The marquise cut diamond is named for the Marquise de Pompadour, the official chief mistress of King Louis XV from 1745 until her death. Known for her charm and wit, the King also lauded her physical beauty and “perfect mouth.” He commissioned a diamond cut with two sharp points on either end to mimic her lips.
Also known as the navette, or “little boat,” a marquis cut diamond shares many of the same proportions as a round brilliant – with the added benefit of making the wearer’s fingers appear longer and slimmer. Moreover, the marquise has a much larger carat-to-carat ratio, while the round brilliant can lose up to half its rough carat weight in a cut.
Due to its sharp edges, a marquise cut diamond is more likely to chip or break than other fancy cuts. Improperly cut diamonds can also suffer from a ‘bowtie effect,’ in which a bowtie shaped dark area appears in the stone. Moreover, while a marquise cut may seem like a better bang for your buck, the shape is not conducive to hiding blemishes. Specialists recommend finding a diamond with good color and clarity if you chose this regal shape.