Marquise Cut Engagement Rings Explained

If you are looking for an unusual ring, marquise cut engagement rings may provide the answer. On this page we explain what the marquise cut is and give you the information you need to help you to decide if it is the type of ring you want to give to your fiancé.

What is the Marquise cut?

The marquise cut, which is also known as the Navette, was developed for Louis XIV when he was the king. There is a charming story that says the king was captivated by the smile of the Marquise de Pompadour. It is said that he commissioned a jeweller to make a stone that reflected the shape of her smile.


He defiantly ordered paintings of her and other works of art, but whether he actually asked to recreate her smile in a diamond, we will never know. However, we like the story and a Marquise cut certainly looks like a set of lips if you turn it on its side, so we are going to go with the story being true.

Which stones work for the Marquise cut?

Marquise cut diamond engagement rings are by far the best. You do see other gemstones cut in this style, and some people like them, but for us the best stone for the cut is definitely a diamond, or at a pinch a light coloured gemstone.

Emeralds and rubies look interesting when cut in this way, but they do not absorb enough light to animate the stone. Aquamarine, Ametrine, a light amethyst, morganite, beryl and chrome tourmaline all work, but oddly clear quartz does not work for this cut.

How to choose the right Marquise cut for you

It really is a matter of taste, but before buying this type of cut take the time to look at different versions and shapes. They are normally elongated, but every jeweller will adjust the width and length ratios to match the stone, so there is more variation than you might expect with Marquise shaped engagement rings.

Watch this because if the person who is going to wear the ring has delicate hands the wrong stone could overwhelm their hands. It can end up looking chunky instead of elegant and classy.

Someone with a slender hand will need a cut that has a 2.0 or 2.25 ratio. The most popular ratio is 1.75. Recently rounder Marquises have become more popular with a ratio of around 1.50. These differences do not sound much, but when you see a 1.50 alongside a 1.75, you will see a huge difference.

Buy a good quality Marquise

With Marquise diamond rings, the quality of the diamond is very important. The colour ideally needs to be an H, with VS2 clarity. It is very important that the cut is precise, so if you are lucky enough to have a rough diamond you want to turn into a ring choose your cutter carefully.

The right setting

Marquise diamonds need to be carefully set. A thin, elegant band is the best way to show off the stone. The length of the stone is emphasised and enhanced by a thinner band.

When choosing the size of the stone bear in mind the kind of setting you want. If you go for a big stone, you will have no choice but to have a pronged setting, which means six prongs as a minimum. This still looks nice, but is not as elegant as a stone set straight onto the band.

In addition, a pronged setting gives you the chance of having the stone raised slightly higher off the band. This allows more light to hit the stone, which helps it to look lighter and, to some extent, more interesting.


The vast majority of people go for an east/west orientation, so the stone lies across the finger. However, it is possible to ask for the stone to be set south/north. The size of the stone has an impact on the orientation you choose. If you buy a big diamond, you will need to opt for the south/north orientation.

Famous Marquise cut rings

If you want to get a good idea of how these stones look there are plenty of examples online. Most high-end jewellers offer them to their customers.

However, most of the pictures on these websites are of the rings photographed in a studio. These photos are good, but if you want to get a better idea of what these rings look like on the finger we suggest you look for pictures of celebrities wearing theirs.

Cathrine Zeta Jones and Poria de Rossi both have Marquise rings. They wear them a lot, especially for award ceremonies etc, so if you want to see how they look on the finger take a look at a few photos of these celebrities.

Where to buy Marquise cut engagement rings

You will find a great range of Marquise rings on the site below. It is the perfect place to find really special engagement rings.