What are Marquise Cut Diamonds?
The marquise shape diamond, also known as the navette (little boat) has a romantic history. Louis XV of France commissioned the first marquise shaped stone to honor Madame de Pompadour, his confidante, advisor, and mistress. She was known for her intellectual pursuits, her political astuteness, her patronage of the arts, and her beauty. The king asked his jeweller to create a diamond shape to resemble the shape of her smile.
The marquise is an elongated oval with points at each end. The shape optimizes carat size, giving the illusion of a larger diamond. It is cut with 56 to 60 facets in a modified brilliant cut. Look for a stone with perfect symmetry. On a solitaire, special V-shaped prongs will hold and protect the pointed ends which can be susceptible to chipping or snagging clothing.
Traditionally set with round or pear shaped side stones, more modern looks have evolved, including multiple marquise stones placed on their sides and channel set.
In oval, pear, marquise, and heart shaped diamonds, a bow tie effect can be prominent. This effect is a shadow caused by light passing through the diamond which creates an illusion of a black bow tie. The degree of the bow tie depends on the quality of the diamond’s cut. In general, look for a diamond with a less noticeable bow tie.