A Guide to Buy 3 Carat Diamond Rings
Diamonds are flawless, elegant natural treasures and their innate beauty is undeniable. They are the quintessential choice for an engagement ring- and rightly so. What else can symbolize eternal love if not a timeless diamond?
Diamond rings can come in all sizes, shapes, carats, and settings. The average carat for a ring is one carat but if your budget allows for it, a three-carat ring is breathtaking.
What is a Three-Carat Diamond Ring?
Carats are a unique measurement system used only for diamonds and gemstones. It is the quantification of the weight of the diamond. For example, one-carat diamond is 200mg, two carats is 400mg, and a three-carats is 600mg, etc. A three-carat diamond ring on hand weighs almost as much as a dollar bill.
When listing diamond weight, jewelers use either Ct or Ctw. Ct signifies a single-stone, one-carat diamond ring. Ctw denotes the total carat weight in the ring inclusive of all the diamonds in the jewel. For example, if your diamond ring has a halo setting, the Ctw would include the main diamond and the weight of the surrounding stones.
A diamond carat measures weight, whereas size describes its physical appearance. The cut or shape of a diamond determines its size but the carat is independent of this.
Diamonds are graded on the following characteristics: cut, carat, color, and clarity (or the 4Cs). Here’s a brief breakdown of how these attributes matter in relation to a three-carat diamond ring.
A three-carat diamond ring is roughly the same size as the head of a thumbtack but varies for each cut. In comparison to others, a three-carat diamond ring is considered big! Most rings are between 0.25-1.5 carats and sometimes up to 2 carats but 3 carats is quite remarkable.
Diamonds come in all colors: steel gray, blue, yellow, red, purple, white, green, pink, brown, orange, and black. Even with all of these available colors, the most valued diamonds are colorless.
Color grading is a scale that determines how colorless a diamond is. GIA’s scale for color grading is the industry standard for diamonds and gemstones. The scale ranges from D-Z (colorless to light yellow). Most labs follow this classification and so a D-graded diamond is the best choice.
Less than 1% of all diamonds mined are a grade D or E making them quite rare. Diamond roughs that can be used to cut a three-carat diamond are even rarer making the three-carat colorless diamond extremely sought after.
Although colorless diamonds are ideal, three-carat diamond rings in the G-I range also freely reflect light and are passable as colorless.
As we’ve discussed, the cut of the three-carat diamond is extremely important. It can change the size (visual appearance) of the diamond making it seem bigger or smaller than others.
Selecting a diamond shape is purely based on personal choice as each has its own, unique, characteristics. Rings with a particular diamond shape suit some people better than others but this is purely on what the buyer finds attractive.
Diamond Cut - The Round Brilliant Cut
The round brilliant cut is the most common in diamond rings. The round cut has 52 facets and is symmetrical in nature. They have more brilliance than fire and form two-thirds of the diamonds that are sold annually.
A round brilliant cut, three-carat diamond in the solitaire setting is the most romantic and timeless requisition of love. It's a dramatic gesture that displays a profound knowledge of diamonds.
Every cut other than the traditional round brilliant cut is considered a fancy cut.
Diamond Cut - The Oval Cut
The oval cut is a sleek and dashing cut with an elongated design. Compared to the classic round shape, an oval cut is rare but not more expensive. It also has most of the same properties- 58 facets and unique brilliance. This gives them most of the same visual properties as a round diamond but with more surface area.
An oval cut doesn’t necessarily mean that each diamond is perfect- instead, the length-to-width proportions vary. A unique silhouette can flatter your hands and add a little flair as well. Oval cuts pair well with pave settings and do better with vintage aesthetics.
Diamond Cut - The Princess Cut
Another fancy cut that justifies a three-carat diamond is the princess cut. Created in 1981, it was originally derived from the French cut and is now widely used in engagement rings. A princess cut is an affordable option compared to a round cut, but it is equally brilliant.
The princess cut emphasizes bold, modern lines, features 50-57 facets and has a defined square shape with four corners.
Diamond Cut - The Emerald Cut
One of the most pristine cuts a diamond can have, the emerald cut is recommended for higher colors and clarities. It has a large surface table that boosts brilliance and reflects colored and white lights. It provides a clear view into the heart of a diamond. This is quite captivating at times but also leaves the stone’s impurities and inclusions open to the naked eye.
A three-carat diamond ring with an emerald cut is truly an elegant jewel. Generally, the emerald cut is one of those elongated shapes that makes the ring appear larger than others of the same carat weight. Due to this, an emerald-cut three-carat ring seems unusually large and attractive on the hand.
Diamond clarity refers to the absence of inclusions or imperfections within the stone. The GIA categorizes these different clarities from Flawless to Included. If the inclusions fall under ‘Included’ they likely affect the diamond’s brilliance and transparency.
Since a three-carat diamond ring is quite large, clarities under VS2 have blemishes large enough for the naked eye to see. A quality of VS2 or higher promises the best value for money, and if you are buying a three-carat ring, spending on clarity is worth it.
A diamond setting, or how it is affixed to the shank, can change the general appearance of a ring. The most popular settings for three-carat rings are prong, bezel, and pave.
Three-Carat Diamond Ring: Prong Setting
Image Source: Diamondnexus
The prong or solitaire setting is a contemporary style that varies between three, four, six, and eight prongs. It’s commonly used for princess cuts with four sides or round brilliant cuts.
Three-Carat Diamond Ring: Bezel Setting
Image Source: Diamondnexus
The bezel setting indicates that the diamond is secured in metal on all four sides. The sleek appearance not only prevents chipping but also preserves brilliance and sparkle.
Three-Carat Diamond Ring: Pave Setting
Image Source: Diamondnexus
The pave setting is quite common in three-carat diamond engagement rings. The surrounding stones accentuate the main gem and give the ring a unique dimension and texture to the band.
How much does a 3-carat diamond ring cost?
A three-carat ring’s cost depends on the four C’s. In theory, three-carat diamonds start from $10,000. As the cut and clarity get better, the diamond becomes more expensive. The round cut is generally considered the most expensive cut and VVS2 is the ideal clarity (flawless diamonds are exceptionally expensive).
The average price for a good quality diamond would be $40,000 - $50,000. In this range, you could get a 3.01-carat, VS2 excellent, round diamond in a solitaire setting. For $90,000, you could get a VVS2 excellent round diamond.
A three-carat diamond ring is a large investment but the diamond is just as large. The luxurious jewel looks perfect on every hand and it makes for a beautiful engagement ring. The many options for a three-carat diamond make it easy to shop and easy to love. It's extravagant, precious, and flamboyant.