The marquise diamonds with its pointed ends goes back to the 18th century. Legend says the French King Louis XV commissioned the jeweler of the court to create a shape that would match the smile of his favorite mistress, Jean Antoinette Poisson, the Marquise of Pompadour. Regardless if the story is myth, the word Marquise refers to rank in aristocracy. Marquise is the feminine form of marquees and falls between a duke and an earl. The marquise cut diamonds has graced the length of women's hands usually in a north to south direction, but on occasion has been set east to west. The marquise diamond engagement ring was very popular in the 1980s and through the mid 90s. The shape was rarely used in men's wedding rings or any men's jewelry for that matter.
There are two issues with marquise cut diamonds that consumers need to be aware of. The shape of the marquise does make it difficult to cut for brilliance. Like the oval cut, if the diamond is cut too long or too wide a dark area or shadow will appear creating a bow-tie effect reducing the amount of sparkle. An ideal proportion of length to width is 2 to 1, but they are usually cut 1.75 - 2.25 to 1. Most consumers never pay attention to the cut of a marquise. The other issues with the marquise, is how it is set as an engagement ring or a ring you would wear all the time, it’s important to protect the tips of the diamond. When setting a marquise of any stone the tips need to be protected and check at least once a year. It is recommended using a chevron tipped head to hold the diamond. The V shape protects more area around the tips.
Although the marquise is not as popular today as it used be 2 decades ago, design technology has advanced so much. This has enabled those looking for the different and unusual to use the marquise as its center. The opportunity to create a long and delicate look is enchanting and dramatic. The round diamonds did not seem proportionate or they were too over-powering to the marquise center. Today's marquise engagement ring has smaller micro prong set diamonds with thin flowing lines that compliment the design and its direction.