~ Marquise Diamonds ~
Everything you want to Know
What is the Marquise Diamond?
The shape was created and inspired by the smile of the Marquise de Pompadour. It contains 56 facets, and it's diameter is usually close to a 2(length) to 1(width) ratio. It has an elongated shape with pointed ends. As far as depth goes GIA, EGL, or any other gem certification establishment has not been able to come up with a perfect ideal depth.
Standards or not, there are certain measurements that give you the best scintillation and brilliance in marquise diamonds for your money. Marquise diamonds that have a 62% table or less are going to give you the best brilliance. Or another way to put this, is the less the table, flat side, in a marquise diamond is the more sparkle and balance the diamond will deliver. A marquise diamond is a slim diamond, the wider it gets the more dull and dark it will become which can lead to the dreaded bow-tie effect. More on that in a little bit.
Interesting Fact about Marquise Diamonds
Many people believe marquise diamonds received it's name from the name that Louis XV gave to a diamond he had commissioned. In actuality, the marquise diamond got it's name from the title Louis XV gave his mistress Marquise de Pompadour. Louis the XV did commission the diamond to be created, but over time when people referred to her brilliant diamond they simply referred to it as the "Marquise's diamond", and eventually just became known as marquise.
Who Should Buy a Marquise Diamond Engagement Ring?
We had a customer who hated, and even made fun of the marquise, she just couldn't understand why someone would want to wear one. But when her husband gave her, her marquise diamond engagement ring her jaw absolutely dropped! When she put it on she was amazed at how it danced with sparkle, and how it looked so stunning on her finger. We also had a customer once return a marquise to us because she hated the way it looked on her finger.
Here's why the two had such contrasting views. It was their fingers! Marquise diamonds are a slender diamond and when mounted on a setting and put on your finger it should flow with the look of your finger. The more long and slender the finger the better the marquise will flow and establish itself. If your fingers are more short and thick the less the marquise diamond will flow on your finger. In fact if your finger is not long and slender the diamond will appear to be in the background instead of the main attraction.
Imagine a toothpick laying on top of pencil, and imagine that same toothpick sitting in-between two pencils side by side. When you look at the single pencil you WILL notice the toothpick, but if you look at the two pencils side by side you will first notice the pencils
Be honest with the size of your fingers.
- If they are long and slender, a marquise solitaire will look absolutely stunning.
- If your fingers are somewhat short and thick or long and thick, ENHANCE the marquise diamond with accent diamond bordering around it to make the marquise diamond appear wider allowing for a better flow with the finger.
Keep the diamond size to a natural look. In other words ...
- If your fingers are long, most likely a half carat marquise diamond will look odd and out of proportion. Up the size to 1ct. or more.
- If your fingers are short, a half carat will most likely flow beautifully without looking awkward.
What to Look for in Marquise Diamonds?
Using an analogy, Marquise diamonds are the talkers of the diamond world. If they have something to say (flaw) they will! In other words marquise diamonds will really show their flaws. Round and princess diamonds have more corners and depth that can hide certain inclusions well, but a marquise has less to work with, so inclusions become more evident. This is why it's important to stay with SI1 or higher clarity when looking. Try to stay clear of SI2s or lower. Even though some diamond sellers like to say the SI2 clarity is eye clean, they rarely are, and often tinker on the brink of the I1 clarity, which always show inclusions to the naked eye. With a marquise you'll see these inclusion rather easily.
When it comes to color it's best to stay with your Near Colorless and higher categories. Color grades such as D, E, F, G, H. If you go below H the marquise design will start to reflect yellow and with the scintillation and brilliance of most marquise diamonds the yellow will reflect quite intensely.
In our experience the best advice we could give, is stay with SI1 and higher in clarity, and H in color or higher. These will yield the best results. Just as this shimmering gem will show it's flaws it will also show it's incredible brilliance. This diamond loves to "talk".
The Bow-Tie Effect
The bow-tie effect has nothing to do with the marquise looking like a bow-tie, but when a marquise has a unfavorable cut and depth it can make a devastating visual appearance. When the marquise diamond is cut to thin, light will not be redirected back out the top but will leak out the bottom of the diamond. Interestingly enough, when the light leaks out you will see where, by the shadows it leaves behind which looks like a man's bow-tie. The same thing can happen when the table (flat part of the diamond on top) is cut to wide. When the table is too wide for the length to width ratio the same light leaking properties will occur causing a shadow like appearance of a bow-tie to appear causing the diamond to look dull and dead.
When you have an unfavorable diamond cut the light will not align correctly. Imagine setting up mirrors just perfect enough that you can direct a beam of light to bounce off each one and in the end have the final beam of light shoot exactly where you want it. Well in the case of a diamond, the facets are the "mirrors" and if the cut is not just right, the light will bounce every which way, but will not hit all the facets needed to redirect the light back up through the top, and inevitably shoot the light elsewhere like the sides or bottom. Where the light doesn't hit you'll see two distinct triangle like shadows (dark areas) running east and west looking like a bow-tie.
As a rule of thumb. There's nothing you can do about the bow-tie effect in marquise diamonds, it will usually always be there. However, the degree of bow-tie shadowing is the key. The less shadow you see the better the cut. Don't let this effect scare you though. It's often considered that the bow-tie effect is part of the marquise's natural charm and beauty. See the pictures below for a better understanding.
This is the bow-tie effect in Marquise Diamonds when the length to width ratio and depth are as follows:
Marquise Diamond Length to Width Ratio Diagram Relating to the Bow-Tie Effect
The Marquise Diamond Summed Up
When searching for your perfect marquise diamond remember the items below.
- Marquise diamonds "alone" looks best on slender fingers
- Marquise diamonds outlined in accent diamonds looks best on thicker fingers
- Search for a diamond that has depth % in the low 60's
- Keep the length to width ratio to at least 2 to 1, preferably 1.8 to 1
- Keep the Clarity to SI1 and Higher to avoid inclusions taking over
- Color should be H or higher - to avoid yellow tints
- Never forget this! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, if you like it and can't take your eyes off of it, then that's the diamond for you. Don't let the opinions of others sway you.