The Marquise Brilliant cut may also be referred to as the “Navette” shape, meaning
“little boat,” as the shape of the diamond is said to mirror the hull of a small
boat. It is generally comprised of 58 facets, with 33 on the crown and 25 on the
pavilion, although the number of pavilion facets may range between 4 and 8. Additionally,
Marquise shapes are sometimes cut with a “French tip,” which replaces the large
bezel facet at the point with star and upper girdle facets.
French tips are also used in the Heart and Pear shapes. Even though the optimal
ratio of the Marquise is 2:1, the shape is more traditionally cut to ratios ranging
between 1.85 and 2.10 according to personal preference.
The Marquise can suffer from a so-called “bow-tie effect” when light passing through
the diamond casts a shadow across the central facets of the stone. This shadow can
be reduced by altering the depth of the pavilion, and adjusting the angles of the
table and facets to better diffuse light in the central area. This effect also occurs
in the Pear, Oval and Heart shapes.
4. History & Background
The Marquise cut first appeared in Paris circa 1745 and its fascinating history
can be traced back to the height of the French monarchy. King Louis XV commissioned
his court jeweller to create a diamond that resembled the smile of his beautiful
mistress, the Marchioness Madame de Pompadour. A well-educated and intellectual
woman who exerted strong political opinions on the French court, Madame de Pompadour
was the official maitresse en titre of King Louis
XV between 1745 and 1750.
The shape was then developed and modified throughout the 20th century, evolving
into the Marquise Brilliant cut as it is known today, seeing an especial rise in
popularity between the 1960s and 1980s. The Marquise cut first appeared in Paris
in approximately 1745. The fascinating history of the Marquise cut can be traced
back to the height of the French monarchy reign.