The Marquise Cut

The Marquise Cut

Written by on 7 October 2013

The elegant marquise cut can also be referred to as the “Navette” cut meaning ‘little boat’ as it is a beautiful long and narrow stone, said to resemble the underside of a small boats hull. First appearing in Paris in 1745, the marquise cut was developed by King Louis XV when he commissioned his court jeweller to create a diamond that resembled the smile of his beautiful mistress, the Marchioness Madame de Pompadour, proving inspiration really can come from anywhere!

The marquise shape looks like a long oval which has been stretched out to a point at each end. Traditionally the stones have a ratio of 2:1 for the classic boat shape, however the ratio can vary from 1.85:1 to 2.10:1 depending on availability and personal preference. Marquise stones usually comprise of 58 facets, with 33 on the crown and 25 on the pavilion.

Cut to maximise carat weight, marquise shaped stones can appear larger than other cut stones of the same size, and they are most often seen as central diamonds in engagement rings. Like other elongated shapes they can make the wearers finger look longer and more elegant. The two beautiful marquise cut rings below show how the stone can be used in an elegant and classic way to maximise its elongating properties.

The marquise cut can also be set in a more horizontal position, whilst some of the finger lengthening properties are lost, you can still get a very interesting design with the stone incorporated into the width of the band, rather than protruding from either side.

The marquise cut also offers great possibilities for design when combining it with other types of stones, popular cuts being both round and pear shaped stones. Currently in our Cambridge studio we have this fab Art Deco style ring which has a central pear shaped diamond and four marquise cut diamonds which create a striking fan shape. In the previously commissioned marquise engagement ring designed by Alice is the ring I have chosen as the feature photo for this article as it is simple stunning, the round green sapphires captured in the curls of the split band show the possibilities of incorporating the marquise in a more organic design.

My personal favourite is when the marquise is used in combination with other stones, in an organic, asymmetric design. I wonder which is your favourite?