July 19, 2019

Marquise Diamond

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Marquise diamonds are becoming more popular for engagement rings. What does the shape mean, and how can you pick a quality marquise? Read on to find out.

What is a Marquise Diamond?

The marquise diamond resembles a football with its oval cut and pointed ends. It has the standard 58 facets that you find on other cuts.

Typically, marquise diamonds have:

  • 33 facets on the crown
  • 25 facets on the pavilion (bottom)

A common nickname for the stone is the "navette," which means little boat in French. Indeed, these diamonds resemble the features of a small boat.

The marquise diamonds originated in the 18th century when King Louis XV of France wanted a diamond that resembled the shape of his mistress' lips. The word "marquise" is also the name of a royal hereditary rank.

Pros and Cons of Marquise Diamonds

Here are some reasons that people love the marquise cut:


  • A marquise diamond can look larger than other cuts of the same weight because of the large surface area.

  • Because of its elongated shape, the marquise diamond slenderizes the fingers.

  • Marquise diamonds are affordable compared to other cuts.

  • The cut of the marquise diamond allows it to hide certain flaws and inclusions and allows you to purchase a lower clarity diamond without sacrificing its appearance.

  • Because of its versatility, the marquise diamond look good in a variety of ring settings.

Marquise diamonds aren't for everyone. Here's what some people don't like:


  • Each marquise diamond has a black or grey shadow in the shape of a bow tie right in the center of the diamond.

  • Darker and larger shadows in the diamond can detract from its beauty.

  • The tips of many marquise diamonds have a yellow tint. Choosing a color grade of at least an H can minimize the coloring, but it becomes more expensive.

  • Even with sturdy prongs, the pointed edges of the diamond can get caught on things and are more susceptible to chipping than other cuts.

Inclusions at the Points on a Marquise Diamond
Marquise diamonds have inclusions at the points. These inclusions can weaken the diamond.

But on a proper setting with prongs, you won't see the imperfections and your diamond will have the protection that it needs.

The Parts of the Marquise Diamond

The parts of a marquise differ from other diamond shapes. They are:

The area of the diamond with the most curve on its side. This is the area used to measure its width.

The curved area of the diamond starting at the belly and ending at the point.

There are two points on a marquise diamond, one at each end.

Keel Line
A vertical line that travels from the top of the diamond to the bottom.

The perimeter of the diamond where the top (crown) of the diamond and the bottom (facets) come together.

How to Choose a Marquise Diamond

Marquise diamonds are rare, which can make it difficult to find the right one. Read on to learn what to look for.

The wings and belly should be completely symmetrical. You should be able to "split" the diamond in half, with each side appearing identical.

The marquise has an elongated shape. Look for a length that fits well on your finger.

Measure the width of a marquise diamond across its belly. The width should be shorter than the length.

Ideal Length-to-Width Ratio of a Marquise Diamond
A traditional marquise cut has a 1.75 to 2.15 length-to-width ratio.

Girdle Thickness
Measure the girdle thickness to ensure the diamond is protected. If a girdle is too thin, you risk damage to the diamond. However, if it's too thick, it can make the diamond unnecessarily heavy.

Look closely at the diamond for any inclusions, or imperfections. Diamonds with less inclusions typically cost less.

A D-F color rating is best if you prefer a colorless diamond. However, color ratings G-H are less expensive.

Remember: The color of your setting can affect the diamond's appearance. A yellow or rose gold ring gives the diamond a warmer color. This will likely cause a diamond in ranges G-H to look the same as a colorless diamond.

The Best Setting for a Marquise Diamond

Marquise diamonds are one of the most versatile diamonds available today. Ideally, you should choose a setting that allows the diamond to have six prongs. This helps keep the diamond intact and reduces the risk of chips.

Here are some settings to consider:

A solitaire setting allows the diamond to sit on its own. You can choose a six-prong or bezel setting depending on your preference.

A bezel setting wraps the diamond in a metal edging, protecting the diamond from all sides.

A halo setting surrounds the diamond in a "halo" of smaller diamonds or gems of your choice.

Marquis diamonds can be set vertically or horizontally, depending on the look you desire.

Bottom Line

Shopping for a marquise diamond can be difficult unless you know what to look for. These gems offer many benefits for both the antique and modern bride. They can be placed in almost any setting to provide a beautiful, tailored look.

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