What is a Marquise Diamond?
A marquise diamond is a shape quite unlike any other fancy cut, with sweeping curves ending in distinct pointed ends. Also known as a “navette” in reference to its boat-like shape, a marquise diamond boasts brilliant cut facets designed for maximum sparkle. The marquise cut has an amorous history, dating from the 18th century. King Louis XV of France is said to have commissioned a new diamond cut to resemble the lips of his lover.
How Many Facets does a Marquise Diamond have?
A marquise diamond has 56 facets, in a brilliant cut style.
What Makes a Marquise Diamond Special?
A narrow, elliptical shape with pointed ends, the marquise diamond is immediately distinctive. With brilliant cut facets, a marquise diamond glitters with sparkle and fire. The long and slender shape of a marquise diamond gives a large ‘spread’ for the carat weight. A marquise diamond will appear larger than a round or other fancy cut of the same carat weight. The long, sweeping shape of a marquise is flattering to wear, helping elongate the finger.
How do you Know if a Marquise Diamond is Well Cut?
Of the four Cs, diamond cut is one of the most important. But marquise diamonds are not graded for cut the way a round brilliant cut diamond is.
It’s left to diamond experts to determine what makes a marquise diamond beautiful, based on a balance of factors; the symmetry of the facets, the quality of the polishing, and the balance of size and depth.
First we consider the visual impact of the stone - how does the fire, brightness, and scintillation appear? Second, the design - how well proportioned is the diamond? Finally, we look at the craftsmanship - how skillfully has the diamond been cut and polished? While marquise diamonds are not given a formal cut grading, there are some suggested parameters to consider for a well-cut stone, including;
Length to width ratio: the length to width ratio of a diamond measures how proportional it is. Diamonds which fall within these parameters will be most pleasing to the eye, with a more distinct and even shape. Look for a marquise diamond with a length to width ratio of 1.85 - 2.00. The ideal ratio for a marquise diamond is around twice as long as it is wide, but personal preference can dictate whether you choose a narrower or wider stone.
Table: the table is the largest, central facet of a stone. The table needs to be large enough to let lots of light into the diamond, but not so large that the upper facets don’t have room to sparkle. Look for a marquise diamond with a table ratio between 50 - 60%
Depth: a diamond’s depth is the top-to-bottom measurement of a diamond, from its table to culet. The depth ratio compares this measurement with the overall width of the stone. The depth affects the visual balance of a diamond and its brilliance. If a stone is too shallow or deep the light will not refract properly, escaping through the base of the diamond instead of the top. Look for a marquise diamond with a depth ratio between 58 - 68%.
Choosing a Diamond Cut Grade
The allure of a marquise diamond lies in the elegance of its cut, so pay attention to the symmetry of its curves. This is more important than the width of the stone, which can be led by personal preference.
Look for a marquise diamond with a length to width ratio of 1.85 - 2.00. The ideal ratio for a marquise diamond is around twice as long as it is wide, but personal preference can dictate whether you choose a narrower or wider stone.
Choosing a Marquise Diamond Colour
Like so much about choosing a diamond, colour grade comes down to personal preference. Colour is graded by letters, with the scale starting at D. A colourless diamond grade is anything from grades D to F.
Most diamond lovers prefer the cool, white hue of a ‘colourless’ diamond, which is why these shades are so highly prized. For grades G and below the diamond colour gets progressively warmer, beginning to draw tones of yellow or brown. Some customers like these warmer shades, or find they can’t easily tell the difference in a yellow or rose gold ring.
If you have chosen a platinum or white gold setting, the difference between the white metal and a warmer colour stone will be more obvious, so we advise going no lower than a grade F.
Choosing the Clarity of a Marquise Diamond
Diamond clarity varies greatly, from perfectly clean stones to those with easily visible inclusions. Truly flawless diamonds are incredibly rare. Thanks to the dizzying sparkle of a marquise diamond, small inclusions are not as visible to the naked eye. It means you can choose a slightly included grade and still enjoy an eye-clean diamond. Which is to say, you will not notice any flaws without magnification.
We advise a grade between SI1 and VS2 for brilliant cut stones under 3.00ct. At these grades you will not notice any inclusions - only incredible sparkle! For very large stones, a higher clarity may be advised. Please contact us and we can talk through your options.
Is a Marquise Cut the Diamond for You?
You like your jewellery to have a unique point of difference, but always in the most elegant way. A marquise diamond sets your engagement ring apart, its distinctive shape lending flair to a solitaire or diamond-set design. You love the stories and romance of an antique cut, but prefer a modern style. With brilliant facets and sleek cut, the marquise diamond gives you both.