Master Guide to Buying A Stunning 3-Carat Diamond Ring

Master Guide to Buying A Stunning 3-Carat Diamond Ring

Everything you need to know about the highest quality 3-carat diamond rings
Everything you need to know about the highest quality 3-carat diamond rings

Within the luxury engagement ring market, the 3-carat diamond is the most searched for size. Given the popularity and demand for 3-carat diamond rings, Sotheby's has created a master guide to buying a stunning and high quality 3-carat diamond ring.

Why 3-carats?

3 Carat Round Engagement Ring

The popularity of the 3-carat diamond ring for luxury engagement buyers is a combination of size and price. A 3-carat diamond is large enough to display any shape's brilliance and sparkle. Additionally the availability of high quality 3-carat diamonds under $100,000 also makes it accessible to most luxury buyers. Prices start to climb quickly as the size of the diamond increases above 3-carats at the high end of the diamond grade scale for cut, color and clarity. There are also a range of diamond shapes at 3-carats that allow the unique cuts to exhibit their best properties. A 3-carat diamond is roughly the size of a raisin and weighs 600 mg.

When shopping for a 3-carat diamond ring, Sotheby's recommends only considering a diamond with a minimum clarity grade of VS2 or higher. VS2 stands for ‘very slightly included’, the inclusions are the small lesions that can be seen within the diamond. The best clarity is an ‘FL diamond’, which stands for flawless. As the clarity improves, the price also increases due to rarity. Color is also an important consideration when buying a high quality 3-carat diamond ring. We recommend a minimum of G color which is the top grade for Near Colorless range for white diamonds. Finally cut is the final factor to consider. For a round stone we recommend looking for a diamond that has an Excellent cut grade and fancy shaped diamonds Very Good cut stone or better.

What 3-carat diamond is best for you?

Platinum, 3.18ct Oval Cut Diamond and Diamond Three Stone Engagement Ring

Round Brilliant Cut

The shape of the diamond is a personal preference as is the setting. The round brilliant cut diamond has been the most popular since the 1900s and is most popular shape for a 3-carat diamond ring. It has 52 facets and is the most classic choice mounted on a simple platinum band. The round brilliant cut diamond is also versatile with many different settings and wedding bands. All other cut diamonds are collectively called fancy cut diamonds. We have provided more information about the most popular fancy cut 3-carat diamonds.

Oval Cut

An oval 3-carat diamond ring is a nice alternative to round brilliant and will also look bigger because of the shape and cut. The modern oval cut diamond was invented by Lazare Kaplan in 1957. Since an oval diamond is elongated and the cut is more shallow the weight of the stone is more distributed making the stone look bigger. An oval cut diamond has 58 facets and has a similar brilliance as a round brilliant cut diamond. Oval diamonds can exhibit shadows called the "bow tie effect" based on the cut and something to consider when comparing stones. Oval cut diamonds are also priced lower than the equivalent round brilliant stone.

Cushion Cut

The cushion cut diamond has rounded corners and is often referred to as the "old new classic" based on its origins. The cushion cut diamond's origins are based on the Old Mine cut, which dates back to the 1700s. The Old Mine cut was the most common diamond shape until the early 1900s. The modern cushion cut diamond typically has 64 facets versus only 58 facets for the Old Mine cut. A rectangular cushion cut often appears larger than a square stone at the same carat weight, so this shape is often preferred by engagement ring buyers. While it can take longer to source a high quality rectangle 3-carat cushion cut stone, Sotheby's is happy to assist.

Emerald Cut & Asscher Cut

The emerald cut diamond is one of the oldest shapes dating back to the 1500s and was originally used for cutting emeralds. The emerald cut diamond became popular during the Art Deco era of the 1920s to 1930s. A 3-carat emerald cut diamond is a popular choice for someone looking for a diamond that is more sleek and modern. The stepped facets and open table emphasize clarity and inclusions will be more visible in this cut. Emerald cut diamonds also appear larger than the same size round stone due to the weight of the stone being more on the surface. An emerald cut diamond, like the oval and cushion cut diamond also come in a range of ratios that allow for more variability. An Asscher cut diamond is similar to emerald but is square with deeply trimmed corners. The Asscher cut was developed by the Royal Asscher Diamond Company in Amsterdam in 1902 and first gained popularity during the Art Deco era and then experienced a resurgence in the early 2000s.

Pear Cut

The pear shaped diamond is also referred to as the teardrop and was invented in 1475 by Lodewyk van Bercken. The pear shaped diamond has 58 facets and can appear larger than the same carat weight round diamond. While the best proportions for a pear shaped diamond is in part personal, some cuts can result in light leakage or a bow tie effect in the center of the stone. This unique shape can be set in multiple ways and stands out as a unique choice. A 3-carat pear cut diamond ring is a choice that combines the best or a round and marquise cut diamond.

Princess Cut

The princess cut has been popular since the 1980s, and historians believe the term princess cut was first used in the 1960s. The princess cut diamond evolved from the French Cut as diamond cutters become more sophisticated in facet placement to optimize light. The overall appearance of a princess cut diamond will look smaller than the round since the diamond is cut deeper so more carat weight is below the surface area. The square shape is popular for being more modern than the round but still provides plenty of sparkle. Depending on the setting, the princess cut can be more prone to chipping due to the sharp corners. For 3-carat diamond ring and larger buyers, the princess cut is one of the least popular fancy cut diamonds.

3-carat Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond

3-Carat Colored Diamond Ring

On Sotheby's marketplace, you can also discover unbelievably unique and rare 3-carat diamond rings in fancy colored diamonds. While the prices for fancy colored yellow diamond ring in VS2 clarity starts around $45,000, similar to similar clarity white diamonds. Fancy pink and blue diamonds are much more rare and the prices are significantly higher. A fancy light purplish pink diamond ring with a 3.19 pear-shaped stone sold for 279,400 CHF or over $300,000 in November 2023. If you are looking for a 3-carat fancy pink or fancy blue diamond ring, a jewelry specialist or salon associate would be happy to assist.

3.05 carat Pear Shaped Fancy Pink-Purple Diamond Ring

How much is a 3-Carat Diamond

At Sotheby's the starting price for a 3-carat fancy cut center diamond solitaire ring that is G color and VS clarity is around $50,000+. A 3-carat round brilliant cut diamond solitaire that is G color and VS clarity starts at around $56,000. At the very top end of the quality scale, a 3-carat D colorless flawless diamond excellent round brilliant white diamond will range between $150,000-$200,000. Sotheby's has a few options for buying 3-carat diamond rings. You can browse our curated selection on our buy now marketplace and in our jewelry auctions. Sotheby's also has a small selection of 3-carat diamond rings from top brands including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Harry Winston and more. Expect the prices for the top brands to be higher than equivalent quality unsigned diamond rings due to the higher resale value and fewer available rings on the secondary market. The setting also impacts the final price, but we suggest allocating the majority of the budget to the center diamond when it comes to buying an engagement ring.

You can also contact a Client Advisor in New York or Bucherer in Zurich to learn more about Sotheby's engagement rings.

Jewelry Buy Now The Luxury Sales

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