We have the Scoop on Marquise Diamonds
Many people believe marquise diamonds received their 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.
What is the Marquise Diamond?
The shape was created and inspired by the smile of the Marquise de Pompadour. It contains 56 facets (angled sides of something that has many angled sides) 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 an ideal depth. But 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.
Why Buy a Marquise Diamond?
Most of the time the marquise is set lower than a standard princess or round diamond so it shouldn't be a bother or catch on most items. But the biggest advantage to a marquise diamond is the uniqueness it brings. The most popular of the diamond shapes is the round and princess diamond. So owning a marquise diamond will set you apart from the norm. It is also considered to have the best brilliance of the fancy shapes.
Who Should Buy a Marquise Diamond Engagement Ring?
We had a customer who once 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 absolutely sparkled 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 should be 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 stubby 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 laying on a piece of celery. When you look at the pencil you WILL notice the toothpick, but if you look at the piece of celery you will first notice the piece of celery.
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! Another words marquise diamonds will really show their flaws. You see, round and princess diamonds have more area to work with where they can hide certain inclusions, 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 SI2's are supposed to be eye clean, sometimes they really do tinker on the brink of the I1 clarity and sometimes you can see flaws with the naked eye if you look hard enough, but you most likely wouldn't have to look too hard on a marquise.
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 my experience the advice I would give, is 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.
You see when a diamond has an unfavorable 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 out the top. 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 inevitably will not hit all the facets needed to redirect the light back up through the top, but 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.
Marquise Summed Up
When searching for your perfect marquise diamond remember the items below.
An Interesting Observation About Marquise Diamonds
There are 2 popular spellings of this diamond. Marquise and Marquis. Considering that the name actually came from The French, and was named after a proper female noun, there can only be one correct spelling. Marquise means a French noblewoman ranking above a countess and below a duchess. Where Marquis means a French nobleMAN ranking below a duke and above an earl or count. It's baffling why some so called "experts" of the diamond world can make this mistake and refuse to use the correct spelling. Seems attention to detail is a quality diamond experts should be very acquainted with. If they can't practice this necessary quality what other details are they intentionally or unintentionally overlooking in their business.