The marquise cut diamond has never had the widespread popularity of a pear-shaped or emerald cut, but that’s about to change. With a growing desire for unique engagement rings, the marquise cut diamond suddenly appears fresh and new, and designers are showcasing it in contemporary rings that give this classic stone a modern makeover.
When it comes to romance, you can’t beat the marquise cut’s love story: in 1745, King Louis XV of France commissioned a diamond to be cut to reflect the lips of his mistress Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, also known as the Marquise de Pompadour. More than 250 years later, the King’s lover’s name is immortalized in a diamond—and the great romance lives on. When the stone is set east-west on a ring, you can imagine a pair of pouty lips.
The classic marquise diamond speaks to the bride’s desire for rings that are timeless and unique. “Couples continue to look for alternative engagement rings that remain sentimental but with a twist on tradition,” says Jennifer McCurry, Jewelry Buyer for Marissa Collections in Naples, Florida. “The diamond solitaire is back taking center stage, debuting in new shapes, colors, and cuts.” In short, the marquise is the perfect classic with a twist.
What’s especially appealing about the marquise cut is the way the long, narrow shape elongates the finger, which means it’s a silhouette that looks good on everyone. And jewelry designers are showing the marquise in playful new ways: Nora Kogan sets the diamond east-west on a skinny white enamel band; Padis created a series of marquise cut diamond bands set vertically and horizontally; Greek designer Nikos Koulis sets the stone asymmetrically with a flourish of black enamel that appears like a fan. If only King Louis XV could see how his lover’s name has become synonymous with modern romance.
A New Twist on a Classic Cut: The marquise cut diamond is easily adaptable to anyone’s style. As a solitaire, it appears regal with its pointed ends (like the points on a crown), and when it is simply turned on its side in an east-west setting, the marquise appears sleek and contemporary. For a modern minimalist look, jewelers Tacori, Zoë Chicco and Milamore set the stone east-west on simple bands, and in a retro nod, Kwiat frames an elegant marquise cut diamond with tiny emeralds.