What is a Marquise Cut? | The Diamond Reserve

What is a Marquise Cut?

A marquise (pronounced as ‘mar-keys’) cut stone is a beautiful shape that takes the classic curves of a round or oval cut and elongates it with two pointed ends, creating an eye-like or football shape. With a growing interest in unique engagement rings, although a timeless shape, the marquise has a habit of re-emerging with fresh new designs. If you’re looking for a traditional yet modern cut, the marquise might be for you. 

The Marquise Diamond Cut, A Timeless Symbol of Elegance 

In French aristocracy, a Marquise is the rank below Duke and above Count. This diamond cut was specifically designed for Jean Antoinette Poisson, also known as Madame de Pompadour, mistress of King Louis XV (1710-1774) and one of his closest advisors. The king commissioned the special gem to match her perfectly shaped lips and it quickly became a favorite in French court. Almost 250 years later, their great romance lives on through the popularity of this shape. 

A unique alternative to the more popular elongated shapes, the marquise incorporates the length of an oval shape and the point of a pear shape on both ends. Also known as the navette, meaning “little boat” in French, it features a wide middle that extends to sharp points on either end, resembling the hull of a ship. It’s also known as a “football shaped” stone. 

Hallmarks of the Marquise Shape Are:

  • Elongated and Pointed: The defining feature of this cut is its elongated shape, resembling a boat hull, a football or luscious lips. It tapers to pointed ends, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication.
  • Brilliant Faceting: Despite its unique form, the marquise cut retains a brilliant sparkle. It features 58 facets, meticulously arranged to maximize light reflection and refraction, creating a captivating play of fire within the stone.
  • The Illusion of Grandeur: The elongated form of the marquise cut creates an optical illusion of a larger stone. This makes it a popular choice for those who desire a diamond that appears bigger than its actual carat weight.

Marquise diamonds feature a timeless eye-like shape that gives the cut one of the largest surface areas of any shape. It’s a modified brilliant cut, which means its 58 facets are shaped similar to those of a round brilliant. Marquise stones can have bezel facets at the points or can be cut with French tips, which are also used on pear and heart shapes. Although often associated with vintage and antique jewelry, the marquise cut exudes a timeless elegance.

Why Choose a Marquise Cut Diamond Engagement Ring?

Marquise stones are elegant and softly curved, and due to their long and narrow shape, they create an illusion of greater carat size. As with any elongated shape, the marquise can also make its wearer’s finger seem more long and slim. Because less waste is created when cutting this shape, the marquise is also less expensive than round cut stones. A common ratio is 2:1, but marquis may be slender and long, or plump and wide depending on personal preference. 

Most rings feature a vertical placement, set in the more traditional north-south setting. However, a popular trend in marquise diamond ring settings has been to set the stone sideways so it runs parallel with the band. When the stone is set east-west, you can really imagine a pair of pouty lips. Actresses Catherine Zeta-Jones and Portia de Rossi both wear east-west set marquise engagement rings that give a more modern aesthetic to the style. 

If you seek a diamond that reflects your individuality with a touch of vintage charm, the marquise cut might be the perfect choice. Here’s what makes it so captivating:

  • Flatters the Finger: The elongated form creates a slimming effect, making fingers appear longer and more slender.
  • Unique and Eye-Catching: The distinctive shape stands out from the more common round cuts, adding a touch of individuality and personality to any jewelry piece.
  • Versatility in Design: The marquise cut can be set in various ways, from classic solitaire pendants to more intricate vintage-inspired settings.

Like the pear, the marquis is vulnerable at its points, so choose a setting that protects these areas. A solitaire setting allows the stone to stun without distraction, while a halo will increase its sparkle and maybe give a nod to its vintage, Art Deco heritage. Pavé diamonds are often used in this setting to create a stunning, glamourous look as well. There are so many different ways to create a stunning and unique ring with a marquis stone. 

You can be certain that whatever diamond shape and setting you choose you’ll be admiring it for decades to come. Let us help you design the perfect ring. Give us a call at 303-385-8449 or click here to schedule an appointment