You can see straight away that a marquise diamond is not for everyone, because of this gemstone's unusual shape. As the name suggests, this diamond shape has a noble history and origins in France. The marquise diamond is characterised by a number of unique features which you should take into account when choosing to let this diamond be the sparkle in your engagement ring, necklace or earrings. In this article we set out in detail what makes the marquise cut so special.


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What Characterises the Marquise Diamond?

Woman wearing white gold necklace with marquise diamonds
The marquise diamond is notable for its elliptical shape with pointed ends and is sometimes called 'navette', after the French word for a ‘little boat’. The marquise diamond has the largest crown area of all cuts. This makes the diamond seem bigger than other gemstones with equal carat weight.

The marquise cut is especially popular with necklaces and earrings. Unlike the brilliant cut, the marquise diamond is less common in engagement rings. This diamond cut is more suitable for those ladies who love distinctive jewellery, thanks to the pronounced shape. Just as with the oval diamond, the elongated shape makes the finger appear longer and slimmer.

See how a marquise diamond looks in a necklace

The Unique Origins of This Cut

The history of the marquise diamond dates back to the 18th century. French King Louis XV commissioned a diamond cut in the shape of the lips of his mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour.
The marquise is considered one of the more elegant and feminine diamond shapes
The cutting techniques at the time were not yet as refined and accurate as today, but the boat shape - the so-called navette - was certainly recognisable. The marquise cut diamond has 58 facets, just like a brilliant: 33 facets on the crown and 25 on the pavilion.

Learn more on the different diamond shapes

The Look of the Marquise Diamond Ring

White gold engagement ring with marquise and round diamonds - BAUNAT
Just as with other elongated cuts, such as the baguette or oval diamond, the marquise diamond appears visibly larger than the actual carat weight. The marquise cut is therefore very suitable for ladies who like to show off slightly larger and more striking jewellery.

As well as the size of the diamond, the pointy shape also contributes to the unique appearance of the marquise diamond. The marquise looks rather impressive mounted in a solitaire ring or as the centre stone in a halo ring. Furthermore, this regal diamond cut lends itself perfectly to finishing off exclusive jewellery. Because of this, marquise diamonds often feature in necklaces or earrings.

View this ring with marquise diamonds

Cutting the Marquise Diamond

Earrings in rose gold with marquise diamonds - BAUNAT
A marquise diamond should be cut very accurately. If the facets are not carefully aligned, black shapes appear inside the diamond. Since these shapes look like a bow tie, this is also known as the bow tie effect. This effect can be avoided by cutting an extra facet on the culet. The bow tie effect is sometimes also seen in oval, pear and heart-shaped diamonds.

As regards the cut, the marquise cut is not an obvious choice, but it is a
multifaceted shape with a unique appearance.

Explore these marquise earrings

Famous Marquise Diamond Jewellery

Deciding on a navette diamond for your engagement ring is a choice which won't go unnoticed, for sure. The unique appearance of this noble diamond shape has charmed many celebs in the past:

  • Catherine Zeta-Jones wears an engagement ring with a marquise diamond, making it even more extravagant by having an East-West setting.

  • Ashlee Simpson's engagement ring is an imposing vintage design with a marquise centre diamond.

  • Portia de Rossi's engagement ring sparkles with a navette diamond in an east-west setting, surrounded by pink diamonds.

  • The engagement ring Jas Prince gave Christina Milian features a centre diamond in a marquise cut, with a double ring band in a pavé setting.

  • Although she now has a pear-shaped diamond, Victoria Beckham's original engagement ring was a marquise diamond.

  • Jennifer Lopez started her first marriage with a marquise diamond ring, although these days she favours a diamond with an emerald cut.

What Should You Pay Attention to When Buying a Marquise Diamond?

The marquise diamond cut is the perfect choice particularly for ladies who are unsure about their fingers or hands. The unique shape makes it look as if the wearer has slimmer fingers. Depending on the size of your hands and fingers, choose either the north-south setting to make the fingers look longer, or the east-west one for the distinct design.

When deciding to buy jewellery with a marquise cut diamond, we recommend keeping the colour in mind. Marquise diamonds show more colour than round diamonds, because the ends are not so rounded. It is therefore a good idea to go for more colour, with a marquise cut. In terms of clarity, it's best to avoid gemstones with inclusions visible near the middle. Any inclusions near the ends will barely be seen if held by the setting prongs.

As with any diamond, symmetry is a decisive factor when making your choice. The unique shape of the marquise cut makes it easier to spot an asymmetrical cut here than with any other diamond cut. Make sure that the ends of the marquise diamond are evenly positioned directly opposite each other, for the best possible symmetry.

Working out the size of your marquise diamond

Marquise diamonds rest on four or six prongs, depending on the design. Make sure you buy an engagement ring where the prongs protect the marquise’s pointed ends, reducing the risk of them breaking off. For the shape to have maximum effect, we recommend at least a 1.50carat stone on the ring. If you want to add extra sparkle or make the diamond appear visibly bigger, you can easily do that with a halo.

What Other Cuts Are There?

The cut of a diamond largely determines the appearance of the jewellery, not only for engagement rings, but also for other jewellery such as necklaces and earrings,  This is certainly the case with BAUNAT designer jewellery: collections where exclusive diamond shapes are combined in a unique way.

A marquise diamond in your engagement ring or necklace may be a striking choice, but other cuts can also make your jewellery unique. Wondering which diamond cuts look modern and luxurious, or do you prefer a diamond with a charismatic look? You can find out all about it in our blog:

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