Glossary: MARQUISE
Knowledge Centre > Gemmology > Cuts
Knowledge Centre > Gemmology > Cuts > Marquise Shape


Elegant marquise shape diamonds are an attractive and remarkable choice for a special piece of jewellery. The marquise shape is a soft oval with a stretched point at each end, although there can be a wide variety of proportions from almost ‘spiky’ thin marquises to ‘fat’ rounder shapes. Another name for the marquise cut is ‘navette’ which is French for ‘little boat’ and echoes the smooth outline of a ship’s hull.

The name for the marquise cut allegedly has its roots in mid 18th century France when luxury loving King Louis XV supposedly commissioned his court jeweller to fashion a diamond to match the perfect shaped mouth of his most popular mistress, Jean Antoinette Poisson, the Marquise de Pompadour- perhaps best known as Madame de Pompadour.

The marquise cut of diamond is classed as a fancy cut diamond and is seen much more rarely than most other diamond cuts due to the high degree of weight loss when cutting the crystal into this shape, often losing more than 50% of the diamond crystal. Marquises are most often cut from an irregularly shaped diamond crystal to make the most of their dimensions and symmetry- producing a distinctive look with a particular sparkle.

Marquise shape diamonds can be seen either as a single focal point on an engagement ring, letting the beauty of the diamond speak for itself with the elegant shape elongating the finger or used in combination with different diamond cuts in an intricate cluster creating a highly distinctive and usual look.

View marquise gemstones in our current collection

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Updated 8/12/2023 at 7:34PM

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