Would you like to know how much you would pay for a 3-carat diamond?
You have come to the right place!
In this guide, we shall cover topics such as:
- Main factors that affect 3 carat diamond ring price
- How the shape of a diamond affects its cost
- Tips on how to save money when buying a 3-carat diamond
In this Guide
What Affects 3 Carat Diamond Ring Price?
Most people think that all diamonds cost the same, or at least that a 3-carat diamond should cost 3x the price of a 1-carat diamond. That is not quite the case.
The math would be correct if the cost of a diamond was entirely dependent on the carat weight, but that is not how costing works. The final price of a diamond is arrived at based on a few things. The main factors that affect the diamond price are the 4Cs of diamond quality.
The 4Cs were invented by the world’s leading resource in diamonds and gemology, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). GIA is the most reliable in the diamond industry and sets the quality standards that all diamonds follow.
In the past, diamonds did not shine the way they do today because there were no diamond cutters who would shape them to get the most sparkle. This is the reason kings and queens in the past never adorned diamonds, they chose colored gemstones instead.
GIA then invented ideal cut diamonds by creating the 4Cs of diamond quality. The 4Cs represent Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat.
Diamond color is based on individual preference and hence the issue of saving costs is flexible. The diamond’s integrity will not be altered by its color. Color has a direct effect on the value of the diamond.
The GIA groups diamond color grades into 5- Light Yellow (S-Z), Very Light Yellow (N-R), Faint Yellow (KLM), Near Colorless (GHIJ), and Colorless (DEF). the light-yellow diamonds start to fall into the realm of yellow fancy-colored diamonds.
A 3-carat diamond is big, if the diamond is a faint yellow grade like K, it would look more yellow than a 1-carat diamond of the same color grade. See below how the two are compared. Can you identify which one looks more yellow?
Generally, very few people would settle for a tinted yellow diamond. However, some people of color would prefer warm color grades that compliment their skin tone. This is great because they get to save money too.
In general, a big faint yellow diamond is not considered high quality but good quality.
Diamond color is dependent on the owner of the diamond but we can still recommend it. If you want a 3-carat diamond that will look colorless, I suggest you settle for a G color grade.
H and I color grades may also look colorless but be careful if the 3-carat jewelry has other diamonds in it, for example, a halo setting ring.
I wouldn’t go for a halo setting ring because I prefer the stone in front and at the center. Maybe you can think about buying melee diamonds since they have better diamond grades.
The stones can offset a diamond with low color grades by appearing whiter and brighter than the center stone and make it appear uglier than if it were in a solitaire setting.
Even if I think you should buy a G color grade, you should always view the diamond yourself. Some people notice a yellow tint faster than others. Also, check how it looks with the setting.
Save Money on 3 Carat Diamond Color Cost
If your budget does not allow it, you can save money on the diamond color cost by dropping the color grade from G to H. you can also do color grade I only that you will have started leaning to the yellow tint.
Instead of sticking to the traditional white gold setting for your engagement ring, switch to yellow gold. Yellow gold makes a low color grade diamond look more colorless.
When buying diamonds from brick and mortar stores, it is as difficult to save money as it is to save clarity costs. The cost may be high because these stores don’t have a wide selection of diamonds. The traffic in such stores is high such that it is hard to compare and contrast.
They set their own rules to be followed about how many rings they can release.
When you shop online, there are no rules, no pressure and you will have enough time to compare several color grades of 3-carat diamonds. Some online stores will let you compare two diamonds.
360-degree rotation comes in handy when you want to see how the light hits the diamond and how the color goes through. For example, you might see an HD image of a diamond with color grade I and think it’s colorless. When you see the same diamond rotating live you will see that it looks yellower.
The viewers do not represent the exact thing, you may end up with a diamond that is more tinted than the one you saw online. Sometimes the naked eyes could see something different when the diamond is finally delivered. Make sure you buy the diamond from a trusted online retailer that offers a good return policy in case this happens.
Clean Origin, the best seller of lab diamonds gives 100days to return the diamond if not satisfied. James Allen and Blue Nile have shorter return periods lasting 30 days. Ritani will have the diamond picked by FedEx to take it back if you get what you did not expect.
Of all the 4Cs of diamonds, clarity is the easiest to understand for customers. During the process of diamond formation, some crystals and minerals get trapped inside and become part of the diamond as it grows. The traces of crystals and minerals are referred to as inclusions. Internal inclusions are in the diamond itself and appear as if they are floating.
External inclusions also referred to as blemishes affect the durability of a diamond. The blemishes can be manmade or natural. manmade blemishes result from the diamond cutting process. There are various types of inclusions.
If you view a 3-carat diamond under a 10x magnifier and you see very slight inclusions, consider it an eye-clean diamond. Eye-clean diamonds are the best quality and the most expensive as long as all the other 3Cs are high too.
GIA developed the following standard clarity grades from the clearest to the most blemished: Flawless (F), Internally Flawless (IF), Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1, VVS2, VS1, and VS2), Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2), and Included (I1, I2, and I3).
Very few times will you hear a diamond is referred to as an SI3 diamond, they are just the same quality as I diamond. Most online diamond retailers will not sell you an I clarity diamond since they look ugly.
Surprisingly, megastores like to put I diamonds at the front and center of their stores. Kay Jewelers and Zales are common sellers of these diamonds. When I was working at Kay, I was once told the store does not carry any diamonds below I clarity, but they don’t have any above I too.
Shopping with a mega-store will have you looking at about $7000 for a 1-carat solitaire that has no certificate. The same diamond will cost you $3,000 or less if you buy from James Allen.
Because if you find any I clarity diamond costing that much at a mega store, know you are being ripped off.
Save Money on 3 Carat Diamond Clarity Cost
You already know by now that eye-clean diamonds are not necessarily flawless or free of inclusions. This is the best news that any diamond buyer can receive. There is not much difference between a VS2 clarity 3-carat diamond and an IF clarity 3-carat diamond. The two diamonds look similar to the eye.
Settle for a good diamond clarity as long as the 3-carat diamond does not have any blemishes or inclusions that will affect the diamond’s durability. To save cost, make sure you view the diamond before you buy. You can do it in a physical store or using a 360-degree viewer online to see where the inclusions are before you buy.
There are several times different customers wanted to return a ring because they realized it had a black spot in the diamond. However, this is considered normal for a natural I clarity diamond. In mega stores, you don’t get the freedom to choose a diamond from a bunch of loose diamonds. It adds o the costs that the store has to incur and that will reflected in the final high price of the diamond.
In some corporate jewelry stores, a sales rep may even tell you that there are no eye-clean 3-carat SI1 diamonds, they will even say that all diamonds look like SI diamonds.
This is totally wrong.
Maybe you will come across several diamonds that look like that. SI is viewed as eye-clean but it does not mean that they don’t exist. You will find Si diamonds if you have the right tools, a crystal clear 360-degree viewer, and the patience to shop in an online store.
James Allen and Blue Nile have the best 3600 viewers for their diamonds. They also have the largest collection of SI diamonds. You will be assured of saving thousands of dollars unlike if you shop from stores like Kay and Zales.
I can, with no doubt recommend that you get a 3-carat diamond with VS2 clarity grade. You may be lucky to find Si diamonds since they are very rare. Most VS2 3 carat diamonds are eye clean for that diamond size.
Diamond cut quality is the most important factor but not the most cost-effective. Cut refers to the way the diamond was cut from rough but it can also relate to the shape of the diamond.
Diamond cut is the most important quality factor since it directly affects the beauty of the diamond. Diamond cutters look at 7 important factors when determining the cut quality: fire, weight ratio, brightness, durability, scintillation, symmetry, and polish.
GIA acknowledges 5 cut grades namely Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good, and Ideal/Excellent.
Excellent/Ideal cuts are the best. It refers to a round diamond that is cut and faceted to exact proportions. An Ideal cut diamond features no extra or misshapen facets. It is the commonest diamond shape in the jewelry industry because it looks classy and has unparalleled brilliance.
Excellent cut and ideal cut diamonds are the most expensive and are important to the foundation of the diamond.
Lower cut quality grades have less brilliance and are prone to damage since they have uneven proportions. A 3-carat diamond is a large stone, and you probably want the best cut there is.
If your budget cannot manage an Excellent or ideal cut, a Very Good cut is preferable quality too. Other diamond shapes don’t have an officially recognized cut grade but some shops separate them depending on the cut grade. If this is the case, just look for anything that looks fancy and is labeled Ideal or Very Good.
If you shop from James Allen, you will find ideal cushion cut and ideal princess cut diamonds. These diamonds cuts are not officially recognized wince there is no exact symmetry like you would find with round diamonds.
Most time the quality of other cut-grade diamonds is determined by the length to width ratio, proportions, and symmetry.
For the ideal cut diamonds to give utmost brilliance, they have to meet and fit specified parameters that gemologists recommend. However, they are not similar to round diamonds.
If you want to buy the best cut diamonds, head over to Whiteflash. They have 3-carat diamonds costing up to $30,000 that have superior brilliance. Their Idealscope and ASET images make it possible to get a visual assessment of the diamond. The red and white colors show where the light passes through the diamond.
There are different ways retailers cam make the price of a 3-carat diamond go up or down. Check the video below for the cost comparison between Good, Very Good, and Excellent/Ideal cut diamonds with similar 3Cs. However, the cost is a rough estimate since other factors like symmetry and polish affect the price too.
Save Money on 3 Carat Diamond Cuts Cost
When it comes to diamond cut, I would advise that you don’t compromise. You can find a way to adjust color, clarity, and carat, but not cut. I suggest you buy a 3-carat stone, either Ideal cut or Very Good cut.
In fact, when you hear the retailer mention or when you see a label indicating Good cut, think of it as acceptable or decent. If it is Fair cut, think in terms of what it will do, it’s okay.
A diamond is supposed to send a powerful statement and not just “Decent”, “Okay”, or “It will do.” I don’t think a Good or Fair cut diamond would shine so powerful that it sends a huge statement.
a good-cut 3-carat diamond would not look as good as it would if it were a 1-carat diamond.
To save on a 3-carat diamond ring price, I recommend you go for a Very Good cut instead of Excellent or Ideal when selecting round diamonds. Just keep in mind that you will be sacrificing brilliance and beauty.
Diamond Carat Weight
Most customers think that the carat weight of the diamond is the same thing as the size of the diamond. Carat size means the width of the diamond from the face-up and is measured in millimeters. Carat weight is the weight of the diamond and is measured in milligrams. 3-carat diamond weighs .600 milligrams.
You can adjust diamond carat weight without negatively affecting the integrity of the diamond. The popular carats you will find are ½.3/4,1 and many more. Carat weights are measured in points in most jewelry shops.
Corporate jewelry stores like to sell the “dream diamond sizes” without allowing the customer to pick the carat weight.
The truth is that a 2.93-carat diamond and a 3.07-carat diamond are both considered 3-carat diamonds.
A change in the diamond shape results in a change in the carat size. When it comes to round diamonds, they do not retain most of the rough and so a 3-carat stone will look smaller than a 3-carat radiant cut diamond. The 3-carat radiant cut diamond will also cost less than a round brilliant cut.
Other diamonds shapes apart from the round cut are referred to as fancy shapes and are always less expensive than a round cut of the same grades. Many fancy-shaped diamonds retain more rough, thus they look bigger. See below how different diamond carat sizes are compared.
Generally, diamonds are priced per carat, but their prices are not an exact science. Some diamond sellers may tell you that you could get a 2-carat diamond at $7,180 for every carat. The same sellers will charge you $12,000 per carat for a 3-carat diamond, the price difference is huge.
Save Money on 3 Carat Weight Diamond Cost
You can save money when buying diamonds in several way, but when you must get a 3-carat diamond ring, it becomes a little tricky.
The best way to go is to shop from a retail shop that allows you to select the carat weight by carat points instead of buying dream sizes. You can save a few hundreds when buying 1 or 1.5-carat diamond.
When you go up the carat ladder to 2 or 3 carats, saving becomes harder. You may not be able to save when buying a 2.93-carat diamond.
The naked truth is, with diamond carat, there is no room for taking corners based on weight only. You will be better off keeping the proportions for the shape. Shop from a retailer that allows you to choose details including the table size, length to width ratio, and depth.
If you find a retailer that does not let you pick from their diamond collection, most likely they do not have the diamond specifications unless it is in the certificate. All online diamond retailers mentioned in this guide have all specifications front and center.
Other Factors to Consider
The carat size of a diamond depends on its shape, and the price too. You already know by now that the most expensive diamonds are round diamonds, but do you know the reason?
Most people wonder why there is such a huge difference when it comes to the price of round diamonds and other fancy shapes. I can tell you for sure it is not just because of the exact symmetry or the brilliance.
More diamond rough is removed when cutting a round diamond than in other shapes. The cost per carat of diamond increases with an increase in the amount of rough that needs to be removed.
To save on cost, you are better off buying a fancy shape diamond. Think about buying a cushion cut diamond, it is the most popular and affordable. Check out below a list of estimated prices of 3-carat diamonds depending on their shape. Keep in mind that these are just average prices.
The style of cutting a diamond also contributes to its shape. There are several ways of cutting a diamond, but the top 10 shapes are either brilliant-cut or step-cut. You may also be lucky to find a few others cut in a trapezoid shape.
A brilliant-cut diamond features a short, tiny facet. It has the most fire provided it has a high cut grade. A brilliant-cut diamond gives off a shiny or glittering effect.
Brilliant shapes include round, pear, princess, cushion, heart, trilliant, oval, and radiant-cut diamonds.
If you want lab diamonds, the best place to shop is James Allen or Clean Origin. Clean Origin has the best selection of 3-carat lab-created diamonds. You will also find larger carat weights and the best 3-carat diamond ring price.