3 Carat Engagement Rings

Written by: Benjamin Khordipour, Jewelry and Gemology Expert
January 12, 2022 – Posted in: Jewelry Blog

3-carat diamond engagement rings are often quite stunning. At Estate Diamond Jewelry, we have a delightful selection hand-picked by our experts who know what a bride-to-be desires. Among various shapes and cuts, you’ll surely find a 3-carat ring that will leave your loved one awestruck. Read on to find out more.

How Big Is a 3 Carat Diamond Engagement Ring?

3 carat diamond engagement ring on wood surface with surrounding white flowers

A standard 3-carat diamond has a 9.2mm diameter and 5.73mm depth. Its average dimensions are 9.20mm x 9.20mm x 5.73mm. If you want to visualize what a 3-carat diamond would look like on a finger, resort to a raisin. It’s of similar size and weight as a 3-carat diamond.

A 3-carat diamond is neither small nor large. While 2-carat and lower diamond rings might not express the amount of love you hold for your significant other and a 5-carat ring could be too bold for their taste, the 3-carat diamond ring is right in the middle.

Naturally, the size of a 3-carat diamond ring depends on the cut and shape. You can go for something subtle like the round and oval cut, or experiment with the heart shape or marquise cut diamonds. All the sizes and cuts make a glamorous engagement ring, but the round cut is perhaps the most popular. However, don’t let trends deter you from choosing what you know your girlfriend would love.

How Will a 3 Carat Diamond Ring Look on My Finger?

3 Carat Diamond Engagement Ring on womans Finger

The picture below shows how large a 3-carat ring might look on your hand. The model’s finger shown is a size 5.5 which is slightly smaller than the average finger.

The left picture shows a 3ct diamond ring with a halo of diamonds surrounding it. The picture on the right shows a solitaire 3 ct diamond ring with diamonds along the shoulders. The larger illusion that is shown due to the halo of diamonds is rather compelling.

side by side comparison of solitaire and halo 3 carat engagement ring

Shoulder design and filigree can also make your ring appear larger, but it is not usually as effective as the diamond halo design.

3 carat oval amethyst engagement ring on a woman's finger

It is important to remember that the 3-carat diamond will already look impressive and note-worthy and will not likely need a halo as reinforcement.

How Much Does a 3 Carat Diamond Ring Cost?

chart with color grade and price axes tracking various clarity grades

The cost of a 3-carat diamond can cost between $20,000 and $156,000. This price doesn’t include the rest of the ring, however, which can be made from precious metals or platinum. The ring might also feature additional gems, intricate under-gallery work, and milgrain. As a result, the entire ring can be significantly pricier.

However, the main aspect that determines the price of your 3-carat diamond ring is the diamond itself. Features that raise the cost of a 3-carat diamond the most are its two other Cs — color and clarity.

Color, Clarity, and Price

Diamond color moves from Z to D. But most ring sellers don’t include many rings with diamonds under K color due to their yellowness. K color has a faint yellow hue, while D is the most colorless diamond that exists and is quite expensive.

As for diamond clarity, it goes from I3 to FL. But like with diamond color, diamonds of I1-I3 clarity are the most included and not attractive sellers. SI1 and SI2 are slightly included, and you typically can’t see their imperfections with the naked eye. Diamonds of FL clarity are flawless, and when combined with F, E, or D colors, practically perfect. Naturally, they’re also the most expensive.

The chart below presents the approximate costs of diamonds based on color and clarity. 


As seen in the chart, diamonds of SI2 clarity and K color are the least expensive. On the other hand, diamonds that flaunt D color and FL clarity will definitely put a dent in your wallet. But they’ll also make heads turn when your significant other enters a room with such a diamond on their finger.

Tips for Finding the Perfect 3 Carat Diamond Ring

Customer using a Loupe to examine a Diamond Engagement Ring in Showroom

Choosing the perfect 3-carat diamond engagement ring is no small feat. You need to undertake thorough research. Still, it’s something that will impress your bride-to-be, so it’ll surely be worthwhile.

Here are some quick tips to get you started:

  • Consider the other three Cs: color, clarity, and cut. Search for combinations of these features that look flattering.
  • Think about how the ring’s material looks with the color and clarity of the diamond. If you can’t afford a 3-carat diamond of FL clarity and D color, avoid matching metals that’ll emphasize the diamond’s yellow undertones.
  • Choose between various ring settings. Although a 3-carat diamond is a statement in itself, it doesn’t have to be solitary. You can combine it with other stones, like emeralds or sapphires, to add some color to the ring.
  • Take the wearer’s preferences into consideration. Find out what your significant other loves by looking at their current jewelry. It’ll help you avoid picking something they won’t want to wear.
  • Find a reputable dealer. Look at the dealer and the ring’s credentials and certificates, and ensure they have a proven track record.
  • Ensure you stay within the budget. Your bride-to-be might be delighted that you spent so much money on her, but don’t get swayed by the dealer’s negotiations if you have a set budget.
  • Take your time. Don’t rush with your research. Otherwise, you might spend a lot of money on something neither you nor your partner like.

3 Carat Weight (CW) vs. 3 Total Carat Weight (TCW)

Three Carat Engagement Ring with diamond halo and diamonds lining shoulder

The difference between carat weight and total carat weight might seem insignificant. Unfortunately, many dealers on the market would gladly use their customer’s ignorance to exaggerate the value of their products. Thus, knowing that these two terms differ ensures you know exactly how much each diamond is worth and avoid scammers.

Carat weight is typically abbreviated as “CW” or “CT” and represents the weight of a single diamond. On the other hand, total carat weight is the weight of all the gems on a ring. Of course, you’ll have total carat weight only if there are multiple gems included.

A 3-carat diamond weighs 600 milligrams, so you can easily determine whether the dealer is telling you about a single diamond’s carat weight or the total carat weight. But at Estate Diamond Jewelry, we specifically state the carat weight of the central diamond only, so you can be sure that you’re paying for what you get.

3 Carat Diamond Shape and Cuts

diamond cuts including Asscher, marquise, round, emerald, princess, cushion, oval, and heart

Although 3-carat diamond ring shapes and cuts have been touched upon earlier in the article, the following sections describe them in more detail.

3 Carat Oval-Cut Diamond

Engagement ring featuring oval cut center diamond

In the past few years, you could see the oval-cut diamond on the hands of many newly engaged celebrities. Their popularity surged mainly because of Blake Lively, Ariana Grande, and Hailey Bieber, who flaunted their oval engagement rings on their social media accounts. Still, most of the credit goes to the oval diamond’s flattering appearance.

It’s a shape that’s both elegant and youthful, aligns with the finger, and suits every style. But most people love it because it appears larger than it is. A 3-carat oval-cut diamond is also less expensive than a 3-carat round-cut diamond while retaining a similar amount of brilliance. While round-shaped ones have around 58, an oval-cut diamond has 57-58 facets.

The recommended color and clarity combination for an oval cut diamond is H color and SI1-SI2 clarity. But be careful of the so-called “bowtie effect,” which represents a dark spot in the center of the diamond.

3 Carat Round Cut Diamond

platinum engagement ring featuring round cut center diamond

3-carat round-cut diamonds are timeless. Their popularity never ceases to amaze, mainly because they look good with anything. They can be solitaire, surrounded by various colorful gems, or stacked, and still take your breath away.

Round-cut diamonds come as old European or old mine-cut diamonds and round brilliant-cut diamonds. Both carry a certain amount of beauty, but old mine-cut diamonds don’t have the fire and brightness of a brilliant-cut diamond. That is mainly due to less precise ways of cutting during the 19th century.

Round brilliant cut diamonds have 57-58 facets and an unmatched sparkle that’s guaranteed by its perfect symmetry. That being said, an ideal round-cut diamond should have a 60.1%-62.6% depth and a 55%-59% table.

Despite their high price, round-cut diamonds account for around 66% of orders nationwide. They’re the most sought-after engagement ring gems, so you won’t go wrong by choosing a 3-carat round-cut ring for your bride-to-be.

3 Carat Emerald Cut Diamond

white gold engagement ring with emerald cut center diamond

Emerald-cut diamonds are one of the more popular rectangular diamond cuts. They’re elongated and look great on a finger regardless of how you position them. Emerald cut diamonds have 57 “step-cut” facets that create the so-called “hall of mirrors” effect. It contributes to the diamond’s geometrical look, so if your fiancé is into the Art Deco styles, this cut is perfect.

Diamonds of an emerald cut can have width rations of 1.30, 1.40, and 1.50. The one in the middle is considered the most ideal. Ultimately, it depends on your loved one’s preference. More elongated rations can look mesmerizing with side gems that contribute to the diamond’s beauty.

Emerald-cut diamonds are less expensive than the standard round cut. However, an emerald-cut diamond doesn’t hide inclusions well. It might increase the cost, but it’s better to buy an emerald-cut diamond with as few inclusions as possible. Consider this GIA-certified Wicklow Ring of D color and VS1 clarity.

3 Carat Cushion Cut Diamond

Platinum engagement ring featuring a cushion-cut center diamond

3-carat cushion cut diamonds also fall into the rectangular group. They can be square-like or more elongated. But regardless of the dimensions, they have the appearance of a tiny cushion due to their rounded edges. These rounded edges also ensure their durability.

They’re a sophisticated choice that gives off both a classic and modern feel. Take a look at this lovely 3.38-carat Tournus ring with blue sapphires. There are two types of cushion cut diamonds: standard and modified. The standard one is more common in antique pieces, while the modified cushion cut diamond can be compared to the round brilliant cut diamond.

3-carat cushion cut diamonds have between 58 and 64 facets. They reflect colored and white light well due to their high level of brilliance and fire. Keep in mind that cushion-cut diamonds retain color and show inclusions better than other cuts. So, even if you spend a bit more on a diamond of higher clarity and color, it’ll be worth it.

3 Carat Pear Cut Diamond

simple platinum engagement ring with large pear cut center diamond

3-carat pear or teardrop-shaped diamonds have a unique look that speaks a thousand words. It’s symbolic and should definitely feel special for the wearer. Pear-cut diamonds look lovely in any setting, especially when combined with intricate engravings. They can be positioned to point upwards, downwards, or sideways.

Even when small, 3-carat pear-cut diamonds look larger than round-cut diamonds due to their slightly elongated shape. The tip that’s prone to chipping is usually set with a protective prong. But since that makes its distinctive shape slightly less visible, you might want to avoid it and just advise your loved one to be careful while wearing the ring.

Symmetry is important when it comes to pear-cut diamonds. But an even more important aspect is the length-to-width ratio, which should ideally be 1.50 to 1.75. Like some other cuts, a pear cut has the bowtie effect. Although it’s unavoidable when it comes to this cut, you should look for ones that have minimal bowtie effect.

3 Carat Marquise Cut Diamond

simple platinum engagement ring with marquise cut center diamond and sapphire halo

The 3-carat marquise diamond is like a double pear-cut diamond. It has pointy ends on both sides, giving the appearance of an eye. This makes them look larger than most other cuts, especially the traditional round cut.

These diamonds look great on thicker or double-band rings. Thicker bands also hold this delicate cut diamond more securely. To ensure your three-carat marquise-cut diamond doesn’t chip, look for a ring that has prongs on both ends.

Like with pear cuts, marquise diamonds need to be symmetrical to the naked eye. They should align with each other to give the ring that sought-after look of perfection. Marquise-cut diamonds also share the bowtie effect with pear-cut diamonds. But well-cut diamonds shouldn’t have a bowtie that’s too dark and visible.

The ideal length-to-width ratio for 3-carat marquise cut diamonds is between 1.7 and 2.2. The table should be around 53-63%, while the total depth percentage should be limited to 58%-62%.

3 Carat Princess Cut Diamond

small white gold engagement ring with princess-cut center diamond

A 3-carat princess cut diamond is an elegant piece that will make your bride-to-be even more special. It’s shaped like a square with sharp edges, which is suitable for more contemporary styles. It’s the second most popular diamond cut after the round brilliant one.

Unlike other cuts on the list, a princess cut might appear smaller than a round cut diamond because most of the carat weight is “below the surface.” However, the amazing brilliance that comes as a result of this composition makes up for the size.

3 Carat Heart Shape Cut Diamond

ring with heart-shaped center diamond and surrounding double halo

The most romantic cut undoubtedly belongs to the heart-shaped diamond. It’s a symbolic shape that is unmatched. While a difficult cut to craft, it expresses your love like no other.

Like pear and marquise cuts, a heart-shaped cut comes with different length-to-width ratios. They can significantly impact how the ring looks to the naked eye. The most charming cuts have a 0.95-1.02 length-to-width ratio, 58%-62% depth, and 53%-63% table.

Heart-shaped cut diamonds are based on round brilliant cuts, but they’re considerably less expensive. They have 56-58 facets. Due to heart shape cut diamond’s unique shape, their brilliance is hard to determine.

3 Carat Radiant Cut Diamond

Platinum ring featuring radiant-cut center diamond and micro-pavé diamonds along the shoulders

As their name suggests, 3-carat radiant cut diamonds are sparkly and radiant. Although their base is an emerald cut, radiant cut diamonds are more brilliant than any other shape. They can look more like a square or more like a rectangle, elongating the finger. An excellent example of an elongated 3-carat radiant-cut diamond ring is the Ellerbe ring.

Since they have rounded edges like a cushion cut diamond, radiant cut diamonds are very durable and won’t chip. They look bigger than round cuts but cost considerably less. You won’t have to worry about inclusions with radiant-cut diamonds because they hide them well.

3 Carat Asscher Cut Diamond

platinum engagement ring featuring Asscher-cut center diamond

A 3-carat Asscher cut diamond might look similar to the emerald cut diamond. But unlike the straight geometrical shapes of an emerald cut, Asscher cuts have a distinctive and beautiful “X” shape in the middle.

A popular Art Deco cut, it has featured in many vintage pieces. It can have between 50 and 58 facets with a striking sparkle. If you’re on a tight budget, this cut is an excellent choice that definitely won’t look like it’s worth any less than a round brilliant cut.

Dimensions and Specifications of 3 Carat Diamond

8 by 8 millimeters 3.05-carat Asscher-cut diamond held by tweezers

As mentioned, a 3-carat diamond weighs 600 milligrams, has a 9.2mm diameter, and has a 5.73mm depth. Its dimensions are typically 9.20mm x 9.20mm x 5.73mm. However, the exact dimensions vary by shape and cut.

These are the approximate sizes of each cut for 3-carat diamonds:

  • Round cut 3-carat diamond: 9.5mm x 9.5mm x 5.7mm
  • Oval cut 3-carat diamond: 11.5mm x 7.9mm x 4.7mm
  • Emerald cut 3-carat diamond: 9.5mm x 7mm x 4.7mm
  • Square cushion cut 3-carat diamond: 8.4mm x 8.4mm x 5.5mm
  • Princess cut 3-carat diamond: 7.9mm x 7.9mm x 5.7mm
  • Asscher cut 3-carat diamond: 8mm x 8mm x 5.3mm
  • Heart shape cut 3-carat diamond: 9.5mm x 9.5mm x 5.7mm
  • Marquise cut 3-carat diamond: 15mm x 7.5mm x 4.5mm
  • Pear cut 3-carat diamond: 13mm x 7.8mm x 4.8mm
  • Radiant cut 3-carat diamond: 8.3mm x 8.3mm x 5.3mm

Pros and Cons for a Vintage 3 Carat Ring

vintage gold ring with swirling diamond-adorned shoulders and round center diamond

A vintage 3-carat ring is certainly a unique piece. But before you opt for one, it’s important to know its pros and cons.

Pros of a Vintage 3 Carat Diamond Ring

  • Vintage rings have a rich history that tells a story in itself.
  • Since vintage rings are second-hand pieces, they will probably come for a lower price than a completely new 3-carat diamond engagement ring.
  • Vintage rings are more likely to be one-of-a-kind since they’re not mass-produced like today’s diamond engagement rings.
  • Vintage 3-carat diamond rings might have more intricate details and settings, matching past styles no longer available today.
  • By buying a vintage ring, you’re also being environmentally conscious because these rings don’t require mining, shipping, etc.

Cons of a Vintage 3 Carat Diamond Ring

  • Vintage rings might require more upkeep as the time passes by to look as good as new.
  • The durability of an older ring might be poorer than that of a new one and not last your bride for a long time.
  • Older ring styles and models aren’t for everyone, so ensure the ring matches your fiancé’s tastes first.
  • Unless the ring and gems are new and only modeled after a vintage piece, be prepared for imperfect cuts and lower color and clarity.

Talk to a Jewelry Expert

customer happily looking at a ring while jeweler tells her about it

A 3-carat diamond engagement ring is a beautiful statement piece that every woman would love to have on her hand. However, these diamonds come in many shapes, colors, and clarities. Considering your fiancé’s preferences is only one part of the selection process. You also need an experienced and reliable expert who knows the specificities of each diamond.

Talk to our experts at Estate Diamond Jewelry. We’ll respond as soon as possible and guide you through the selection process as best as we can.