When it comes to popping the question with the perfect ring, 3 carats is a couple steps beyond ‘modest’. Standing at more than double the current average for engagement rings, a diamond of this weight will look (and feel) exceptionally beautiful, luxurious, and conspicuous.
Opting for a 3 carat diamond is not for the faint of heart. Highly coveted within the world of fine jewelry, these diamonds are a little less common than some of the lower carat weights – and, in particular, the fan-favorite 1 carat stone – and, of course, significantly more expensive.
There are, however, plenty of ways of ensuring that the cost of your diamond does not skyrocket, and that you still find an excellent deal on your 3 carat engagement ring.
A well-proportioned Round Brilliant 3 carat diamond will boast a diameter of just over 9mm, while the highly popular Princess will measure approximately 8mm x 8mm.
Carat refers specifically to weight, with a single carat being equal to 0.2 grams. A 3 carat diamond, then, will weigh in at exactly 0.6 grams – not enough to weigh down your future bride’s finger like an anchor, but more than enough to draw the gaze of everyone within a 20 foot radius.
To put it into perspective, a Round Brilliant 3 carat diamond is about 1.2mm larger than a 2 carat diamond – or just under 2mm larger in diameter than a 1 carat diamond. While this may sound like a pretty small number, the difference is palpable, and a 3 carat diamond will possess an incredibly strong level of magnetism in any ring setting.
Prices will fall between $20,000 and $100,000 – or more in the case of a very high quality diamond – but, for a quality diamond, prices tend to start at around $30,000.
One thing that is important for any new buyer to note is that the price per carat of a 3 carat diamond will be higher than the price per carat of a 2 carat diamond. In other words, you can’t take the price per carat of a 2 carat diamond and multiply it by three. This is because diamond prices increase exponentially with carat weight – and the reason why a 3 carat diamond is not twice the price of a 1.5 carat diamond, or three times the price of a 1 carat diamond.
It is also important that you keep in mind that the lowest price for any given carat weight will be reserved for diamonds with significant flaws, such as discoloration and inclusions – or, of course, a poorly proportioned cut. We will talk about this in more detail below but, for now, keep in mind that diamonds with any of these issues represent a very poor choice, no matter how impressive they are in size.
When it comes to engagement rings, yes, a 3 carat diamond makes for a pretty extraordinary sight.
Whatever shape you choose – and whatever setting – a 3 carat diamond will be undeniably large, without looking excessive or like ‘too much’.
Opting for something like this classic Round Solitaire Engagement Ring will create a timelessly understated piece, while the sheer size of the diamond will generate a tremendous amount of sparkle, and allow you to appreciate the natural beauty of the stone. That extra weight means that every beautifully polished facet, and those seemingly endless depths of the diamond, will
Alternatively, a bolder choice like this Marquise Halo Engagement Ring in Rose Gold gives you the chance to make a strong statement. The higher carat weight makes it possible for you to show off every minute detail of an impeccably cut, and to make full use of a more unique shape in your design.
Not at all. First off, there’s no such thing as ‘too big’. Secondly, while 3 carats is a considerable size, it’s by no means ‘the limit’ for engagement rings.
Consider the fact that Hollywood-favorite Elizabeth Taylor sported a 33.19 carat diamond, and that should put to rest any fears of your ring turning out ‘too big’.
Also, the 3 carat diamond enjoys a great mid-point between the more modest sizes, and the celebrity-sized diamonds that can prove a little unwieldly away from the red carpet. It’s large enough for you to really appreciate the intricacies of a well-cut diamond, but the right size to prove comfortable during day to day wear.
If you’re still on the fence, then you can take a look at our guide to 2.5 carat diamond rings instead but, before you jump to any conclusions, it’s going to be a good idea for you to see one of these diamonds for yourself with the guidance of a local jeweler.
For a good quality diamond secured within a quality setting, you can expect to pay anywhere from $30,000+.
By now, it’s no doubt clear that a 3 carat diamond ring’s value hinges on many different variables. From the cut, clarity and color grades of the diamond, to any additional, smaller diamonds you choose to include with your setting, to the metal and design of the setting itself.
Is it worth the price? Absolutely. 3 carats is considerably larger than the national average and, even if ‘surpassing the Joneses’ couldn’t be further from your mind, the fact remains that a diamond of this weight will look truly magnificent on the finger of your future bride.
As always, there are areas where you can save some serious money, and areas where it’s not advisable. Clarity and color are both great areas to shave thousands of dollars off the final bill, but it’s important that you steer clear of the lower Cut grades or the ‘too good to be true’ deals you can find online.
So, where do you start? The place thing to do is begin by browsing through a wide range of GIA graded 3 carat diamonds, then taking advantage of our long list of contacts to find a reputable local jeweler who can talk you through your choice, your vision for the ring and, with the details ironed out, create the perfect engagement ring for your proposal.