Marquise Cut Diamond Buying Guide


One of the most rare and unique diamond shapes, marquise brilliant is at the top of majestic and romantic cuts. It may also be referred to as the ‘Navette’ (little boat) after the resemblance of its shape to the boat's hull. Marquise cut is quite rare do to the low yield a cutter gets out of rough. However it does not make it less valuable. Marquise diamond looks slightly bigger in comparison to most other shapes with the same weight. Not to mention that the marquise ring can elongate the fingers visually making them more elegant and aristocratic.


Marquise is generally comprised of 58 facets, with 33 on the crown and 25 on the pavilion. Sometimes a diamond cutter may leave a ‘French tip’, which replaces the large bezel facet at the point with star and upper girdle facets. Gemological institutes rarely grade cut quality of fancy shaped diamonds, but proportions are highly important for Marquise. They should be thoroughly inspected upon choosing a gemstone. Depending on the ratio, two diamonds of the same weight and shape might look completely different. The go-to ratio of Marquise cut ranges between 1.7 and 2.2, as the diamonds will appear balanced, and not too thin or too wide.

 ExcellentVery GoodGoodFairPoor
Table%53 - 6352
64 - 65
66 - 68
69 - 70
< 50
> 70
Depth %58 - 6256 - 57.9
62.1 - 66
53 - 55.9
66.1 - 71
50 - 52.9
71.1 - 74
< 50
> 74
GirdleVery Thin to Slightly ThickVery Thin to ThickVery Thin to Very ThickEx. Thin to Ex. Thick
CuletNoneVery SmallSmallMedium> Medium
L/W Ratio1.85 - 2.001.75 - 1.84
2.01 - 2.15
1.65 - 1.74
2.16 - 2.30
1.55 - 1.64
2.31 - 2.45
> 1.55
< 2.45

It is very important to locate a bowtie, if it is present. Bowtie is a visual defect which can be seen on certain types of elongated diamonds, such as pear shapes, ovals and, of course, marquise cuts. Diamonds with bowtie exhibit dark areas in the center. Depending on cut quality, bowtie might be non-existent, slightly visible or really strong (if the diamond is too deep).

The girdle thickness is another crucial factor in a marquise. Some cutters can leave a thick or even very thick girdle to increase the overall weight of a diamond, which can also lead to a bowtie. Not only does a thick girdle result in additional weight and the higher price tag, the diamond might end up showing less brilliance and fire due to the light leaking through the wide surface.


Marquise’s brilliant look and small table allow diamond to hide some imperfections in the facets of the crown. Due to this effect, an observer might not see the inclusions even in a gemstone with lower clarity. This is why inspecting a diamond itself is more important than making a decision based on the grade in the report. Making sure that the table is clean of impurities is crucial. If there are no visible inclusions, choosing a diamond with SI clarity grade might be the best option to prevent spending extra money.


Inspecting the diamond itself is much more important than basing a decision on a grading report. The same rule is applied with a color of the stone. Due to its brilliant look, Marquise diamond will exhibit yellow tint. Therefore, choosing a diamond with color lower than G is not recommended. However, a G-graded diamond may look just as good as the stone with an E color, since it is highly important how the color balances with the clarity.