3 Carat Diamond Ring – No.1 Buying Guide (3 Golden Rules)
If you are interested in buying a 3 carat diamond engagement ring you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to cover everything you need to know in this blog post, including which diamond shape works best, which clarity grade to choose, where to get the best customer service, and the diamond prices. This way, you can avoid making the kinds of mistakes people make that end up costing them plenty when buying larger diamonds.
How Much Does a 3 Carat Diamond Ring Usually Cost?
It will depend on several different factors and the carat weight of the diamond. As you might know, diamonds are priced per carat, and as the carat goes up so does the diamond price.
For starters, the price will vary depending on the quality. You can find 3 carat diamonds costing tens of thousands of dollars and find them in the hundreds of thousands too.
Here’s a photo of what many would consider a perfect 3 carat diamond in terms of color and clarity. It has a color grade of D and internally flawless (IF). Can you guess the price tag? It’s $173,800.
Clearly, diamonds of this size of similar color and clarity are going to be priced at the higher end of the range. What are your options if your heart is set on a 3 carat diamond ring, but there is no way you can spend anywhere near that amount of money on an engagement ring?
Fortunately, you actually can buy a 3 carat diamond for a whole lot less, for a fraction of that in fact. But, you’ll have to be smart about this, which means balancing out the 4Cs. Take a look at the diamond below:
This stone has a color grade of I, which is nothing to sneeze at. I would strongly recommend an I color grade to those wanting a large stone but can’t spend a fortune.
Just look at the cut and how it sparkles. Who could ever complain about that? This is a stunning 3-carat diamond at an affordable price when compared to the cost of the D/IF diamond.
Knowing that we can now move onto the other factors you need to be aware of when diamond shopping.
Follow These 3 Golden Rules When Buying a 3-Carat Diamond Ring
Rule 1: Never Consider an Uncertified Diamond or One With a Doubtful Grading Report
Every single day, unscrupulous jewelers misrepresent facts in an attempt to scam uninformed consumers.
To avoid this possibility, make sure that you only buy diamonds with GIA or AGS grading. Both of these gemological laboratories are highly respected. Over decades they’ve proven their integrity and the reliability of their grading standards.
Please note that a GIA or AGS grading report ensures that you know exactly what you are buying. If it says the diamond is an I color grade with VS2 clarity, you can be sure it’s valid. On the other hand, stones with an in-house appraisal or with “certificates” from sketchy labs like EGL will have hugely exaggerated grades, leaving you with a bad deal.
Rule 2: Cut IS And Always Will be KING
The primary feature determining how brilliant a diamond sparkles and how beautiful it is overall is CUT. Nothing else comes even close, not color, and not clarity. Many people are under the illusion that better clarity and/or color are what create a diamond’s beauty. This could not be farther from the truth.
I’ll show you why with the following 2 diamonds:
IF (internally flawless) clarity, D color diamond – $173,800
VS2 clarity, I color diamond – $30,190
Most consumers would naturally assume that an internally flawless D color diamond would be just about “perfect.” Especially since it has a price tag over $150,000.
Well, take a close look and you’ll see that the IF clarity D colored diamond is excessively dark under its table. This so-called “perfect” stone has average proportions and inferior light performance or sparkle.
Contrast that with the VS2 clarity I colored diamond below that costs a mere fraction of the “flawless” diamond. You can clearly see that it is far more beautiful.
Just look at the stone’s light performance! There really is no comparison. I can guarantee that the I colored diamond will win by a mile when the two are compared side-by-side.
The truth is that a diamond needs neither flawless clarity nor perfect color to look incredible. In fact, these factors are what determines how rare they are and therefore their “value” in terms of supply and demand.
Rule 3: If You Buy Online You’ll Have More Selection, Better Quality & Prices
I’m sure there are plenty of people who’d call me crazy for even suggesting buying fine jewelry online. Why would anyone in their right mind buy such a significant item online and not at a local store? Well, these people have no idea how much the world has changed. You have far more selection, so you can cherry-pick through all the diamonds to get the absolute most for your money.
Do your own research. In fact, I challenge you to go to a local jeweler and ask to see a 3-carat diamond ring with your exact specifications. For example, ask them to show you a GIA graded diamond that is triple excellent F/VS2 3-carat diamond.
I would love to be a fly on the wall looking at the expression on the salesperson’s face hearing you ask this question. I’ll bet that you won’t even find a store that carries rings with that big of a diamond in stock, much less a 3-carat diamond. And if you do, they will likely have only one or two rings to show you.
And I promise you that your chances of coming across a well-cut diamond in a neighborhood jewelry store are practically zero.
Why It Makes Perfect Sense to Shop Online For a 3 Carat Diamond
If you’re determined to get the very best diamond for your money, you need to be smart about this. Remember, it’s the cut quality that makes all the difference. If you need reminding, please review the step-by-step diamond buying guide I posted recently.
Now, there are a number of reasons why searching online for a 3-carat diamond makes a lot more sense than shopping at retail jewelry stores.
The main reason is that you get to look at a lot more diamonds than you would ever have access to at a jewelry store. You’ll get to see a lot of diamonds with different color and clarity combinations. This allows you to find the very best stone within your budget out of so many more options than you could ever choose from in a local jewelry store.
You wouldn’t want to be pressured into buying a less beautiful, higher-priced diamond ring just because you have nothing else to compare it to, would you?
Where To Buy a 3 Carat Diamond Online?
If you go online to James Allen or Enchanted Diamonds you’ll immediately be searching through 3-carat diamonds by the hundreds from the privacy of your home.
Furthermore, you’ll be able to examine diamonds in far more detail than you would ever be able to in a retail store. What’s even better is, you won’t even have to use a loupe or squint your eyes to inspect these diamonds!
Shopping online for diamonds is a far more exacting process than looking at diamonds in stores. Sellers like James Allen and Enchanted Diamonds allow you to examine each and every stone via high definition videos. They provide accurate cut data to use in your analysis. This gives you a huge advantage because you can make your decision rationally without being pressured.
When you’re given accurate data and facts to work with, you’re not dealing in the realm of guesswork when buying diamonds.
By the way, at James Allen, you can use a simulator that shows you what different carat sizes would look like on an average finger. You can also see what a 3-carat diamond engagement ring would look like.
How To Go BIG Without Paying for a 3-Carat Diamond Engagement Ring
There is no doubt that a beautifully cut 3-carat diamond ring with acceptable clarity and color is still too expensive for most people. Fortunately, there are options that will help to create the illusion of a big diamond without actually having to buy a 3-carat diamond:
1. Forget The Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring
The stone in the center is what primarily determines the price of an engagement ring. More importantly, the price of a diamond rises exponentially with the carat size. When you opt for more stones, like a 3-stone ring or a pavé diamond band, you’ll get your 3-carat diamond ring for about half the price of a ring with a 3 carat solitaire.
2. Choose a Cluster or Halo Setting for a Larger Look
Size does make a difference when it comes to diamonds. It makes a difference in price and most women appreciate a larger stone, right? If a 3 carat diamond ring is out of the question price-wise, there are other ways of achieving the look. It has to do with getting the right setting.
Here’s What’s Important To Remember
You might be able to safely choose a 3 carat diamond with I-K color if you set it in rose or yellow gold.
However, if you have your heart set on a colorless diamond, you can’t go lower than the H color to ensure that you wouldn’t find any hint of yellow or brown if choosing to pair the diamond with a white gold setting. While you may be able to find eye-clean 3 carat diamonds in SI1 or SI2, you’d better play it safe with VS2 or higher.