rings: What You Need To Know

3 carat diamonds are a bold choice, but at this level of investment, choosing the best diamond can be challenging.

Unlike smaller carat weights, there are fewer diamonds available, which means a 3 carat diamond ring buyer needs to have their wits about them to ensure that they find the stone that strikes the best balance of beauty, visible size and value for money.

Personal service from an experienced diamond dealer can helpful to help navigate this, but this guide will give you an overview of things to consider when buying a 3 carat diamond ring, so you aren’t going into the process at a disadvantage.

Cost of a 3 Carat Diamond

To give you an idea, the price of a 3 carat diamond may be anywhere from $30,000 to $300,000.:

3 carat diamond price range

The actual price you pay will depend on the diamond’s carat weight, cut quality, color, clarity, and shape. Each person will have their own individual preference on the balance of these, which will have a significant effect on what the diamond actually looks like.

One of the biggest factors that affects that price of a diamond ring is the shape of the diamond itself. Below is a table displaying the cost of a 3 carat diamond with the following characteristics.

  • Excellent cut
  • VS1 Clarity
  • I Color
ShapePrice ($)Difference ($)Difference %
Emerald cut$26,300$7,00021%
Cushion Cut$25,300$8,00024%
Princess Cut$24,300$9,00027%

You can see that there is a significant difference in price even at the same carat weight.

3 carat diamond price comparison

Diamond prices fluctuate significantly over time with demand and supply, so the prices at the time you are looking may be quite different. However, the table above should give you a good guide to the relative price of different shapes for 3 carat diamonds.

Size of 3 Carat Diamonds

A common misconcept it that ‘carat’ is a measure of a diamond’s size.

It’s actually a measure of the diamond’s weight.

This is important to know because it means that an increase in carat weight is dispersed throughout the stone’s whole volume, both its visible breadth and its hidden depth.

This detail, although it may appear insignificant wen you first at first learn it, may dramatically impact the apparent size of your 3 carat diamond.

3 carat diamond size comparison

First of all, if we take a look at the difference in size between round diamonds that are 3, 4, and 5 carats, we can see that the visible size difference between a 2 and a 3 carat, or a 3 and a 4 carat, can be seen, but perhaps isn’t as significant as you might have assumed.

The increased depth of the diamonds accounts for a significant portion of the additional carat weight.

There is not much difference in size from one diamond to the next if you are gazing at a round, brilliant diamond. Each is precisely shaped to bounce light from the undersides up and into your eyes.

Diamonds that have been cut deeper, such as those with an Asscher cut, will conceal a greater percentage of their weight in the bottom of the stone, which is not visible. Cuts that are shallower or more elongated, such as an oval or an emerald cut, will seem wider.

For example, there may be a substantial amount of difference in size between non-round forms like oval and emerald cuts.

The following table provides an overview of the typical dimensions of diamonds weighing three carats, broken down by diamond shape.

ShapeDimensions (mm)Surface area (mm²)Difference (%)
Marquise14.68 x 7.34 x 4.4878.07 
Pear12.66 x 7.62 x 4.6572.63-5.43
Oval cut11.35 x 7.57 x 4.6272.59-5.48
Round9 x 9 x 5.4266.20-11.87
Radiant8 x 8 x 5.1263.28-14.78
Emerald cut9.16 x 6.78 x 4.4162.12-15.95
Heart8.99 x 8.99 x 5.461.21-16.86
Cushion cut7.9 x 7.9 x 5.0659.69-18.38
Princess cut7.47 x 7.47 x 5.3859.41-18.66
Asscher7.61 x 7.61 x 4.9556.74-21.33

In the same way that there is a considerable variation in the price of the various forms of 3-carat diamonds, there is also a substantial difference in the shapes themselves.

It’s hard to grasp the difference between these numbers alone. Therefore the illustration below illustrates the size differentiation between the various diamond shapes.

3 carat diamond shape comparison

Again, it is essential to remember that these are only the typical sizes of diamonds and that for shapes other than round and princess cuts, there may be a large amount of fluctuation in the apparent size of the diamonds.

3 Carat diamond rings on the hand

The wearer’s hand size will play a significant role in determining how a 3 carat diamond ring actually looks when worn.

As we’ve seen, different shapes look different sizes and there can be considerable differences even within an individual shape.

3 Carat Round Diamond Ring on the Hand

Since round diamonds of three carats are the widest of the standard diamond shapes, they give the illusion of being bigger than their more elongated counterparts.

3 carat round pave diamond ring on finger

3 Carat Oval Cut Diamond Ring on the Hand

Oval diamonds are currently one of the most popular shapes as their elongated shape makes them appear larger than most other diamond shapes at a particular carat weight.

3 carat oval cut diamond ring on finger

3 Carat Emerald Shaped Diamond Ring on the Hand

Another elongated shape, emerald cut diamonds can look quite significant on the finger at 3 carats, especially if they are chosen with visible size in mind.

3 carat emerald cut diamond ring on finger

3 Carat Cushion Cut Diamond Ring on the Hand

Cushion cuts generally look slightly smaller than round brilliant diamonds because of their squarer corners. These leave less of the carat weight available to contribute to the width of the diamond:

3 carat cushion cut diamond ring on finger

Diamond Clarity & 3 Carat Diamonds

The clarity scale quantifies the inclusions and blemishes that a diamond displays.

On a scale from perfect (the highest) to included (the lowest), where defects are readily apparent to the human eye, flawless at the top.

3 carat diamond clarity scale

Smaller diamonds often come in SI1 or SI2 clarity, where the diamond’s brilliance is unaffected by the clarity grade.

It is rare to locate SI1 clarity diamonds with 3-carat diamonds that do not have an inclusion that detracts from the stone’s attractiveness. These diamonds are more likely to have a cloud imperfection or an apparent crystal fault, both of which diminish the amount of light transported and, as a result, the sparkle.

Nonetheless, you can find them. I suggest starting with diamonds that have a clarity of SI1.

3 carat diamond ring clarity recommendation

It’s possible that you won’t be able to discover an appropriate SI1 and will thus have to improve the clarity. It is essential to be aware that an increase in clarity from SI1 to VS2 will have a much more significant impact on the price than an increase in transparency from VS1 to VS2 since you are entering an area where the majority of diamonds will be considered “eye clean.”

Diamond Color & 3 Carat Diamonds

Most diamonds used for rings fall into the colorless, very light, or near-colorless categories of the GIA-developed D to Z diamond color grading system.

3 carat diamond color scale

Diamonds with fewer reflective surfaces, such as the points of an oval, the corners of a cushion, or an emerald-cut diamond, tend to reveal color more readily than smaller stones.

Keeping the diamond’s color as high on the scale as feasible is essential if you want to avoid giving it a yellowish hue.

The flip side of the coin is the impact color has on cost and how even a slight shade variation may impact the final price tag.

There is a notable difference between moving from color grade I to H and color grade H to G, even though both are just one grade.

I color is an excellent compromise between being white enough so that it doesn’t seem yellow and without spending more than necessary for most 3-carat diamonds set in a white-colored ring setting (platinum or white gold).

3 carat diamond color recommendation

If you’re going for a yellow-gold, you can typically get away with a K color without the yellowish hues.

Diamond Cut Quality & 3 Color Diamonds

The amount is one of the most crucial elements when shopping for a round diamond since it defines its brilliance.

3 carat diamond cut quality

Even at 3-carats, I advise putting a lot of thought into the diamond’s cut and shooting for “excellent” or “perfect” to shine as brightly as possible.

Compared to round diamonds, diamonds of other shapes are more transparent to purchase since they are not a more significant cut grade.

This aspect of the diamond is referred to as the “make” in the industry, and you must get a high-quality stone.

Issues that are less serious at lesser carat weights are magnified.

For example, the bow tie on an oval diamond is massively apparent in a 3-carat oval diamond than in a 2-carat oval diamond:

3 carat diamond oval bow tie

Working with a personalized service that will take you through selecting a diamond may be advantageous since they can guarantee that you avoid any typical traps. In other words, working with such a service can help you find the perfect diamond.

Varieties of Ring Settings for a Three Carat Diamond

When shopping for a ring, it’s important to remember that the more the diamond weight, the more careful planning may be required for the setting.

3 Carat Solitaire Diamond Ring

A solitaire setting is ideal for a three-carat diamond since it highlights the stone to its fullest potential.

Extremely thin bands and prongs are all the rage right now, and for a good reason: they draw the eye away from the setting and onto the stone.

3 carat solitaire diamond ring

They may be quite attractive, but with larger carat weights, the band may not be sturdy enough to hold the stone if it is too tight. In addition, it might become unpleasant if it twists on your finger.

We suggest you go with a band at least 2.5 millimetres wide if you plan on mounting your 3-carat diamond in a solitaire setting.

One technique is a broader band at the bottom that narrows towards the diamond (as shown).

3 Carat Halo Diamond Ring

Regarding 3-carat halo rings, it is just as crucial to ensuring that the side stones’ color matches the centre stone’s color as in pave settings.

3 carat halo diamond ring

The size of the ring when the halo is placed should also be considered.

A halo may make a ring appear more prominent and stunning, even with a lower diamond weight. Of course, trying on a ring with a 3-carat diamond and a halo to make sure it doesn’t seem too big isn’t strictly essential, but it’s still an excellent idea.

3 Carat Pavé-Set Diamond Ring

When purchasing a diamond with paving or channel setting or any diamond with side stones, it is crucial to ensure that the side stones’ colors closely match the centre stone’s color.

3 carat pave diamond ring

It doesn’t have to be a perfect match, but having side stones that are too many grades above the centre stone can cause the latter to seem more yellow.

For example, when purchasing a pave setting off the shelf, the side stones are often between the colors of G and H. In this instance, a centre stone with an I color would likely seem more yellow than side stones with a G hue.

As far as possible, strive to maintain the color grade of the accent stones the same as the central stone.