What to Know About Marquise Diamonds - Our Guide

If you are looking for an engagement ring perfect for your loved one, you might want to consider the marquise diamond. This elegant, elongated diamond is pronounced “mahr-keez.” It has curved sides and pointed ends that look marvelous on the finger. This article will tell you what you need to know about marquise diamonds so that you can choose the perfect one for your soon-to-be fiancé.


Origin of the Marquise Diamond

Marquise diamonds come with a royal pedigree. The diamond was developed in France in the 1740s, and it was believed to be named after the Marquise de Pompadour, King Louis XV’s mistress, as its outline was similar to the shape of her mouth. The marquise diamond can also be called a navette, which is an Old French word for “little ship,” because the shape resembled the hull of a racing yacht. For this reason, it was favored by the early 20th century Edwardians as sailing was a favorite hobby of King Edward VII from England and his wealthy peers.


The marquise diamond was extremely popular in the 1970s, particularly in bridal jewelry. However, it started to fall out of favor by the early 21st century as the square-shaped diamond took its place. That being said, the marquise diamond still comes with many benefits. Due to its shape, a marquise diamond will appear bigger face-up than a round diamond. The diamond will also make the fingers appear more slender and longer as well.

Composition of a Marquise Diamond

A marquise diamond can be considered as a “fancy shape.” In order to choose the best marquise diamond, you have to know its parts first. 

- Belly: The central area in which the sides curve out the most. This is where the width is measured.

- Point: This is where the two curved sides come together at each end.

- Wing: The curved area extending from the belly to the point.

- Girdle: The intersection of the top of the diamond (crown) and bottom facets (pavilion), which determines the perimeter.

- Keel line: The lowest part of a fancy cut, where the pavilion facets meet. It stretches the length of the diamond and may include or pass through the culet facet in the center.

Things to Look For in a Marquise Diamond

When choosing your marquise diamond, there are certain factors that will help determine the attractiveness of a diamond cut. Here are some of the most important things that you need to look for:


// Girdle Thickness

The girdle serves as the diamond’s setting edge. It needs to be thick enough so that the diamond is safe from damage. Girdle thickness is determined by looking at all areas of this narrow section that connects the top with the bottom of the diamond. An overly thick girdle can make the diamond heavier, but a thin girdle can also make the diamond more prone to damage, especially chipping. Although girdle thickness is examined the same way in fancy shapes and rounds, some fancy shapes like the marquise will need specific allowances. Keep in mind that the most fragile areas of a marquise cut diamond are its points. Therefore, it is reasonable to have greater girdle thickness there.


// French Tips

As a marquise’s pointed ends can break easily, some cutters use French tips to enhance durability. This means that, instead of using a large bezel facet at each end, they refine star and upper girdle facets.


// Length-to-Width Ratio

A diamond’s length-to-width ratio refers to the length (point to point) as opposed to the width (across the belly). In other words, an average length for a marquise is around twice its width, with a length-to-width ratio of 2:1. 


What Is the Perfect Ratio?

The length-to-width ratios for marquise diamonds typically range from 1.6:1 to 2.2:1. For long marquise diamonds, it is extremely difficult for cutters to facet the diamonds in a way that retains the face-up appearance of brightness and pattern as beautiful as in the shorter range. On the other hand, a short marquise may look stubby. Either way, both can make for a very attractive engagement ring. At the end of the day, it all comes down to what you think is the most beautiful.

If you’re looking for marquise diamonds in Los Angeles, get in touch with us today! We’re happy to help find the perfect diamond for you.

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