The Story Behind the Marquise Cut Diamond

The Story Behind the Marquise Cut Diamond

The marquise diamond is enjoying a resurgence thanks to its elegant shape and enigmatic French origin story. Here’s why this fancy shaped diamond should be high on your wish list…

5th August 2019 Ernest Jones - Editor

In the French royal court of the 18th century, King Louis XV asked his master jewellers to create a new diamond cut especially for his mistress, Jean Antoinette Poisson, the Marquise de Pompadour. King Louis requested that his special diamond be fashioned in the shape of Madame de Pompadour’s lips as a symbol of their whirlwind romance. Presuming the legend is true, this was the very first appearance of the marquise cut diamond we know of today.

Marquise Diamond Cut

The striking marquise shaped diamond has long been viewed as one of the most refined diamond cuts. Over the centuries, marquise diamond faceting has been perfected to offer the same sparkling brilliance of a round or oval shaped diamond, but with its characteristic pointed ends.

The incredible skill required to create a perfectly symmetrical marquise diamond makes it stand out from the crowd and inspires a real love among seasoned diamond jewellery collectors. Despite this, marquise cut diamond engagement rings can be considered rare and unusual treasures throughout history. It has only been in recent years that marquise shaped diamond jewellery has been revitalised with beautiful designs that accentuate its long, slender appearance. You can also find colourful marquise gemstone pieces, as this cut looks equally lovely for daytime in aquamarine, tanzanite, ruby, topaz, garnet and spinel.

There are lots of reasons to admire marquise cut diamonds, especially when set in engagement rings. Their long lean shape is known to elongate the finger and capture a sense of regal elegance when paired with a diamond wedding band or fancy shaped diamond eternity ring. The marquise is a master at appearing traditional or contemporary depending upon the setting and works especially well in Art Deco-inspired diamond pendants or diamond earrings with a subtle vintage twist.

The marquise cut diamond is also the magician of the fancy shaped diamond family. Its beautiful tapered contours maximise carat weight, meaning smaller diamonds appear larger and more scintillating when worn. Its flattering femininity is often replicated with clever illusion diamond jewellery designs, which feature lots of small round diamonds clustered in a classic marquise shape to appear as one larger stone. This is often combined with a diamond halo setting to add even greater depths of fire and sparkle.

While the marquise silhouette continues to make its rise to the top, there are some jewellery aficionados who are ahead of the curve. When David Beckham proposed to Victoria Adams in 1998, he did it with a three-carat marquise cut diamond on a plain yellow band – an incredibly unusual and contemporary choice for the decade. Today, a marquise shaped diamond engagement ring is a stylish and popular choice for brides-to-be.

The marquise diamond may have emerged from the splendour of the French court, but today it’s enjoying a sparkling reign at the top of the fancy shaped diamond hierarchy.