When it comes to fine jewelry with splendid allure, the marquise cut ranks pretty high on the list of customers’ most popular choices. The reasons why are clear and simple – marquise is the most subtle diamond shape ever and by far, the most successful promoter of femininity. As a bonus fact, marquise-cut jewelry is crafted in all styles, from classic and vintage, to modern and fancy. Now, the big question is – “What is the right marquise-cut diamond for you?” Stay tuned and learn how savvy consumers shop for marquise cut diamond rings.
THE MOST REGAL SHAPE IN JEWELRY
The aristocratic curves of the diamond fashioned in marquise shape are not just incredibly flattering, but distinctive too. There is no other shape that can be easily compared to this one. Hence, the confusion; some consider it a modified type of the brilliant cut, while others a member of the “fancy diamond” family. Other terms that are often used to refer to marquise are “navette”, “little boat”, “football shape”, “elliptical shape” and “eye shape”. Regardless of the name, the most important thing that has to be remembered about marquise cut diamond rings is that they look outstandingly beautiful, especially on the ring finger.
Those who would like to expand their marquise jewelry knowledge are certainly eager to find out when, where, who and what triggered the foundation of this diamond shape. It was back to the 18th century when the French king Louis XIV requested from his jewelers to design a special diamond shape that will bear a resemblance to the lips of his mistress, the graceful Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour. Once this awe-inspiring stone was presented to the eye of the public, it has become the signature jewelry of courtiers which helped them show off their rank and status in society. The very first precious stone sculpted in marquise cut (the one designed in honor of Marquise de Pompadour) was a diamond, but later on, jewelers started applying it to other types of gems, such as sapphires, rubies and emeralds.
Here is what constitutes the essence and stateliness of the marquise-cut diamond:
• Point - the edgy part where the two curved sides of the stone meet at each end
• Belly - the central area where the sides of the stone are most curved; the belly is used as a base for measuring a marquise-cut diamond’s width
• Wing - the area between the belly and the point
• Keel Line - the bottom part where the facets meet
• Girdle - the part that divides the crown from the pavilion; in other terms, it is the intersection of the upper and the bottom part of the diamond
* Understanding the parts of the marquise-cut diamond is very helpful when making a selection.
OTHER IMPORTANT FACTORS TO CONSIDER
Both the appearance and functionality of marquise cut diamond rings are determined by a number of factors that you, as a future consumer, need to take into account. Here they are:
› FRENCH TIPS
Usually seen as a disadvantage, the sharp ends of the marquise-cut diamond make it prone to chipping and breaking. The most effective solution is to secure them with a proper jewelry setting, like the V-prong setting and French tips. The latter, has proven to not only increase security, but also durability. By applying French tips to a marquise-cut diamond, the elongated bezel facet at each end of the stone is replaced with upper girdle and star facets.
› GIRDLE THICKNESS
This is another crucial factor in ensuring the quality of marquise cut diamond rings. The simple rule says – the thicker the girdle the lower the risk of damage. Basically, the girdle functions as a pillar of the diamond’s structure, only in horizontal direction. If the girdle is overly thick, it will make the diamond heavier, which is recommended to make it prone to chipping or breaking. Not all diamond shapes require a thick girdle to be durable and functional, but nonetheless, the one sculpted in marquise shape is considered more vulnerable and it emphasizes the importance of this feature.
Any successful, flawless-looking design is based upon the principle of good symmetry. This also applies to the overall look of marquise cut diamond rings. Official diamond grading reports talk about 4 main pointers to be used when evaluating the symmetry of the diamond in marquise shape:
1. The contours of the wings need to have the same amount of curve on both sides.
2. If an imaginary horizontal line that passes across the belly is drawn, the two halves of the stone need to be identical (featuring the same length). If not, they are not symmetrical.
3. The facets on each halve of the stone need to be of the same length, size and relative locations along the wings. To check this, draw an imaginary line across the diamond horizontally and vertically. The better the symmetry of the facets, the more appealing the stone will be.
4. Check if there are any extra or missing facets.
Symmetry and shape are closely related, but they are not the same thing, though. In addition to having the same proportions, the diamond has to be captivating and pleasing to the eye as well. Take a look at the most common issues in terms of shape:
2. Wings with a smaller amount of curve than usual (known as “flat wings”).
3. Wings with a different amount of curve (known as “uneven wings”).
4. Slightly rounded points instead of being sheerly pointed (known as “undefined points”).
› LENGTH-TO-WIDTH RATIO
The most common length-to-width ratio of marquise cut diamond rings is 2:1 (reminder: the length-to-width ratio shows the length of the stone from one point to another compared to the width across the belly). The ratio of 2:1 is also considered the ideal one. However, according to the official diamond grading reports, the length-to-width ratio of marquise cut diamond rings that meet the standards of aesthetics varies from 1.6:1 to 2.2:1. Anything below or above these ratios would give a too short (stubby) or too long marquise-cut diamond.
› THE BOW-TIE EFFECT
A large number of marquise cut diamond rings have the tendency of showcasing the so-called “bow-tie effect”, which is a dark, bow-tie-shaped shadow in the central area of the stone. The bow-tie shadow can feature from light gray hues to dark, even black ones. Much to your surprise, the presence of the bow-tie effect is recommended for marquise jewelry, but only in small amounts. For instance, a light bow-tie shadow would prevent the diamond from being dull, but an overly expressed bow-tie effect would make it distracting and unappealing. The bow-tie effect is highly desirable for diamonds with extremely deep or shallow pavilions. Its intensity is best to be evaluated under normal lighting conditions and without magnification.
One of the greatest things about the marquise shape is that it enhances the color of the stone, thus making it more visible. To avoid the distracting yellowish tint, it is recommended to buy a diamond of at least G or H color grade. Anyway, if the marquise-cut diamond is set in yellow gold, you can go for a one with an I or J color grade.
Now, it is time for the drawbacks. The marquise-cut diamond is more likely to showcase any existing inclusions in the stone, rather than the diamond in round shape. When shopping for marquise cut diamond rings, the best approach is to pick a diamond that has no inclusions towards the stone’s center. Inclusions that are present in the stone’s edges are less troublesome, because they can be easily hidden with the setting. In jewelry practice, eye-clean marquise cut diamond rings start with a clarity grade of VS or SI.
Art Deco Marquise Diamond Ring in 14k Two-Tone Gold
CELEBRITY MARQUISE CUT DIAMOND RINGS
- Catherine Zeta-Jones
The Welsch actress owns a spectacular vintage ring designed with the flair of the 1920s, centered with a giant marquise-cut stone of 10 carats and complemented by 28 additional stones.
Ring’s estimated value: $2 million
- Victoria Beckham
This fashion icon was proposed by her favorite football player, David Beckham with a stunning marquise-cut diamond nestled in supreme-quality yellow gold.
Ring’s estimated value: $86,592
- Ashlee Simpson
The song-writer and actress got engaged with a flattering marquise-cut diamond ring heavy 5 precious carats. Set in yellow gold and platinum, the center stone was surrounded with rubies and diamonds coming in a number of almost 150.
Ring’s estimated value: $500,000
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