Though not as popular as other traditional cuts like rounds and princesses, the marquise cut diamond has a long history of prestige. Known for its oblong shape with points on either end, the marquise diamond is also sometimes called the football shape or a “navette,” meaning “little ship” in historic French.
A Brief History of the Marquise Cut
According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the marquise diamond cut was first created in the 1740s during the reign of French King Louis XV. The 58-faceted gem shape was designed for one of his mistresses, the Marquise de Pompadour and was said to be a depiction of the shape of her mouth.
Despite its royal beginnings, the marquise cut diamond hasn’t gained as much popularity as other cuts. While it has a history steeped in wealth and royalty, the marquise diamond has remained one of the less popular “fancy” cuts of diamond.
Why Choose a Marquise Cut?
Though it seems to have fallen out of favor in comparison to other cuts, there are a number of reasons to consider a marquise cut diamond. For starters, since it is a less popular choice, picking the marquise cut will give you a diamond that is more unique than many bridal set choices.
Many choose the marquise cut for several reasons. For starters, the marquise cut diamond has a larger surface area than rounds of the same carat. This means it will appear to be a larger diamond even though the carat is the same, giving wearers the appearance of a larger diamond without the larger price tag.
On a more aesthetic level, many who choose the marquise cut say they like the way the diamond shape complements their fingers. It is believed that the longer cut helps to make the fingers look slenderer and long as well.
What to Consider
If you’re in the market for a marquise cut diamond, whether for a bridal set or just a beautiful piece in general, there are several factors to consider. While not everyone is a diamond expert, there are a few things you can keep in mind while examining a potential gem:
The ratio of a marquise cut diamond refers to its length from point to point versus its width across the center of the gem. In general, the marquise cut diamond should have a ratio that is twice as long as it is wide.
In addition to the 2 to 1 ratio, marquise cut diamonds should also be perfectly symmetrical. If you imagine a line dividing the diamond down the middle, you should be able to see perfectly mirrored cuts on each side of the line.
Depending upon the facet cuts, many marquise cut diamonds have what appears to be a bow-tie in the center of the diamond face. If the bow-tie appears darker or especially wide, that will detract from the value of the gem. The reason being, the bow-tie can actually make the diamond appear dull and lack the brilliance you should expect from a marquise cut.
Overall, the marquise cut diamond is sure to add a brilliant piece of royalty to your hand. It’s also one that will be a much more unique piece than the other cut options.