Marquise Cut Diamonds


Marquise or naivete (French for “little boat”) diamonds have an elongated shape with pointed ends supposedly inspired by the smile of the Marquise de Pompadour and commissioned by France’s Louis XIV.

This shape, along with any of the other “fancy shapes”, the final shape of a finished diamond will be based on the shape and clarity characteristics of the rough crystal. Because this shape is generally cut from “flat” type of rough, it could result in a shallow diamond.

Marquise Cut diamonds can maximize carat weight; giving a much larger looking diamond so it could be a good option if you want a bigger look for less money. In addition, the length of Marquise Cut diamonds make fingers appear longer and more slender.

This shape seems to go through cycles of popularity…. it was popular during the 70’s and early 80’s. The demand for Marquise Cut diamonds has declined recently, with the Oval Cut diamonds taking over the elongated symmetrical fancy shape of choice. This is probably the fourth most popular shape behind the round, princess, and oval.

For most Marquise Cut diamonds, common length-to-width ratios between 1.75 and 2.25 to 1 are the normal range, with 2.00 to 1 being about the right ratio.

Marquise Cut diamonds do not have a set standard on how the diamond should be cut.The table percentage should be between 53 – 65% and the total depth percentage should be between 57 – 65%.

east west orientation ring setting

More Tips on Marquise Cut Diamonds

#1- Marquise Cut diamonds frequently display a “bow tie”, looking for a stone in which a bow tie is minimal or not present at all will be a high priority in finding a nice stone. The bow tie is a dark area across the middle of the diamond, running from side to side, that is in the shape of a man’s bow tie.

This occurs when the angles and placement of the facets reflecting light are not at their optimum. This facet misalignment can detract from the brilliance of the diamond, especially if it is an exaggerated or overly dark bow tie effect.

#2- With round brilliant cut diamonds, the color and clarity characteristics can be “masked” by the amount of light being returned to your eye…. not so with Marquise Cut diamonds. Clarity and color will have to have higher minimums with this shape. A clarity of “SI1” and a color of “I” will probably be the lowest that you will want to consider.

#3- The “tips” (the ends of the diamond that comes to a point) of Marquise Cut diamonds can be prone to damage because the diamond can become quite thin in these areas. The girdle should be a bit thicker towards the tips. A girdle should be thick enough to provide protection to the diamond but should not become excessively thick because it just starts to add additional weight (this is excessive weight that you will end up paying for!).

An extremely thick girdle can cause difficulty in setting. Many times the girdle will be faceted to help camouflage the extra thick girdle.