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    Marquise Cut Diamonds: Everything You Need to Know

    Whether you're shopping for a marquise cut diamond engagement ring ring or a diamond treat for yourself, we’re here with everything you need to know about the marquise diamond! Keep reading for:

    • What is a marquise diamond

    • Why we love them

    • How to choose a marquise diamond

    • Marquise cut diamond Q & A

    • Marquise cut diamond versus other diamond shapes

    • The most famous marquise cut engagement rings

    What is a Marquise diamond?

    A modified brilliant cut with 56 facets, marquise diamonds are an under-hyped, incredibly aesthetic and unique diamond cut that we love. Marquise diamonds combine the elongated outline of an oval cut diamond with the pointed edges of a pear for a dramatic, finger-flattering, timeless shape that's always in fashion.

    Pronounced "mar-keys", a marquise diamond is shaped like an eye with curved sides and pointed ends. As a fancy shaped diamond, marquise cuts can be whatever they want to be - from ultra elongated to perfectly plump.

    Marquise Diamond History

    The first marquise diamond was made for King Louis XV who wanted a diamond cut in the shape of his mistress' lips - scandolous, right?

    Years later, the cut was named 'marquise' to symbolize the royal rank just below duke. It became a symbol of prestige and a mark of a person's position in society.  

    Since then, the cut has been refined but maintains the same spirit and overall shape of the original.

    Why We Love MARQUISE CUT DIAMONDS

    marquise DIAMONDS ARE NOT SHY WITH THEIR SPARKLE

    Like all brilliant cuts, a marquise diamond is cut to sparkle.Compared to other diamonds like step cuts, a marquise diamond shine blindingly bright.  

    marquise diamond rings

    marquise diamonds are finger flattering

    A marquise cut diamond's elongated shape makes the wearer's finger looks longer and leaner by drawing the eye upwards along the hand.

    More diamond for your dollar

    If you weren't yet swayed by a marquise diamond's royal appeal, they're also significantly less expensive than round brilliant diamonds of the same carat weight. Not to mention, they look larger for their size than many other diamond shapes.

    Champagne marquise cut diamond ring

    Why Are marquise cut Diamonds Cheaper?

    The marquise cut uses more of the rough diamond when cutting, which means less waste and a lower cost for you! If you want the biggest diamond for your dollar, marquise cut may be the shape for you.

    MARQUISE CUT diamonds look bigger

    The marquise diamond looks much bigger than other diamond shapes of the same carat weight (about 15% larger than a round brilliant). Why? It has one of the biggest crown areas of any diamond shape, so face-up it looks larger. So, if you're on team #biggerisbetter, you'll love a marquise - the queen of optical illusion.

    A MARQUISE CUT DIAMOND is a unique choice

    If love to stray from the status quo, you'll love a marquise diamond. Making up less than 5% of all diamond sales, it's not your neighbour's diamond. It's a rare and unique choice which will set you apart from the rest.

    SET IT UP & DOWN OR SIDE TO SIDE

    If there's one thing we love, it's options! Set your marquise diamond north-south for a more classic look or turn it east-west for a striking switch! Left to right it gives evil eye vibes - your very own protective diamond talisman.

    WHAT ARE THE CONS OF A marquise DIAMOND?

    MARQUISE DIAMONDS ARE MORE PRONE TO DAMAGE

    Thanks to those pointed ends, marquise cuts can more easily chip than a shape with no hard edges. Having said that, a well-made setting with prongs or a bezel to protect the tips will mitigate this risk.

    IT'S DIFFICULT TO FIND A GREAT MARQUISE CUT DIAMOND

    Like many other fancy cut diamonds, it can be tough to find a well-cut and symmetrical marquise diamond without a glaring bowtie region. That doesn't mean it's impossible though - it just takes some expert sifting to find the well-cut diamond in the rough! Book a free virtual consultation with us if you need help finding your perfect marquise (or any other diamond shape).


    How to choose a MARQUISE cut diamond - the 4Cs

    MARQUISE cut diamond - clarity

    ''Clarity' is a measure of blemishes or inclusions in a diamond. Unless you're celebrating imperfections with a salt & pepper diamond, you'll want a diamond that looks free of noticeable inclusions.

    As a modified brilliant cut, marquise diamonds hide blemishes well. That means you can opt for a lower clarity grade vs other cuts (like step cuts) and still get an eye-clean diamond. Now you're free to blow your budget on more important measures, like diamond cut!

    Pro-tip: the highest clarity grades are substantially more expensive and you often can't tell the difference except under extreme magnification. If you can't see it, it's probably not worth paying for. The goal is to find the lowest clarity grade that's still eye-clean and not pay for stats that you can't see.

    Generally, an SI1 or SI2 (and above) marquise cut diamond will be eye-clean. As the diamond size increases, inclusions are easier to see, so if you're shopping for a 2 carat+ stone, you may want to creep up the clarity scale.

    In terms of inclusion specifics, blemishes near the sides of the diamonds are less noticeable than inclusions near the center, and light colored inclusions are less apparent than dark marks.

    The GIA clarity scale

    • Flawless (FL) - No inclusions or blemishes can be seen with 10× magnification

    • Internally Flawless (IF) - No inclusions (but some blemishes) can be seen with 10x magnification

    • Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) - Inclusions are difficult to see under 10× magnification

    • Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) - Minor inclusions can be seen under 10x magnification

    • Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) - Noticeable inclusions under 10x magnification

    • Included (I1, I2, and I3) - Obvious inclusions under 10× magnification

    MARQUISE cut diamond - color

    Diamonds are graded for color by the GIA from D (colorless) to Z (champagne tones).

    Diamond color is subjective and the same color grade can look different across different stones, so our best advice: pick what you love. Whether you're all about the brightest white diamond or in love with champagne tones, choose what you like first and look at stats seconds.  

    Most people can't tell the difference between multiple color grades so it's not worth paying for something you can't see!

    MARQUISE cut diamond - cut

    The most important C of all, 'cut' is what really predicts a diamond's overall appeal. A well cut diamond has an uninterrupted sparkle and shine and reflects a scintillating blend of white and colored light.

    The challenge with marquise diamonds and all fancy cut diamonds: the GIA does not grant an overall cut grade like they do with round brilliant diamonds. This makes it much more challenging to pick your perfect stone without some expert help. Having said that, that's what we're here for! We love to help you find the highest quality, most dazzling diamond in your budget.

    Or if you want to start your stone search solo, check out the chart below to see the recommended cut quality standards for marquise cut diamonds.

    marquise diamonds cut guide

    Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor

    Table %

    53-63

    52 or 64-65

    51 to 66 - 68

    50 or 69-70

    <50 or >70

    Depth %

    58-62

    56-57.9 or 62.1 - 66

    53-55.9 or 66.1-71

    50-52.9 or 71.1-74

    <50 or >74

    Girdle

    Very Thin to Slightly Thick

    Very Thin to Slightly Thick

    Very Thin to Thick

    Very Thin to Very Thick

    Extremely Thin to Extremely Thick

    Cutlet

    None

    Very Small

    Small

    Medium

    >Medium

    Length to Width Ratio

    1.85 - 2.00

    1.75-1.84 or 2.01-2.15

    1.65-1.74 or 2.16-2.30

    1.55-1.64 or 2.31-2.45

    <1.55 or >2.45

    Ideal marquise cut length to width ratio

    When it comes to marquise shape, choose whatever you like best! Super skinny and elongated or fabulously full figured, go with what speaks to you. If you're not sure where to start, a length to width ratio of 1.75 - 2.15 is considered the most classic marquise proportion.

    THE BOW TIE EFFECT IN MARQUISE DIAMONDS

    Thanks to their facet pattern, all marquise cut diamonds have a bowtie — a dark area across the center of the stone. The goal is to find a not-so-noticeable bowtie that doesn't interfere with the stone's sparkle. How to tell: you have to see a diamond in person or in motion to know - the severity of a bowtie isn't shown in a grading report.

    That's why we're here to help you find the diamond of your dreams without you having to speak fluent jewelry-ese!

    symmetry in a marquise diamond

    Symmetry is super important in marquise cuts. You want the two points to line up perfectly and for the left and right sides to mirror each other. Any assymetry will be extra obvious in a marquise cut.

    How to choose a marquise cut diamond: summary

    1. Begin with cut - pick the highest quality cut you can afford. Enlist the help of an expert jeweler or refer to our chart above for the basics.

    2. Pay attention to symmetry and look out for the bowtie effect.

    3. Choose the lowest clarity grade that corresponds with an eye-clean diamond. Marquise diamonds hide blemishes well so you can usually choose get a lower clarity grade and direct your budget to more important measures, like cut.

    4. Look at the length to width ratio: for the most favored proportions, start in the length to width ratio range of 1.75 - 2.15.


    PEAR cut diamonds vs MARQUISE CUT diamonds

    Pear cut and marquise cut diamonds are often compared for their elongated outline and fine point(s) - a marquise is really just a pear with a point where the rounded edge used to be! The biggest difference: marquise diamonds are symmetrical, so if you love looking at a mirror image, a marquise might be for you.

    Both diamonds elongate and slim the look of the finger, and as brilliant cuts, are incredibly sparkly. With that elongated shape comes the bowtie effect which both stones share. Ultimately, choose the diamond that you can't stop staring at.

    pear cut diamonds vs marquise cut diamonds

    OVAL cut diamonds vs MARQUISE cut diamonds

    Oval diamonds are the rounded versions of marquise diamonds. Both are elongated brilliant cuts with rounded sides, except a marquise has two dramatic points, much like a human eye. The main difference: without the points that are prone to chipping, oval cut diamonds are more durable. So, if you're torn between the two and are extra active or not super soft on your jewelry, an oval cut diamond may be a better bet.

    There's also a diamond shape called a moval - a mix between oval and marquise for those who just can't decide!

    oval cut diamonds vs marquise cut diamonds

    your marquise diamond questions answered

    Are marquise cut diamonds more expensive?

    Marquise cut diamonds are significantly less expensive than a round brilliant cut of the same carat weight. Why? They use more of the rough diamond when cutting, meaning less waste and more savings. Not to mention, much more sustainable!

    Why is Marquise cut unpopular?

    Marquise diamonds make up less than 5% all diamonds sold. Why? Fancy shaped diamonds, while stunning and unique, aren't chosen as often simply because they're different. Most diamond shoppers opt for what they know rather than venturing into the lesser known. 75% of diamonds sold are round brilliant, and the other fancy shapes make up around 2-5% each.

    While we love a sparkling round brilliant diamond, those less popular shapes speak to our soul. We love a stone and a design that's anything but ordinary and has a personality that feels uniquely like the wearer.

    What is special about a marquise diamond?

    Marquise diamonds are a unique shape - the perfect stone for those who want to do things differently. They're elegant, dramatic, and look amazing set either north-south or east-west. With their tall outline, they slim and lengthen the look of the finger and look much bigger carat for carat than many other diamond shapes.

    Are Marquise diamonds still in style?

    Marquise diamonds are a timeless choice, but like all diamond shapes - choose what you love to look at rather than what's trendy. Our favorite way to modernize a marquise cut? Set it east-west for an interesting and unexpected design.

    WHAT RING GOES WITH marquise cut?

    The limit does not exist when picking a wedding band or stacking ring for your marquise diamond! Start by checking if your ring is stackable or not. Stackable rings have an elevated head which allows straight bands to sit underneath the setting, whereas non-stackable rings sit right against the finger. Browse tiara bands and chevron shaped bands for non-stackable rings and straight bands for your stackable setting.

    For more on how to find a matching wedding band for your engagement ring, read our blog!

    Marquise cut diamond meaning

    Diamonds are the highest vibe stone of all. Connected to the crown chakra, they help align us with our intuition and the universal wisdom always available to us. Marquise diamonds in particular symbolize a certain independance of spirit - the souls that were never meant to follow the herd. Marquise lovers are seekers - curious, open minded, and always expanding to become their highest self.

    With the marquise diamonds royal beginnings, it allows hold a certain regal, I-belong-on-the-throne energy that never gets old.

    OUR FAVORITE SETTING FOR A marquise cut diamond ring

    Whether you're looking for a marquise cut diamond engagement ring or a just-because-you-love-it marquise cut diamond ring, keep reading for our two favorite settings:

    solitaire prong setting

    A simple prong setting lets your diamond sparkle its brightest with the least coverage. Strategically placed and well-made prongs protect those delicate tips without interrupting that diamond shine.

    bezel solitaire setting

    A bezel setting is the most secure of all ring settings and is incredibly chic in the most perfectly minimal manner. Set it east-west for evil eye vibes!

    The most famous marquise cut diamond engagement rings

    While Victoria Beckham has 15 engagement rings, her very first ring, the OG ring that David Beckham proposed with was a 3-carat marquise cut diamond engagement ring in a chic gold solitaire setting.

    Catherine Zeta-Jones began her decades long marriage to Micheal Douglas with an east-west 10-carat marquise diamond ring that's as covet-worthy today as it was in the 90s when he popped the question.
     
    Another east-west marquise diamond ring we love - Portia de Rossi's 3-carat marquise cut ring with a pink pavé diamond shank gifted to her by her long-time love, Ellen Degeneres.
     

    Thinking of creating your own marquise cut diamond ring? Book a free consult with us to talk diamonds and custom designs!


    Learn More About Diamonds

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    Your Guide to Pear Shaped Diamonds

    What Are Champagne Diamonds? Everything to Know