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Marquise Cut Guide

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From our GIA experts

Marquise Cut Guide

For those moments that are as endless as they are unique—such as a marriage proposal or an engagement—selecting the perfect symbol of love is paramount. Marquise diamonds have long been celebrated for their distinctive shape and romantic origins. We designed this guide with tender love and care for couples who are about to take their relationship to the next glittering level.

Marquise 4cs

Choosing a Marquise Diamond: Factors to Consider

Factors to consider

The Bowtie Effect

A common characteristic in many elongated diamond cuts, including the marquise, is the 'bowtie effect'. This is a dark shadow that appears in the centre of the diamond due to light blockage. While almost all marquise diamonds display some degree of the bowtie effect, the aim should be to choose a diamond where this feature doesn’t dominate the gem's appearance. Opt for a stone where the bowtie complements the diamond's facets, enhancing its depth and allure rather than detracting from its brilliance.

The Best Ratio for a Marquise Cut Diamond

The aspect ratio (length-to-width ratio) plays a pivotal role in the overall look of a marquise diamond. It's what determines the stone's profile - from slender and elongated to shorter and wider. The ideal ratio for a marquise diamond is considered to be between 1.85 to 2.10. This range ensures that the diamond’s proportions are perfectly balanced, offering the most pleasing aesthetic. However, the choice can vary based on personal preference and how the diamond complements the wearer's hand.

Marquise Cut Guide

The quality of the cut is paramount in showcasing the diamond's brilliance and sparkle. A well-cut marquise diamond will have symmetrical points and sides, ensuring that the light is reflected evenly throughout the stone. When examining a marquise diamond, pay close attention to the alignment of its facets and ensure that they are perfectly proportioned.

Marquise Colour Guide

Colour is another crucial factor to consider. Marquise diamonds, due to their shape, can sometimes show colour more readily than other cuts, particularly at the points. Diamonds are graded from D (colourless) through to Z (light colour). For marquise diamonds, a colour grade of H or higher is recommended to ensure that any visible tint does not distract from the stone’s radiant sparkle.

How to choose a marquise diamond

Buying Guide

The modified brilliant cut is what it says a brilliant cut which has been altered to its new shape. In this case into a marquise shape- narrow and elongated with two sharp ends. Referred to as a ‘fancy cut’ the marquise modified brilliant cut provides you with the same quality and level of brilliance, whilst adopting a different and unique shape.

    • Length-to-width ratio: Marquise diamonds typically have a length-to-width ratio ranging from 1.75 to 2.25, although personal preference plays a significant role.
    • Facets: A traditional Marquise cut diamond features 58 facets, including the large, kite-shaped facets on the crown and pavilion.
    • Bowtie Effect: Due to its elongated shape, Marquise diamonds may exhibit a shadowy bowtie effect across the centre. This effect varies in intensity depending on cut quality.
    • Cut Quality: Look for a Marquise diamond with excellent symmetry and proportion to minimise the bowtie effect and maximise brilliance.
    • Colour and Clarity: Marquise diamonds tend to accentuate colour and clarity imperfections more prominently, so opt for higher grades if possible.
    • Settings: Consider a prong setting to protect the pointed ends of the diamond and enhance its brilliance.
    • Solitaire: A single Marquise diamond set on a simple band allows the unique shape to take centre stage.
    • Halo: Surrounding the Marquise diamond with a halo of smaller diamonds adds sparkle and enhances its perceived size.
    • East-West Setting: Setting the Marquise diamond horizontally creates a modern and eye-catching aesthetic.

Marquise Romance

History of Marquise Cut

The marquise cut diamond, also known as the "navette" shape, is reminiscent of a boat (navette being French for "little ship") and features an elongated body with pointed ends. This cut maximises carat weight, giving the illusion of a larger, more opulent diamond. Its history purportedly dates back to the French royal court, when King Louis XV commissioned a diamond to reflect the smile of his beloved Marquise de Pompadour.

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