The history of the marquise diamond

The Marquise cut diamond, also referred to as the navette (little boat) or football-shaped cut, is one of the seldom-used diamonds for modern engagement rings. However, even though it isn’t as popular as other brilliant cuts like the round brilliant or princess cut, the marquise diamond has an interesting history and unique features that would make it an excellent choice to design a ring around.

Related: Custom Engagement Rings by Jonathan’s Fine Jewelers

The history of the marquise cut diamond

The “Marquise” name has one of the more unique stories of all the modern diamond cuts currently in use for engagement rings. Originally, marquise comes from “Marquise of Pompadour”, who King Louis XIV of France had the diamond cut created for in the mid 1700’s.

Marquise of Pompadour, otherwise known as Madame de Pompadour, was the official chief mistress of King Louis XIV from 1745 – 1751. Along with being his mistress, she also became a valuable advisor and aide to the king.

The king had the marquise diamond created to represent the shape of Madame de Pompadour’s mouth, which he felt to be perfect.

Benefits of choosing a marquise cut diamond

Surface area

Because of the marquise diamond’s unique shape, the cut creates a large crown surface in relation the the actual carat weight of the stone. This is helpful for a diamond shopper that is looking to maximize how big the diamond “looks” while staying within a specific budget.

Elongated Shape

The marquise cut features 56 facets and an elongated, thin shape with pointed ends. This narrower design makes the wearer’s finger look longer and more slender, which may be desirable for some brides-to-be. This shape also makes the diamond appear “taller” and larger to the outside observer.

Factors to consider when purchasing this diamond cut

Watch for chipping

Because the shape of the marquise comes to two defined points, it’s very prone to chipping. The setting for this diamond cut should protect the ends with its prongs. A “V-end” setting is the most common and considered the safest to use with the marquise cut.

The diamond needs to be symmetrical

It’s extremely important that a marquise diamond has good symmetry, or else the stone will look warped and the balance of the ring on the finger will be affected.

The bow tie effect

The marquise cut is extremely vulnerable to the bow tie effect, which is a reduction in color on or near the center of the stone. You won’t be able to see if your marquise has a bow tie solely based on the GIA report, so be sure to look at the stone thoroughly in person before purchasing.

Related: Why are GIA reports to important?


The marquise has an extremely unique history, and makes an excellent ring for women that are hoping to have a stone that differs from the more popular brilliant round or princess cut diamonds.

Are you interested in creating your engagement ring with a loose diamond from our inventory? Contact to schedule an appointment and find the perfect diamond today.

Want to see some examples of our work? Take a look at our engagement ring photo gallery and video gallery. You can keep up with Jonathan’s on Facebook, Twitter, and even follow our personal Instagram accounts below:

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