Laura Lajiness is a writer and editor who covers fashion, accessories, beauty, and fine jewelry for Brides. Her work also appears in ELLE, InStyle, Glamour, Refinery29, POPSUGAR, Well+Good, and Barneys New York.
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The marquise engagement ring isn't exactly known to be the most cutting edge. While marquise cuts were an extremely popular choice in the 1980s, the oblong, angular shape has lagged behind more popular resurgences of oval- and pear-shaped diamonds, feeling a bit antiquated in comparison. But as with other trends from the '80s back in the spotlight, marquise settings are experiencing a resurgence from ultra-modern settings to fresh designs with vintage appeal. The cut has also earned the stamp of approval from celebrities like Catherine Zeta-Jones and Victoria Beckham. Both have sported this antique-esque engagement ring look.
What Is a Marquise Cut?
A marquise-cut diamond or gemstone has a tapered oval shape with pointed ends. It's best identified by the long and narrow shape it gives to the stone.
Just because a marquise diamond ring is a little “old school” that doesn't mean it can't look entirely modern. In fact, many jewelry designers are putting a so-now twist on the ring shape with sleek, minimal designs and modern settings like east-west stones, bezel settings, and double-band silhouettes. Another way designers are making marquise diamond-ring settings feel fresh is with rose gold, enamel detailing, open-ring designs, or setting them slightly off-kilter—these savvy design tactics are totally unique ways of giving the classic shape an of-the-moment feel.
If the idea of an antique design with retro touches is more your speed, a marquise-cut diamond is as gorgeous in yellow gold as it is in platinum. Skip the east-west settings in favor of traditional north-south-set jewels and aim for slimmer shapes that have more of an old-fashioned feel (wider marquise stones definitely appear more modern). For more of an art deco aesthetic, choose white gold or platinum and consider accents like a thick halo, pavé band, or side stones to set off the center sparkler. In yellow gold, a hammered or granule band will look perfectly vintage-inspired.
Salt-and-pepper diamonds are a great way to add an untraditional twist to your ring while remaining timeless. This marquise-cut ring features a salt-and-pepper center stone with round brilliant-cut diamonds on either side. They are set on a solid 14k matte gold band.
Contemporary and vintage come together in this heirloom-inspired ring. The center marquise diamond is flanked by small rounded diamonds. The under gallery of the ring is complete with filigree detailing.
Despite its name, this ring is made for the best of romances. The antique marquise-cut diamond with a light greenish-gray tint adds a bit of edge. The center stone is flanked by small pavé diamonds and held on an 18k yellow gold band with black rhodium accents
For the chic bride, look no further than this double-band ring. The pavé band holds a marquise diamond on a 14k yellow gold band. You can also stack this ring with an open diamond band for an elevated look.
Marquise diamonds work just as well as side stones as they do center stones, and this ring combines both. The center marquise diamond is held between an array of six marquise-cut diamonds and six round brilliant-cut diamonds.
What to Look for When Choosing a Marquise Engagement Ring
When picking a band to accompany your marquise diamond, consider a classic style band that won't draw attention away from the center stone. But, of course, we would never say no to more sparkle, so you can also try pairing with a pavé band. Double bands are also a great option with a marquise diamond because it creates the perfect distance between two bands when placed vertically.
Diamonds are the most popular choice when it comes to the marquise cut. If you decide to go with a marquise diamond, keep in mind the bow-tie effect—a dark area that runs down the middle of a diamond and could, in some cases, darken its appearance. This effect usually occurs in fancy-cut diamonds like marquise cuts. To avoid this, work with a trained jeweler or inspect the stone yourself before purchasing to ensure your stone doesn't possess the bow-tie effect, or at least not in a prominent way.
Because of the unique shape of a marquise stone, going with a six-prong or bezel setting will ensure the stone is safe and secure on your ring. V-shaped prongs are also a reliable option to keep your marquise stone protected. Halo settings also look stunning with marquise stones and are a great way to add more shine if you choose a smaller stone.
Are marquise diamonds more expensive? Marquise-cut diamonds tend to cost less than round-cut diamonds because less waste is created when cutting the stone.
Do marquise engagement rings go out of style quickly? Marquise engagement rings have been around forever and have just reached newfound popularity. Even though it may seem like a fad, marquise-cut stones are timeless and will hold their beauty for years to come. So if you happen to fall for a marquise ring but are worried about it going out of style, opt for a classic band without many bells and whistles. Classic solitaire engagement rings will never go out of style, no matter the cut.
What is the average length-to-width ratio of a marquise stone? Marquise stones come in a variety of sizes, so it comes down to personal preference. Traditionally, a length-to-width ratio of 1.75-2.15 is considered standard for this stone.