Marquise Cut Diamond Buying Guide

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The ideal marquise cut diamond is elongated in shape with graceful curves and a point at each end. In the first place, it can be difficult to judge this shape by the numbers. That's because the elongated shape and varying proportions do not lend themselves easily to mathematical ray tracing.

Under those circumstances, buying a marquise diamond ring is mostly about finding one with an appealing outline. In other words, you should look for a marquise diamond with a shape that you like. How's that for brilliant diamond buying advice?

As a matter of fact, this marquise shape diamond from Blue Nile looks good to us. First, the diamond has a textbook marquise-like outline. Second, the curve of the wings and the transition through the belly from point-to-point is nice and smooth.

Marquise Cut Diamond Anatomy

Anatomy of Marquise Cut Diamond.

In other words, the outline is visually pleasing and not choppy looking or too angular. The bowtie effect also appears to be minimal and is not too dark. Under those circumstances, the midsection of the diamond will still be bright looking. At the same time, the length to width ratio of 1.88:1.00 provides a nice balance.

Of course, this marquise diamond has proportions within the range we recommend below. As such, it should exhibit a higher volume of light return and a balance of brilliance and dispersion. In other words, it will exhibit a balance of white and spectral bliss.

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What to Look For In a Marquise Cut Diamond:

n the event that you're shopping for a marquise diamond ring, you'll quickly discover there is no consistency of shape. That's because there are an endless combination of facet patterns.

In that case, it means that every marquise is going to be unique in it's own way. As a matter of fact, they're a lot like snowflakes in that way. Although that may be true, here are some of the common outlines that you're likely to see.

Marquise Cut Diamond Shape Guide

Traits of Ideal Marquise Cut Diamonds.

Marquise Cut Diamond Shape Guide

Undesirable Traits of Marquise Cut Diamonds.

Obviously, the marquise diamond on the left has shape that is very attractive. In the first place, the outline is visually pleasing and the four quadrants of the diamond look even. As a matter of fact, this looks similar to the marquise from Blue Nile at the top of this page.

Whereas the second diamond from the left has bulged wings and that makes it look a little squatty. The example shown second in from the right has flat wings that give it a more angular appearance. While the example on the far right has points that look rounder. In that case, the diamond looks like something between an oval brilliant and a marquise.

In addition to determining what overall shape you like, there is also the bowtie effect to contend with. With that in mind, you'll notice that it is more visible in the two examples on the left. For the record, this image is courtesy of the Gemological Institute of America.

Anatomy of a Marquise Cut Diamond:

For the purpose of consistency, this is the plotting diagram for the marquise from Blue Nile. As can be seen, the outline of a marquise diamond is a sum of the parts:

Marquise Diamond Anatomy Plotting Diagram

Marquise Cut Diamond Anatomy.

  • Belly: the central body of the stone where the sides curve  most and where the width is measured.
  • Wing: the curved area that extends between the belly and the points.
  • Points: where the two sides of the diamond meet at the ends in the middle. 
  • Girdle: the line where the upper (crown) and lower (pavilion) parts of the diamond meet in the middle.
  • Keel Line: the line created in the middle of the pavilion where the facets meet. The keel line runs the length of the diamond from tip-to-tip. In some cases, it might run through the culet.

Marquise Diamond Facet Patterns:

As with most fancy shape diamonds, there are many different facet patterns for marquise cut diamonds. In that case, we're going to show the basic structure for this shape. However, it's not possible to take all of the variable factors into consideration.

Plotting Diagram Facet Structure Marquise Diamond

Marquise Cut Diamond Facet Pattern.

Although that may be true, the basic facet structure of a marquise shape is shown on the left. As a matter of fact, the names of the facets is consistent for round and fancy shape diamonds. In other words, they all have a table facet, culet, upper and lower girdle, bezels, stars, and pavilion main facets.

Be that as it may, the size and shape of the facets and the configuration are subject to change. In fact, it's likely to be different for every fancy shape diamond that you're going to see. That's because there is very little consistency to be found since the primary goal is the retention of carat weight.

With that in mind, the cutters tend to follow a basic guideline. However, they will adapt the characteristics of cut to maximize the yield. In that case, you'll see that there are different facet patterns, as well as length to width ratios.

How to Calculate the Length to Width Ratio:

The length to width ratio of a fancy shape diamond is an expression of the length to the width. In other words, it's the relationship of the length from tip-to-tip and the width from side-to-side. As a matter of fact, the most common length for a marquise will be about twice its length.

James Allen Diamond Reviews.

1.88:1.00 Length to Width Ratio.

In that case, the diamond will have a length to width ratio of 2.00:1.00 or two to one. Although that may be true, you might find a different length to width ratio more appealing. For example, this 2.51 carat, E-color, Internally Flawless diamond from James Allen has a length to width ratio of 1.88:1.00.

In this case, the diamond measures 13.63 x 7.25 x 4.47 millimeters. The first measurement is the length of the diamond from tip-to-tip. While the second measurement is the width of the diamond from side-to-side. The last measurement is the depth from the top of the table to the bottom culet.

In order to calculate the length to width ratio, simply divide the length by the width. That is to say, you'll divide 13.63 / 7.25 = 1.88 and relate it back to 1.00.

Examples of Common L/W Ratios:

In the event that you're looking for a marquise cut diamond, it helps to know the length to width ratio. That's because the length to width ratio helps define the overall shape. As you can see, the common length to width ratios below change the appearance:

Length to Width Ratio of 1.79 to 1.00

1.79:1.00 Length to Width Ratio.

Length to Width Ratio of 2.00:1.00

2.00:1.00 Length to Width Ratio.

Length to Width Ratio 2.22 to 1.00

2.22:1.00 Length to Width Ratio.

As a matter of fact, the marquise on the left is beginning to look a lot like a football. Whereas the diamond in the middle appears to have better balance in terms of the outline. While the marquise diamond on the right is longer and thinner in appearance.

Although this may be true, one marquise shape outline is not necessarily better than another. After all, it's more a matter of personal preference. However, you can use the images above to determine your preference and fine-tune your search. You can also use these formulas to estimate carat weight if you want to have some fun.

Minimizing the Bow Tie Effect:

In the event that you're looking at marquise diamonds, you're going to have to contend with the bow tie effect. As a matter of fact, the facets themselves create the illusion of the bowtie effect.

Under those circumstances, there is no way to escape it. After all, the bow tie effect is a characteristic of the overall facet structure as shown below. 

Marquise Diamond Bow Tie Effect

Marquise Cut Diamond Bowtie Effect via Blue Nile.

Bowtie Effect in Marquise Diamonds

How the Bowtie Effect is Created via Blue Nile.

Let's use this 2.01 carat, G-color, VS-2 clarity, diamond from Blue Nile as an example. In the first place, the bow tie effect is minimal because it is not very extensive. Secondly, the tilt of the diamond affects our perception of the bowtie.

As you can see, from this vantage point, the bow tie effect is more evident on the left. While it is less prominent on the right because of the angle that light is reflecting off the facets.

The diagram on the right shows how light reflecting off the facets creates the illusion of the bowtie. Obviously, the proportions of the diamond are also going to affect how light reflects throughout the stone. In addition, the difference created by the long and narrow facets extending from east to west factor into the equation.

Best Place to Buy Marquise Cut Diamonds:

Obviously, online is one of the best places to buy loose diamonds for marquise rings. That's because you can find the diamond of your dreams without leaving the comfort of home. Of course, you'll be able to see what it looks like because everybody provides pictures. In addition, you can search by proportions and length to width ratio.

For example, you can Search James Allen for Diamonds by shape, carat weight, color, clarity and price. In this case, I set the range for total depth between 59 - 63% and the table diameter between 55 - 60%. As a matter of fact, that is the range of proportions for the AGA 1A Ideal Cut rating.

Obviously, the next step is to decide which of these Marquise Cut Diamonds look best:

Search James Allen

1.01 carat, I, VS1, James Allen.

James Allen Diamond Search

James Allen, 1.01 carat, G, VVS1.

James Allen Loose Diamond Search

1.01 carat, E, VS2, James Allen.

James Allen Marquise Cut Diamonds

James Allen, 1.01 carat, D, VVS2.

Buy Marquise Diamonds Online:

Here are our favorite places to search for marquise cut diamonds:

In the event that you're looking for a lab-grown diamond, then the last three vendors on that list are your best bet. Of course, you should read about the differences between natural and lab-grown diamonds before buying one.

Marquise Cut Diamond Rings-piration:

If you're looking for a marquise diamond ring, then you might need some ring-spiration. After all, it can be difficult to pick just one of the many popular ring styles. In addition, you'll need to choose between 14k, 18k, platinum, rose gold, white gold, and yellow gold.

Although that may be true, when it comes to ring settings it's really just a matter of personal preference. In that case, just choose the alloy type that you think looks good on your skin tone.

Marquise Solitaire Engagement Rings:

Blue Nile Petite Solitaire Engagement Ring.

Petite Solitaire Marquise Ring by Blue Nile.

James Allen Gold Rope Solitaire

Gold Rope Marquise Solitaire by James Allen.

Ritani Diamond Gallery Engagement Ring.

Ritani Diamond Gallery Marquise Diamond Ring.

Pavé Set Diamond Engagement Rings:

Split Shank Pavé Setting by James Allen.

Split Shank Pavé Setting by James Allen.

Tapered 3-row setting by Ritani.

Tapered 3-row Pavé Setting by Ritani.

Petite Cathedral Pave Setting by Blue Nile

Petite Cathedral Pavé by Blue Nile.

Vintage Style Marquise Diamond Rings:

Antique Style Bezel Setting by James Allen.

Antique Style Bezel by James Allen.

Vintage Inspired Halo Setting by Ritani.

Vintage Inspired Halo by Ritani.

Blue Nile Vintage Style Ring Marquise Diamond Carat Weight.

Vintage Style Blue Nile Engagement Ring.

Searching for Marquise Cut Diamonds:

James Allen 17645R14 Petite Pave Setting.

Petite Pavé Setting by James Allen.

If you're searching for marquise cut diamond engagement rings, we want to make your life easier. In addition to having 35+ years experience, our trade status makes it easier for us to search.

As a matter of fact, we have access to the multiple listing services that are used to trade diamonds globally. Under those circumstances, we can search for marquise cut diamonds quickly and easily.

In the first place, we're able to automatically eliminate undesireable inclusions. Secondly, we have the capability to search by proportions and length to width ratio. In that case, it makes sense to use our free diamond concierge service. Because time is money and we should all focus on what we're good at.

In-depth Guides for Other Shapes:

Super Charge Your Diamond Buying Skills:

Follow the Steps in The Nice Ice® Diamond Buying Blueprint™ and Unlock the Secret for Maximizing Sparkle Factor and Light Performance. These are the Tips & Tricks from the back office of Nice Ice Diamonds.