Marquise Cut Diamonds – The Dark Horse of Diamond Shapes

Round cuts are classics, emerald cuts exude the elegance of the 50’s, while heart cuts are for hopeless romantics. Marquise cut diamonds, on the other hand, convey an unambiguous message. It’s so distinct, you can see it in the bizarre contour of its form!

Marquise Cut Diamonds


Marquise speaks of eccentricity and breaking out of tradition. Women who are fascinated with this shape are unconventional, offbeat, and usually, stand out from the crowd. The oddity of the shape alone can seduce a woman with peculiar tastes. But there’s more to it than meets the eye!

Marquise Cut Diamond on Different Ring Settings


Marquise cut diamonds have a delightful history one needs to hear to make sense of the form. Aside from its intriguing origin, marquise cut diamonds bear a beautifully complex cut that allows them to display some of the most brilliant dance of light of all the diamond shapes.

In this guide, I will let you in on why marquise can boost her big YES, and teach you the ropes on choosing one that will maximize your budget and save you money. Before the said tips and tricks, let’s first make sure if it is indeed the diamond shape for her!

Marquise Cut Diamonds Have a Colorful History

Marquise de Pompadour


Easily compared to a little boat (navette), an elongated eye, or a football, you wouldn’t have guessed that the marquise cut diamond is actually inspired by the shape of a woman’s lips! Not just any lips though, but the one owned by the mistress of King Louis XV, Marquise de Pompadour!

In the 18th century, legend has it that the King loved her perfectly shaped lips so much that he had the outline fashioned as a diamond. Marquise cut diamonds are celebrated until today. In fact…

Celebrities Adore the Unique Shape

Catherine Zeta-Jones' Marquise Cut Diamond Given by Michael Douglas

David Beckham proposed to Victoria Beckham with a marquise cut diamond ring set on a yellow band that’s said to be priced at around £65,000!

While Catherine Zeta-Jones dons a 1920s antique Fred Leighton ring animated by a 10-carat marquise and bordered by 28 small stones.

The most remarkable one is owned by Ashlee Simpson. The Edwardian-style ring designed by Neil Lane with a 5-carat marquise diamond was given to her by Hunger Games actor, Evan Ross.


Apart from its popularity, the marquise cut also gives the gift of visual illusion!

It’s Bigger than Other Shapes of the Same Carat and Makes the Finger Look Longer

Marquise Cut Diamonds on finger

Most women are all about bigger carat size despite knowing of the greater importance of the diamond cut. But let’s give it to them anyway!

Since the marquise cut is designed to make the diamond appear larger than it is, it tends to display the most glitter. The Marquise diamond bears 56 facets in a long and slender shape that makes it create the illusion of greater size.

If you compare all the diamond shapes with the same carat weight, the marquise cut’s crown surface will appear bigger than the rest. This is an awesome choice if you want your diamond to look larger and at the same time, slenderize her finger.


Now that you know what’s good with marquise cut diamonds, here’s a couple of things to consider before you start buying on a whim!

Marquise Diamonds Cut Guide

1. Know the Anatomy of Marquise

Now, this is the part where you do your homework! Let’s ease into it by getting familiar with the make-up of the marquise cut diamond. Take a look at this description provided by GIA:

A marquise is considered a “fancy shape,” that is, a shape other than round. To pick a beautiful marquise diamond, you need to know its parts.

Marquise Cut Diamonds Anatomy

Belly: The central area where the sides curve out the most. This is an important location on a marquise – it’s where the width is measured.
Point: Where the two curved sides meet.
Wing: Curved area from the belly to the point.
Girdle: The intersection of the crown (top of the diamond) and pavilion (bottom facets), which defines the perimeter.
Keel Line: The bottom of a fancy cut, where the pavilion facets meet. It runs the length of the diamond and sometimes includes or passes through the culet facet in the center.

2. Consider the Length to Width Ratio

If you’ll look back at Catherine Zeta-Jones’ marquise, you’ll notice that it’s a bit bulky. At the end of the day, it’s your personal preference that should matter the most. But it’s also nice to know what a classic marquise cut looks like, right?

      • James Allen 1.01 CARAT G-VS1 MARQUISE CUT DIAMOND


      • James Allen 0.92 CARAT G VS1 MARQUISE CUT DIAMOND


      • James Allen 0.71 CARAT G VS1 MARQUISE CUT DIAMOND


Cut with different length to width ratios, some marquise diamonds look longer, while some look plump. The classic l/w ratio is 1.75 to 2.15. Then there’s what we call the “Goldilocks range” – diamonds at 1.70 to 1.80 – and they look just right!

3. Refer to this Cut Guide

Although marquise cut diamonds are incomparable to the brilliance, fire, and scintillation of round cuts, they exhibit a one-of-a-kind chic luster that’s undeniably worth a second look!


Grading labs don’t give cut grades for marquise cut diamonds, but here are my recommended proportions for your reference:


Your Diamond Teacher Recommended Proportions

Most Affordable Proportions

Table % 53% – 63% 52%
Depth % 58% – 62% 56% – 57.9%
Girdle Very Thin – Slightly Thick Very Thin – Slightly Thick
Culet None Very Small

4. Skip Marquise Cut Diamonds with Severe Bow-Tie Effect

Honestly, most marquise cuts wear a bow-tie, some are almost non-existent, while others are in-your-face and can really take away from the beauty of the marquise cut diamonds! So, the trick is to pick one that has a nearly invisible bow-tie effect.


Check out these examples below and take note of the stark difference:

        • James Allen 0.92 CARAT G VS1 MARQUISE CUT DIAMOND 1


        • James Allen 1.01 CARAT F IF MARQUISE CUT DIAMOND


You won’t be able to see it on your diamond’s grading certificate, but only in person or through high-quality imagery. The thing is, your marquise might have a bow-tie effect, but if it has excellent cut proportions, then the dark space will be outshone by the facets’ superb fire and brilliance.

5. Look for Excellent or Very Good Symmetry

It’s also important for the two ends to align perfectly as the tiniest symmetry flaw can affect the balance of the diamond when set on a ring.

Marquise Cut Diamonds Symmetry

Both sides of the marquise cut diamond should form a near mirror image. The outline shouldn’t be too flat nor bulky, and the points should be well-defined. That said, I would only recommend, excellent or very good symmetry to achieve a beautiful outline.

6. Opt for V-tip or Six Prongs to Avoid Chipping

Marquise Cut Diamond in a Six-Prong Setting

Now, we wouldn’t want the perfect symmetry to go to waste when accidental bumps happen.

So, watch out for chips! But also, opt for a v-end or six prongs to protect the sharp ends of marquise cut diamonds.

Not only are these types of settings the most secure, but they also tend to hide flaws that are usually located at the tips.


Marquise Diamonds Color Guide

We are more lenient with color because it’s subjective. You may choose any color you like for your marquise cut diamond. It’s just that the cool colors of the D-F range are more in demand that’s why they are priced at a premium. But keep in mind that for marquise cuts more than 1 carat, the color may appear slightly darker, so you would have to move up one color grade.

The chart below will give you a rough guide for gauging color in marquise cut diamonds:

Carat Size

Your Diamond Teacher Recommended Proportions

Most Affordable Proportions

.50 or less D – G H – I
.51 – 1 D – F G
1 – 2 D – F D – F
2 or more D – F D – F
Fluorescence None Faint – Medium

Marquise Diamonds Clarity Guide

When it comes to clarity, it all boils down to “eye clean” and “not eye clean.” If for whatever reason, you’re opting for a technically flawless gem like IF, then this is where we give labels to different clarity grades. But if you’re simply after an eye clean marquise, these grades might possess “the one.”


Carat Size

Your Diamond Teacher Recommended Proportions

Most Affordable Proportions

.50 or less FL – VS2 SI1 – SI2
.51 – 1 FL – VS1 VS2 – SI1
1 – 2 FL – VVS2 VS1 – VS2
2 or more FL – VVS2 VS1 – VS2

Pro Tip: Make sure your diamond is eye clean by viewing from reputable shops with real photos! It’s even better if they offer HD 360° videos so you can check for flaws from all angles. My current favorite is James Allen because they went above and beyond in their diamond display technology. Click Here to Browse Through Thousands of Marquise Cut Diamonds

The Takeaway

Marquise Cut Diamonds on Finger

Let’s face it, most of you are interested in marquise cut diamonds because of the unique outline. But apart from the shape, marquise can also perform a superb sparkle that can rival with brilliant cuts since it’s naturally bigger than other diamond shapes! Take note of the tips above and rest assured you’ll find one that’s not only visually stunning but also bears excellent 4Cs under its belt!

Feel free to email me if you have questions. Or drop a comment below – I usually respond within 24 hours. 🙂