The marquise diamond (a.k.a. navette cut) is a type of modified brilliant cut that resembles an American football. With its long and slender shape, it has a unique appeal that is well-received by people looking to make a fashion statement.
Besides portraying an elegant appearance, one great benefit of the marquise cut is that they appear bigger when compared to other diamond shapes with similar carat weights.
The marquise brilliant cut diamond can have a varying amount of facets that depends on how it was cut (usually around 56-60 facets). The main difference between the different faceting patterns usually lie in the pavilion section where it can contain four, six or eight pavilion mains.
The marquise cut diamond above is an example of one with 8 pavilion mains in its facet pattern.
In the market, you can easily find marquises that have various outlines due to the different length to width ratios they are cut to. Personally, I prefer marquises that have a l/w ratio within the “goldilocks” range of 1.70 -1.80 as they look just right.
If the l/w ratio is too long, the stone will take up a “malnourished” look. Vice versa, if it is too short, the marquise will look like a squashed and deformed oval. That said, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder and you should make choices based on your preferences.
To help you visualize how diamonds with various length to width ratios may look like in real life, you can use the following photographs as a reference.
Both diamonds above have a l/w ratio that is close to 1.75:1 and I love the pleasant outlines they portray.
With a shorter 1.6:1 ratio (diamond on the left), the marquise appears squashed and can be mistaken to be deformed oval shape. On the other hand, when the length-width ratio is too high (1.98:1 for the diamond on the right), the diamond’s outline becomes very awkward. In both of these extreme cases, the diamond’s brilliance and structure can be negatively affected.
#1: V-Prongs Are Required to Protect the Vulnerable Tips
Even though diamonds are the hardest substance on Earth, they are brittle and can be chipped when an excessive force is applied. In a marquise shape, the 2 pointed tips are especially vulnerable to damage and special care is required to protect them.
When choosing a setting for a marquise diamond, my recommendation is to select one that has two v-shaped prongs properly positioned to safeguard the tips.
From a practical point of view, most people don’t know that the two pointed ends of a marquise ring can easily catch onto things. If your recipient is a relatively careless person or regularly performs heavy work, a marquise might not be the best shape for her.
#2: Marquises Require Higher Color Ratings to Face Up White
Like many other fancy shapes, marquises tend to absorb and reveal their inherent body color. More notably, the diamond’s color tends to concentrate near the tips. If you are a color adverse person, my advice is to select diamonds with G or better color ratings.
Note: If you are buying bigger sized stones (e.g. >1.50 carats), the color will stick out even more and it is easier for the eyes to discern yellow nuances. To achieve a white icy look in larger diamonds, I recommend buying within the colorless grades of D-F instead.
|Table %||55% – 62%||53% – 64%||52% – 65%||Outside Ranges|
|Depth %||58% – 64%||56% – 66%||55% – 68%||Outside Ranges|
|Polish/Symmetry||Excellent – Very Good||Good||Outside Ranges|
|Length to Width||1.70 – 1.80||1.60 -1.90||1.40 – 2.10||Outside Ranges|
|Girdle Thickness||Thin – Slightly Thick||V. Thin – Very Thick||Outside Ranges|
|Culet Size||None||Very Small||Small||Outside Ranges|
* Note: The above table should be used as a reference only. When dealing with fancy cut diamonds, numbers only serve as a useful guideline to follow if you are buying blind. Nothing beats a visual examination either in person or via a video. Also, I highly recommend using an ASET to evaluate the diamond’s optical performance. (More on this on later pages…)
Besides cut proportions and l/w ratios, another aspect that affects the diamond’s cut quality is the symmetry and girdle thickness it has. On the next page, I will show you why these two factors matter and how they impact the diamond’s visual outlook.