The Marquise Diamond is one of the most romantic and unique diamond shapes for engagement ring center stones today. Invented in the 1700s by King Louis XIV, the unique football-esque shape of the cut is said to resemble the smile of the king’s mistress the Marquise de Pompadour (the style’s namesake). Many Marquise diamond rings are still custom designed because the shape is so rare, but they have seen an increase in popularity in the past year or so.
Marquise diamonds are a beautiful choice because their bigger surface area combined with their shallow cut means you get more visual size for the money spent when compared to other diamond shapes. What’s more is that they are extremely versatile. You can choose to set the unique, elongated stone in either a standard vertical (north-south) or horizontal (east-west) setting, with each option producing completely different effects on the ring. Combined with the many different styles of engagement rings already possible, this makes the range of the Marquise diamond near limitless.
The marquise diamond looks stunning in many settings, but you must be sure to pick one that protects the central stone. Its pointed ends can be more vulnerable to chipping than other cuts, and the shallow cut makes it more fragile than sturdier, deeper cuts. This is easily achievable though by selecting a setting with 6 prongs, one on each point, preferably in a V-shape that hugs the tip, and two on each side curve, or a setting with even more coverage.
The bezel setting is a modern looking setting for a ring that can easily be a symbol of either chic, contemporary trends or a hearkening back to vintage designs. Keep in mind that though a bezel setting is chic and elegant, it will reduce the stone’s brilliance by blocking light. The low profile of a bezel setting combined with the shallowness of the marquise shape make it the perfect combination for someone with a very active lifestyle, as the stone is completely protected by the metal of the setting, and the setting will be able to sit very low on the finger.
As long as you select a setting with 6 prongs to keep the tips protected, a marquise stone can also look stunning in a classic solitaire design, and if you want extra bling, you can opt for a setting with a diamond encrusted band, or other types of side stone adornments. A solitaire setting will let the unique shape of the marquise cut really shine, and if you really want a chic, modern design, try an inset diamond band -- it will complement the lines and curves of the marquise cut with its sleek design.
If you want to enhance the classic, vintage look of the stone, consider a halo setting. A pave halo will amplify the sparkle and increase the appearance of the size of the center stone. If you really want to go all out on the vintage style, select a vintage style like an Art Deco halo or a halo setting with sapphire accents to lend the ring a distinctly Victorian feel. If you are setting the stone in a traditional, vertical orientation, the halo will also help the ring to fill the space on the finger without the marquise appearing too narrow.
Ring designs with a split shank band can amplify the natural romanticism and elegance of the marquise cut. A traditional split shank makes the cut look truly regal, making the stone the centerpiece in a design that almost resembles a miniature tiara for your finger. A cross-split shank or other twisting design elements can lend the cut a dainty and whimsical feel.
The traditional vertical orientation for the marquise diamond combines with the stone’s longer look produce a slimming effect for your hands and fingers. So, for people with wide or short hands, this might be the preferred style choice. For a more contemporary look, the horizontal orientation will shake things up a bit. This style allows the marquise to seem larger and works great for grandiose statement rings. However, symmetry is key with either option. If you want to ensure you have a perfectly symmetrical stone, make sure that the length is twice the size of the width exactly.
The marquise cut is a wonderful stone for those on a budget. Because of its shallow cut, most of the carat weight in a marquise stone is in the visible portion of the crown. There’s really no need to go in for a massive carat size. Smaller carat diamonds look larger in a marquise cut than a princess or round cut, so you can opt for a smaller size and not compromise on the bling or the illusion of a big rock. The marquise cut is also a particularly sparkly brilliant cut, so you can also slightly compromise on clarity and still get the brilliance and fire you crave from the ring. With a lower carat weight than you might have anticipated buying and a clarity grade far less pricey than flawless, the marquise diamond will definitely save you some money. Maybe tuck the savings away for your honeymoon or other upcoming wedding expenses.