The marquise diamond cut, also known as the football-shaped cut, the boat-shaped cut, the eye-shaped cut, or the navette, is rarely seen in the engagement ring world compared to other less vintage cuts.

A marquise cut diamond features 58 facets and an elliptical shape with pointed ends. It has been around for centuries, and though it cannot brag the same level of popularity as the princess or round cuts, its traditional, long, narrow shape looks excellent on a ring finger.

History of the Marquise Cut Diamond

The marquise cut’s origin dates back to the 18th century when King Louis XV of France (1710-1774) commissioned a jeweler to design a cut shape that resembled the lips of his mistress, Jean Antoinette Poisson, the Marchioness Madame de Pompadour.  Over time, the marquise cut developed into the distinctive shape known today.

The name “marquise” refers to a hereditary rank above a count but below a duke and comes from the fact that courtiers wore marquise cut diamonds in order to show off their rank. Marquise diamonds are also often referred to as “navette” diamonds, which means “little ship” in French, because of the marquise diamond’s boat-like shape.

Though the marquise cut began as a cut for diamonds, it is widely used with other gems like emeralds, rubies, and sapphires.

Tips When Buying A Marquise Cut Diamond

Marquise diamonds can be used for any jewelry item, but they are most commonly placed in engagement ring settings. Here are a few things you should know before purchasing a marquise cut:

Slenderize Your Finger – Because of its long, narrow shape, marquise cuts are often credited for making a finger appear longer and more slender.

Watch Out For Chips – The sharp ends of the marquise cut are often susceptible to chipping if not protected properly by the jewelry setting. For a ring, make sure the corners have protected prongs or claws to keep the corners safe. “V-end” or “V-tip” prongs are generally considered the most secure.

The Importance of Symmetry – The two points at the ends of a marquise diamond need to align perfectly with one another. The smallest imperfection of the symmetrical element of a marquise diamond will greatly affect the balance of your ring when it is finally set.

Different Approach On Color – Because of their antique history and slender shape, many buyers might prefer marquise diamonds with a slight tint of color in them such as I-J graded diamonds, rather than colorless diamonds.

Beware the Bow Tie Effect – With their narrow shape, some marquise cuts produce an area of reduced color in the center of the gem sometimes resembling a bow tie.  All elongated fancy shapes have a bow tie effect, but a well-cut diamond will hide that effect with the brilliance of its facets.

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