Marquise Diamond Guide (Read Before Buying!)

Wondering if the marquise diamond shape is the right choice for you ? Wonder no more, today we’re discussing marquise diamonds and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about these beauties. Read on !

What is a marquise cut diamond ?

Marquise cut diamonds are a type of brilliant cut, like an oval with pointed sharp ends. Due to its shape and cut style it does sparkle but less than other elongated brilliant shapes, and tends to concentrate color towards the tips. When shopping for the perfect marquise diamond we recommend you do it in person, as seeing the diamond in your hand can make a world of a difference.

How did the marquise cut originate ?

The original marquise cut is quite old, originating sometimes in the 18th century. Legend says that it was commissioned by King Louis XV of France, and made to resemble the shape of the lips of his official mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour. The actual origin of the marquise cut is not well known, so the legend remains as the most credible and also romantic origin story.

The original marquise cut was not as refined as the one we know today, as the modern marquise has a brilliant cut applied, which was very difficult to do in the 18th century. It was fewer facets and the shape was more important the facets themselves, the the look was more similar to a rose cut or double Dutch rose style.

Read also: Emerald Cut Diamond Guide 

What is the best cut quality for a marquise diamond ?

The cut quality of a marquise diamond cannot be graded since it is not a round brilliant. But you may look at girdle thickness, depth percentage, culet, and length to width ratio.

Girdle thickness should be anywhere from very thin to slightly thick, especially in a slender cut as the marquise. A girdle that is too thin, paired with the thin, sharp points of a marquise can make this diamond very fragile. Do meek in mind that the ends of the marquise should have a thicker girdle than the center and shoulder, to provide extra security.

The depth percentage of the marquise refers to how tall the diamond is form table to culet, compare to the length of the diamond. Aim for something around 56-65%.

The culet is the point where all the facets in a pavilion meet, and it should always be closed in a modern marquise. Look for a culet marked as closed, pointed, or none.

Marquise diagram, and actual marquise diamond

Length to width ratio is a bit different for marquise cuts, since these are extra long shapes. You’re looking at 1.80-2.00 ideally, depending on how skinny or thick you like your marquise to look. Marquises as thick (wide) as an oval tend to not look good, so don’t go below the 1.80 mark.

Keep in mind that among all the diamond shapes out there, marquises tend to get the poorest treatment when it comes to cut quality. It’s far more common to see lopsided, uneven, very think to extremely thick girdled marquise diamonds than any other diamond. It’s a shame, since these are very beautiful cuts, but you need to proceed with a lot of caution and patience when sourcing a marquise.

Why does a marquise have a bowtie ?

Marquise diamonds have a bowtie because they are an elongated cut, and the facets in the middle of the pavilion are wider than the ones towards the tips. This results in a cray or dark area right in the middle of the diamond, in the shape of a bowtie. This is common for elongated brilliant shapes, such as ovals, marquises, and pears.

Some may show more of a bowtie, some may show less, but all of them have a bit of a bowtie. You might like the extra contrast of a bowtie, so make sure  you see the diamond in person and turn it in your hand and on all its sides to see whether you’d really like a marquise.

What is the best color for a marquise cut diamond ?

Marquise cut diamonds look best in a higher color grade, as they tend to concentrate color towards the tips where the diamond is shallow and the facets are fewer. Do not go lower than a G for a marquise, and even then you may want to be careful about how much color is on the tips.

What is the best clarity for a marquise cut diamond ?

Do not go lower than VVS2 clarity for marquise diamonds. They are not particularly good at hiding inclusions, even if they are a brilliant cut. Marquises have the bowtie and then very little buffer space until you get to the sharp, shallow points. In short they will show most inclusions, even the ones that aren’t on the very tips.

What is the best setting for marquise cut diamonds ?

Marquise diamonds are quite fragile so they do best in a bezel setting, and if that does not allow enough light in then a prong setting with a V prong on either point. Do not skip the V prongs since they are what will keep your marquise point form chipping. The points are very sensitive and they need the extra protection.

Marquise diamonds are hard to wear as solitaires

Thinking of wearing a marquise solitaire ? This is a very difficult shape to wear properly, since it is extra long compared to other elongated shapes, and a good portion of that length comes from the sharp points. The sharp ends or a marquise make it a difficult choice for most people, sine it doesn’t flatter as much as an oval does.

Dainty marquise halo ring with pave band, set in 14k gold. See it on Amazon. 

Common workarounds are halos, or side stones that make the gem appear wider. Or, if you want to try something different, consider an east west setting for your marquise. This way the points do not get in the way as much, and the shape appears a bit more familiar.

Or, if you’re going for something non-traditional consider a marquise and another shape as a toi et moi ring. Some of the best combinations we can think of are marquise and radiant, marquise and emerald cut, and marquise and round brilliant where the brilliant is a bit larger.

Marquise diamonds are excellent side stones

Not sure you want the marquise to be the center of attention ? These gems are excellent as side stones, since their shape can easily be used in most designs. Leaves, fleur de lys, laurel wreaths, anything that looks even remotely artistic will look great with marquise side stones.

Are marquise diamonds expensive ?

Natural marquise diamonds are more expensive than other diamonds, but less expensive than round cuts. This is mostly due to marquise cuts requiring a higher color and clarity grade than other elongated brilliant cuts, so a 1 carat marquise with VVS2 clarity and G color will sell for around $5,700. We don’t recommend going lower than those specs in color and clarity since the marquise is a fickle diamond.