The Marquise cut is among the most popular diamond cuts for engagement rings. It has an aura of class, sophistication, and romance owing to its unique shape. When putting on that finger, the diamond appears even larger than it actually is. It also makes your fingers appear longer. This is a great compliment if you have shorter fingers.
Another great advantage of the Marquise cut is that it tends to be significantly cheaper than some other diamond cuts in the same carat weight such as the round cut. Just to put things into perspective many marquise cut diamonds that are 1 carat in weight are more than a centimeter long.
The marquise cut is also known as the navette. If you are looking for a striking vintage look on your gem, then the marquise is a great option.
The cut of the diamond increases the carat weight and this is what makes the stone look larger to the eye. It is pointed on both sides and features an elliptical shape. The Marquise has 56 facets.
Granted, it may not elude as much fire and brilliance as the round cut or the pear cut. It still, however, creates a sense of class and sophisticating.
This is a cut that has been around for centuries with a history that dates back to 18th century France. King Louis XV wanted a diamond cut that resembled the shape of his Mistress Madame de Pompadour’s lips out of his deep love for her.
Later the diamond was to be worn as a sign of rank and status by the Marquise at the courts. It is this history of royalty that still grants the marquise cut diamond its classy aura.
Understanding the shape and anatomy of the marquise cut
The marquise shape is a fancy cut diamond which means that it has a shape other than round. Understanding its parts is the key to picking the right diamond.
The area where the sides of the marquise are curving the most is known as the belly. This is where you will measure the width of the diamond.
Point refers to the ends where the curves finally meet from both sides.
The section from the belly to the point is known as the wing.
Where the crown or top of the diamond intersects with the pavilion which is the bottom facets, is called the girdle. Think of this as the perimeter of the diamond.
The keel line is the bottom of the marquise, and every other fancy cut diamond where the faces of the j pavilion meet. It will run through the entire length of the diamond. There are often times where it will run through the culet at the center of the diamond.
By understanding the different parts of the marquise cut, you can focus your attention to each of these when evaluating the diamond.
How to evaluate the marquise cut
After knowing the different parts of the marquise, there are a number of factors that will help in picking the perfect diamond for you.
The thickness of the girdle
The girdle is the setting edge of the marquise cut diamond. A thick girdle will reduce the chances of the stone getting damaged. Even while the girdle is the narrowest section on the marquise cut, you need to examine its entire length.
It is usually scalloped meaning it has the shape of valleys and hills. This is as a result of the upper and the lower half facts. If the girdle is too thick it will result in a heavier diamond. Also, if it is too thin then this increases the chances of the diamond chipping.
Something to note about the marquise cut girdle compared to other diamond cuts is that it is completely fine to go for a slightly thicker girdle when you factor in that the most vulnerable points of the diamond are its points.
The French tips
Noting again that the points of the marquise are its most vulnerable part, cutters will often go for French tips. This increases the durability of the diamond.
Instead of using a large bezel shape situated at each end of the diamond, the upper and the star girdle facets are modified.
The symmetry should be perfect when dealing with the marquise cut diamond. The best way to judge the symmetry of the stone is to imagine a line from one tip through the center and to the other tip. Then, evaluate the wings and the belly and see whether they are perfectly symmetrical.
The shape appeal needs to be on point. Any hint of the shape being off should cause you to want to pick another stone.
Also, imagine a line through the center of the diamond from wing to wing and see whether the top and bottom parts are perfectly symmetrical.
This should not be a hard process as due to the elongated shape of the marquise, your eyes will be easily drawn to any imperfections.
Cut quality and shape of the marquise cut
Keep in mind that evaluating the marquise cut has to be done in a different way to the round cut and most other types of cuts. Most of your decisions will be subjective and so it’s crucial that you take a close up look at the diamond.
The first thing to note is that the marquise cut needs to have pointed tips.
The sections on either side, which are called wings, should not be too bulging and neither should they be too flat. The center area is known as the belly and should be curved gently.
Use the table below as a guide for evaluating the cut of the marquise.
|Table%||53-63||52 or 64-65||51 or 66-68||50 or 69-70||<50 or >70|
|Depth%||58-62||56-57.9 or 62.1-66||53-53.9 or 66.1-71||50-52.9 or 71.1-74||<50 or >74|
|Girdle||Very thin -slightly thick||Very thin-slightly thick||Very thin-thick||Very thin-very thick||Extra thin-extra thick|
|L/W ratio||1.85-2.00||1.75-1.84 or 2.01-2.15||1.65-174 or 2.16-2.30||1.55-1.64 or 2.31-2.45||>1.55 or <2.45|
One of the best ways to avoid poorly cut marquise cut diamonds is by considering the table and the depth. The table, in particular, should be between 53-63% while the depth should be 59-62%. Of course, this will not sieve out all poorly cut diamonds but you will have narrowed down your options.
The GIA will not provide you with a cut quality grade. This means that you will have to determine this on your own. You need to have a keen eye for the cut of the marquise shape diamond to make the right decisions.
Judging the shape appeal of the marquise cut
Perfect symmetry in the marquise cut is crucial. However, it is not the only thing to focus on. The shape of the diamond needs to be appealing to the eye showing grace.
There is a different way to judge the shape of the marquise cut with the symmetry. Each diamond needs to be evaluated individually and compare the whole diamond to its individual parts.
Its import to compare it to other marquise cut diamonds that feature the same cutting style. Some flaws with the shape of the diamond may include flat wings. This causes the marquise cut to have fewer curves on it.
Bulged wings are another issue. This is the opposite of flat wings where now the wings are too plump and have too much curve.
A poorly cut marquise can have uneven wings as well where one side has more curve than the other. Also, watch out for undefined points that appear rounded or curved.
The length-to-width ratio
If you evaluated two or three Marquise cut diamonds, any difference in the length-to-width ratio between them is easily noticeable due to the shape of the diamond. It is mainly a matter of preference. A low ratio will result in a shorter diamond while a large ratio results in a long diamond.
Often when the marquise is cut very long the brilliance tends to drop. While it is up to you on how long and how wide you would like your marquise cut diamond, the classic cut has a length to width ration of between 1.75 and 2.25.
In most other cuts the perfect diamond will not feature a bowtie. However, with the marquise, there is always going to be a bowtie due to the shape and the pattern of the faceting. Note however that some bowties will be more visible and prominent than others.
The bowtie is caused by facets that are misaligned. Because of this, instead of light being reflected from the surface, it gets in from one side of the marquise cut and out the other. Note that the certification will not tell you about the bowtie on the diamond this is why it is crucial to take a look at the stone yourself.
That said the marquise cut diamond that has been professionally and expertly cut is absolutely stunning and has a nice sparkle.
Pick the one with the least prominent bowtie as possible. Also, as much as the marquise cut is not known for its brilliance, the best cut marquise should have more sparkle at the center.
To evaluate the marquise cut for its bowtie, observe the diamond with its face up in a room with normal light conditions. Also, ensure the viewing distance is normal and without magnification.
Remember that the facets of the diamond act as a mirror which gather light and then reflect it back to you. By viewing the marquise, your head will be blocking some of the light from entering creating a contrast. This is the bowtie effect.
Of course, the degree of visibility will also depend on the proximity of the diamond to you.
The clarity grade for marquise cut diamonds
One of the main benefits of the marquise cut is that it still has a decent level of brilliance and is great at hiding inclusion. This is so even when the stone has low clarity. It is advisable to go for an SI1 on the clarity chart.
That said it is also important to keep in mind that the marquise cut diamond which has inclusions on the sides of the stone are preferable to those that have inclusions at the center. This is due to the shape of the stone which makes the imperfections less visible when they are near the tops than when they are near the center.
However, note also that inclusions at the ends of the marquise cut diamond can cause the points of the diamonds to be weaker than the center. The reason is that in the rough, these points will be nearer to the ends which mean that there is a high chance if there being weaknesses in these points.
The lab report does not tell you about the location the inclusions so it’s crucial to take a look at the diamond yourself to ensure that the inclusions if any aren’t visible. Buying the marquise diamond blind could cause you to pick one with inclusions that are quite visible.
The clarity of the marquise cut will follow the GIA grades that are based on the inclusions and the blemishes on the diamond.
- I2— Inclusions
- SI2—Small Inclusions
- SI1—Small Inclusions
- VS2—Very Small Inclusions
- VS1—Very Small Inclusions
- VVS2—Very Very Small Inclusions
- VVS1—Very Very Small Inclusions
- IF—Internally Flawless
For those who simply adore the marquise cut diamond and are on a budget, it is possible to find an eye clean diamond that is at the I1 or SI2 clarity grade. When the size is below 2 carats the imperfection will not be visible to the naked eye.
The table below serves as a guide on the marquise cut clarity grade.
|.51 to 1.0 ct.||FL-VS1||VS2-SI1||SI2||I1-I2||>I2|
|1 to 2 ct.||FL-VVS2||VS1-VS2||SI1-SI2||I1||>I1|
Marquise cut color grade
Thanks to the shape of the marquise cut diamond, it will show color much more easily than a round diamond. The color will be visible mostly around the tips.
If you plan on setting the marquise on white gold or platinum, go for an H color as this will look white while being cheaper than a high color grade.
Since the D-F colors which are the colorless diamonds are in higher demand, shoppers will be willing to pay a premium for them and are therefore much more expensive. Note that the naked eye may not even notice the difference in these higher grades.
Due to the shape of the marquise cut diamond, the larger stones can have a dark appearance on the edges. Choosing a lower color grade can balance things out and still be more affordable.
On the other hand, if you want yellow or rose gold for your setting, the marquise cut diamond will appear colorless going all through to the K color grade. The metal will off course reflect a bit of its color through the diamond. The K color warmness will cause the stone to appear white.
Take a look at the marquise cut diamond color guide below for guidance on picking the best color grade.
|.51 to 1.0 ct.||D-F||G||H-I||J-K||>K|
|1 to 2 ct.||D-F||D-F||G-H||I-J||>J|
Where to get a marquise cut diamond
Before choosing a marquise cut diamond, make sure that you first have a good look at the stone to be able to judge the shape and the quality. If you choose an online seller, ensure that they are reputable and that you are able to have access to a 360-degree video of the stone.
The marquise cut could chip easily
The sharp tips of the marquise cut are prone to chipping and catching onto clothes. Due to this fact, it is important that you pick a setting that protects the diamond.
A 4-prong setting with a V-tip will offer the highest level of protection to the stone. You, of course, want to keep the diamond’s highlights which in the marquise cut are the sharp points.
A halo setting is also a great choice for the marquise cut diamond since the stone is surrounded on all sides by a halo which offers excellent protection. Even better is that the halo setting increases the brilliance and sparkle of the diamond.
The marquise cut diamond cost
The marquise cut will often cost less than a round diamond of the same carat similar to other fancy diamond cuts. This is because there is more rough wastage in the round diamond than in the marquise.
The marquise actually uses the long shape of the diamond rough very well. The carat weight is distributed mainly at the trips of the diamond and this is what makes it look large.