Diamond Shape Guide: Marquise Diamonds
Marquise diamonds catch a bad rap. They’re stereotyped as outdated, or maybe more difficult to shop for (we’ll explain that later.) But, like all great things in fashion and jewelry, marquise diamonds are due for a comeback. Thanks to the cyclical nature of both industries, what’s old is new again.
The 90’s have been back in fashion for a few years now, and jewelry takes just a little longer to catch up. But the marquise diamonds that ruled the bridal jewelry scene in the late 80’s and early 90’s are definitely ready to make a splash again in a whole new way.
Trendy alternative engagement ring designers have been playing with the marquise, placing it in East-West settings, trying out the shape with gray diamonds, raw diamonds, or otherwise non-traditional diamonds. And from there the more contemporary bridal designers started to play with the shape again, mixing it into bridal stacks, adding halos, or on-trend rose gold.
And for estate jewelers, ahem, the shape has never lost our favor. We love our big, beautiful marquise diamonds and proudly display them in every diamond section from our important (aka LARGE) diamond section to our classic estate collections. We love this shape, always have, and couldn’t be more thrilled to see it making a comeback. Here’s what you need to know.
- A marquise diamond is a fancy shape – this just means it isn’t round (you can read more about fancy shapes here.)
- The shape is an elongated ellipse with two pointed ends. It’s a mix of the brilliant cut and pear shape (which itself is a mix of brilliant and heart.)
- On a certificate you’ll see it graded as a “modified brilliant cut” even though it pre-dates the modern round brilliant. It was purportedly created for King Louis XIV who commissioned an ode to the Marquise of Pompadour and her lovely lips – in diamond form.
- About those certificates – you already know we insist you shop for a diamond, not a certificate, right? If not, read why here. When it comes to a marquise diamond, it’s even more important that you see the actual stone (or videos, boomerangs, photos, snapchats, whatever you prefer.) Why? Well…
- Beware the bow tie! The bow-tie effect, a shadow across the belly of certain diamond shapes due to its facet pattern, is especially present in marquise diamonds. Some have a severe, undesirable bow-tie effect, many have some degree, and few have practically none. It’s not something you can gauge from a piece of paper, so you’ve got to see how the actual diamond behaves.
- The length to width ratio gives you wiggle room for preference. Most consider the ideal LxW to fall between 1.75 – 2.15. But like their pear shape cousins, your personal taste for fat vs. skinny marquise will determine which end of the spectrum you favor. Sticking to somewhere in that range will get you a marquise with appealing dimensions and cut grade.
- Marquise diamonds look BIG, thanks to their XXL crown facets! This means they have one of the largest aerial surface areas and make the most of their most visible carat weight. They just look bigger, carat-for-carat, than pretty much every other shape. They also make your fingers look long and elegant when set vertically.
- And not only do they look bigger, they actually cost less. Remember how we talked about diamond shapes and how they affect price? Well, thanks to a marquise diamond’s relatively low demand and relatively high yield from rough stone, they are priced to move…right outta the showcase and onto your finger.
We love this shape, and we’re so thrilled to see more brides requesting it at both DBRL and RLJ. If you’re interested in a marquise diamond, we can always work with you to create something custom, and many of our designer settings (like Tacori) will accommodate this shape with no customization fees!