Popularly referred to as “boat-shaped cut”, “football-shaped cut” and also “eye-shaped cut” or Navette, a French term which translates as “a little ship”, , a marquise-cut diamond can be identified by its distinctive 56 facets and elliptical shape outlined by pointed ends on both sides.
Despite its brilliance and rather unique shape, a marquise cut diamond is seldom seen adorning an engagement ring for example, even when compared to other less vintage cuts.
Ironically enough, this cut has been around for a while, centuries in fact, but still lags behind other preferred cuts like the princess or round cut when it comes to adorning a ring, although its long and narrow shape is well-suited to enhance the beauty of a ring finger.
History of Marquise Cut diamond:
It’s a cut that goes back a long time, to the 18th century, in fact. The story goes that the French monarch King Louis XV ordered his jeweller to create a cut that reminded him of the full lips of his mistress – Jean Antoinette Poisson– who was also known as the marchioness Madame de Pompadour.
It’s also believed that the term – Marquise – actually refers to a rank said to be above a Count (but lower than a Duke) and royal officials of this rank wore marquise cut diamonds in order to flaunt their importance and prestige.
The shape was then developed and modified throughout the 20th century, evolving into the Marquise Brilliant cut as it is known today, peaking in popularity between the 1960s and 1980s. While it is best known as a cut for diamonds it is also used to shape other precious gemstones like sapphires, rubies and emeralds.
Buying A Marquise Cut Diamond Ring? Here’s What You Need To Know.
Given their versatility of use in jewellery making that ranges from rings, earrings and necklaces, there are a few points that you need to familiarise yourself with prior to making the purchase.
- It’s all about Symmetry: Make sure the two sharp ends of your marquise cut diamond are in perfect alignment with each other and the right and left sides should form a near mirror image. Even the tiniest imbalance in symmetry can adversely impact the balance of your marquise cut diamond ring once it’s made. For this reason, excellent or very good symmetry is strongly recommended.
- Options in Colour: Given their heritage and unique shape, many customers may actually prefer the ever so slightly warmer colours of a G-H diamond over the cool colourless hues of a D-F diamond.
In fact, most of the premium in price associated with a marquise-cut diamond at the higher end of the colour scale is driven by supply and demand; customers want the D-F colour grades, and are willing to pay a premium to get them.
In larger marquise diamonds (over 1 carat), the colour may appear slightly darker at the points. For this reason, buyers may choose to move up one colour grade as compared to other diamond shapes.
- Keeping the corners safe: All jewellery needs to be properly cared for and a marquise cut diamond ring is no exception. Given the sharp edges a marquise cut stone has a tendency to chip if not protected by the right jewellery setting. In the case of rings, a V-End or V-Tip prongs or claws are generally considered the best way to ensure the corners stay secure.
- Check for colour fading: Given their long, narrow shape, some marquise cut stones are known to have an inherent area of uneven or reduced colour at their center – a phenomenon often referred to as the “bow-tie effect”. While a majority of elongated stones with fancy shapes are known to have this problem, a marquise-cut diamond that has been cut by an expert will hide this effect by the sheer brilliance of its 56 facets.
Celebrity Owners of Marquise Cut Diamonds:
Catherine Zeta Jones – This celebrated actor of Hollywood blockbusters like Chicago, Entrapment and The Terminal is said to own a fabulous Fred Leighton antique ring from the twenties that features a huge 10-carat marquise stone which is surrounded by approx 28 smaller stones
Ashley Simpson – Ashley Nicolle Ross (nee Simpson, born October 3, 1984) & known by her stage name Ashley Simpson, is an American singer-songwriter, actress and media personality. She also owns a 5-carat marquise-cut diamond flanked by 12 calibrated rubies and 140 accent diamond melees – said to be a gift from Hunger Games actor Evan Ross.
Victoria Beckham: This former Spice Girl and now wife of soccer superstar David Beckham is also the proud owner of a 65,000-pound marquise cut diamond ring – which was presented to her by husband David Beckham when he proposed.