The Allure of a Marquise Diamond

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by Suzanne Sachs  5 min read

vintage marquis ring


With its elegant length and sharp detail, a marquise diamond is a distinctive choice for any couple to share. There is much more meaning and symbolism in the marquise shape than many couples realize, however, and understanding those nuances can help couples choose the perfect ring to highlight their unique relationship.

What You Need To Know--

About the Marquise Diamond

The marquise diamond cut is an elongated, tapered oval with sharp tips. While the ideal length to width ratio is generally considered between 1.5 to 1.75- 2.15, this shape can be either very narrow or very thick and the overall dimensions are largely a matter of personal preference. Marquise diamonds are variations on the round brilliant cut and have 58 total facets to maximize sparkle. Because of the longer shape, the diamond’s crown is typically larger than expected and the size of the stone is emphasized, making it appear larger than its carat weight.

This diamond cut was first created in the mid-1700s at the request of King Louis XV of France, who desired a diamond shape that imitated the perfect lips of his mistress, the Marquise of Pompadour. That royal title gave the diamond shape its most popular name, but this cut is also known as the navette (French for “little boat” or “little ship”) or lemon cut.


Vintage Marquis Engagement Ring

Marquise Shape Meaning and Symbolism

There are many different types of symbolism that can be associated with the marquise diamond cut, and couples can interpret the distinctive shape in any way they wish to highlight their own relationship, preferences, and style.


• Shape Symbolism

The distinctive shape of the marquise cut can relate to lemons – ideal for a couple who may have special memories of picnics with fresh lemonade, or whose proposal may have connections to citrus regions, such as the Amalfi Coast of Italy or lemon orchards in California. The shape is also similar to a cat’s eye, making it the purrrfect choice for a cat lover, or it could represent a football, making it a great shape for any sports fan. Couples who prefer the boat-shaped symbolism might relate the stone to a romantic cruise, or other aquatic adventures they’ve shared.

• Royal Symbolism

Because the marquise shape was developed in reference to a marquise’s lips, the cut itself represents royalty and Old World aristocracy, for a marquis is the level of nobility between a count and a duke. This shape is also part of different crown jewels and adds a hint of royal connection to any engagement ring.


Geographic Symbolism

The marquise diamond was developed in Paris, France. Couples who share a connection to the City of Light might choose a marquise diamond engagement ring for that hidden meaning, or it could also represent a plan to honeymoon in Paris, one of the most romantic travel destinations in the world.

Personality Symbolism

Marquise shapes are often associated with a creative, theatrical personality or anyone who enjoys a touch of drama tinged with glamour. The sharp points of the stone also convey a sense of edginess, a great option for a bride-to-be with a strong personality and a sharp sense of her own style.

Historical Symbolism

The marquise or navette cut is prominent in different jewelry fashion eras, and can bring couples a sense of that vintage flair. Popular in floral Victorian engagement rings, the marquise shape is also present in some Art Deco patterns. Mid-century modern styles also occasionally use the marquise shape, and a resurgence of the cut’s popularity in the 1980s has allowed it to be found in many vintage and estate rings.

Celebrity Symbolism

Couples can enjoy a touch of Hollywood flair with a marquise cut ring when they see it as part of the style of their favorite celebrities. Marquise shape engagement rings have graced many famous fingers, including Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jennifer Lopez, Ashlee Simpson, Eliza Limehouse, and Portia de Rossi.


Marquis Engagement Ring

Choosing a Marquise Diamond Ring

With so many symbolic meanings, it is no surprise that the marquise diamond is a popular choice for engagement rings. It is particularly stunning as a solitaire to lend a sense of length to the finger, but is also often paired with side stones and accents such as baguettes or round stones in graceful arcs that highlight the marquise’s length. Prong settings are the most popular for marquise shape stones, which may be set either north/south parallel to the finger, or east/west perpendicular to the finger. Other settings that beautifully complement the marquise shape are bezel, pave, and halo designs.

Couples have many options to choose from when they are interested in a marquise diamond ring. Regardless of their personal symbolism, this stone shape is sure to have deep and heartfelt meaning as part of a stunning engagement ring.

Marquise Diamond Rings For Everyone

No matter which era is your favorite, these time-honored rings have a rich history and individualized character and will continue to have a timeless beauty and elegant appeal that is part of a legacy to pass on to future generations.

Find The Perfect Marquise Engagement Ring

Antique diamond rings are prized not only for their beauty but also for their exquisite attention to detailing and design. If you’re looking for a ring with a sense of glamour, sophistication and vintage charm, explore our collection of marquise diamond rings today!

Suzanne Sachs

Suzanne has always believed vintage rings can change lives. She's been in the jewelry industry for over 35 years, working with vintage jewelers, diamond dealers, diamond cutters, and gemologists. Suzanne started Artdecodiamonds in 2000 and understood the demand for vintage rings throughout the world. She ultimately started in 2014, and understands each vintage ring is a reflection of you – your history, your relationships, your style, your elegance and is honored to have the opportunity to help you showcase your flair in a unique and exquisite way.


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