The Price of a 3.00ct Diamond: An Expert Guide

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If you are in the market for a 3.00ct diamond, prepare to be blown away by the exceptional beauty of a stone at this weight.

The capacity for brilliance, fire, and sparkle is markedly increased in diamonds of such significant carat weight; provided the cut, color, and clarity are chosen with care, this will be a stone that truly dazzles.

Taking the time to understand the optimum grading boundaries for a stone of this size will ensure you are getting the absolute best from your diamond. Size does not correlate to beauty in the diamond world unless the other 4Cs are given equal attention and respect.

A 3.00ct diamond is a rare beauty, and this is a carat weight close to my heart. It is a size that captivates, compliments, and flatters; relish the experience of choosing this precious wonder.


How Much is a 3 Carat Diamond?

All diamonds are priced per carat, and one carat weighs 200 milligrams. The price will increase exponentially with weight, but the price per carat will also change as you move up the weight categories (0.90-0.99, 1.00-1.49, 1.50-1.99, and 2.00-2.99 and so on).

For example, a 0.50ct diamond may be priced at $1,500 per carat meaning the price of the diamond will be $750. However, a diamond that weighs 1.10ct might be priced at $3000 per carat making the price of the diamond $3,300.

All prices used are just examples. You can find my in-depth look at diamond pricing here.

Blue Nile is a good place to start when you are getting to grips with pricing as its diamond summary also outlines the price per carat.

Blue Nile Diamond Summary

Blue Nile Diamond Summary

So, what does this mean for your 3-carat diamond? You may have heard suggestions of ‘buying shy’ to avoid the additional cost incurred by moving up a weight category.

It may be possible to find a diamond between 2.90 – 2.99ct at a better price; however, I must advise caution when using this technique. The diamond market is driven by emotion and the increase of people buying shy of a weight category has, in turn, increased the prices of these diamonds.

A better way to compare prices is to use the filter tools provided by online vendors. In this instance, I will be using James Allen.

Select your filters accordingly. I have chosen a F-G in color, a VS clarity and an Ideal cut. For the weight, I have chosen a bracket of 2.90 – 3.00ct.

James Allen Diamond Filters

James Allen Diamond Filters

This will then bring up all the diamonds within your specifications and you can make direct comparisons.

James Allen 3 Carat Diamonds

James Allen 3 Carat Diamonds

The diamond top left is 2.90ct and comes in around $16,000 cheaper than the others. It is true that there may be additional factors influencing this price (presence of fluorescence, cut specifics etc.); however, these are marginal compared to the impact that the 0.10ct difference has on the price.

Searching the same specifications on Blue Nile turned up no results of diamonds weighing 2.90-2.99ct. Blue Nile has the largest online inventory of diamonds, so this will give you an idea on the scarcity of diamonds within this weight bracket.

In short, if you are looking for a 3.00ct diamond, let that be your focus. If you are willing to open up your search to a 2.90 and above, you may find a diamond for a good price, but they are extremely rare, and quality should never be sacrificed in a diamond of this size.

Your time is better spent looking for the carat weight you actually want rather than trying to defeat the diamond market by buying shy.


How Big is a 3 Carat Diamond?

I often hear size being confused with weight. A 3.00ct diamond can be a number of sizes, with the two most influencing factors being the shape of the diamond and the cut.

Brilliance Diamond Size Chart

For example, 3.00ct oval diamond will look much larger than a 3.00ct princess cut diamond due to the proportions. If you are looking for the biggest diamond possible at 3.00ct look for elongated shapes such as Marquis, Oval, and Emerald as all of these will make for larger looking stone.

Oval Cut vs Princess Cut

Oval Cut vs Princess Cut
A 3.00ct oval will look larger on the hand than a 3.00ct princess cut.

Similarly, getting the best cut possible will increase fire, dispersion, and brilliance, all of which will make your diamond look larger and full of life.



When choosing a clarity grading for your 3.00ct diamond, it is important to remember that a stone of this size is a truly remarkable thing. For lower carat weights it is entirely possible to find a beautiful SI1 that is eye-clean; however, my recommendation for diamonds of 3.00ct and above is always to move into the VS and VVS grading.

A stone of this size naturally lends itself to more scrutiny, so moving to a VS1 grading (where inclusions are not visible to the naked eye) eliminates the possibility of an unfortunately placed inclusion diminishing the beauty of the diamond.

The main difference between a VS1 and a VS2 grading is the position of the inclusion; VS2 diamonds tend to have inclusions in more obvious places such as the table of the diamond, making them easier to spot under a 10X magnification.

A minimum of a VS2 and a maximum of a VVS2 grading for a 3.00ct diamond would be my recommendation. As with a diamond of any carat weight, it is essential that you view the diamond using high-res photographs and 360° imaging as provided by vendors such as James Allen and Whiteflash.



Color is more prominent in a larger stone; however, the difference between one grade (i.e. an F to a G grade) still goes largely unnoticed by most people.

For this reason, it is more important to think about the diamond in relation to its setting and any other diamonds or gemstones you may be including in your ring (or piece of jewelry).

If you are setting your diamond in white metal, you will need a higher color grade than if it was being set in yellow or rose gold, for example.

If you are setting it with side stones, it is important that the center stone is the same color grade, or one grade away, from the stones to avoid disparity in your ring.

Diamonds with a color grading of G-J are considered ‘near colorless’ by the GIA. I would recommend a minimum of an I in color. Where possible a G would be the optimum grade for a diamond of this weight, appearing white against any chosen setting. Anything beyond this will cost thousands more with very little difference in appearance.


Certification and Cut

It is imperative that your diamond has been certified by one of the two leading gem labs in the world; the GIA or AGS.

Diamonds assessed by these institutes are subject to rigorous testing to ensure the most accurate and internationally acknowledged diamond grades possible.

Do not be swayed by sellers offering alternative certification. It is likely that they will declare higher grading for a diamond that will seem comparatively cheaper than a GIA/AGS certified stone. In reality the lax standards of other institutes mean you will be buying a diamond of much lower quality.

The cut must be an ideal or excellent cut grade. Without this, all other aspects of the diamond are lost. The best cut grade possible means the diamond will blind with fire, brilliance, and sparkle.

The A CUT ABOVE® range from Whiteflash offers some of the best Round Brilliant Cut and Princess Cut on the market. Their stringent specifications go above and beyond what is required by the GIA for their excellent cut diamonds, resulting in diamonds with light performance like no other.

3 Carat Diamond Engagement Rings

Perhaps the most pleasurable part of finding your perfect 3.00ct diamond is the endless possibilities when it comes to the setting.

You may have opted for a distinctive emerald cut diamond to rest upon an architectural, art-deco dream, like this white gold ring from James Allen.


James Allen 14k White Gold Etched Rope Solitaire Engagement Ring

James Allen Emerald Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

Or maybe it is a sleek and striking princess cut diamond in a simple, contemporary setting that has set your heart on fire, like this solitaire from Vatche.

Whiteflash 18k White Gold Vatche 1520 Lyric Solitaire Engagement Ring for Princess

Whiteflash 18k Vatche Engagement Ring

If you have followed the guidelines, your 3.00ct diamond will look stunning in any setting.


And Finally...

Luxurious, top-end, and rare. A diamond of this size demands respect to get the most from its sparkling possibilities. While the grade brackets suggest may be a little higher than diamonds of lower weights, the payoff is easily seen in the beauty of a certified, well cut 3.00ct diamond. 

Research diamond shapes to discover which one will be perfect for you and choose a quality setting that echoes the prestige of your stone. The results will turn heads from across a room and hold value and sparkle for a lifetime.

If you are in the market for a 3.00ct diamond, prepare to be blown away by the exceptional beauty of a stone at this weight.

The capacity for brilliance, fire, and sparkle is markedly increased in diamonds of such significant carat weight; provided the cut, color…

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