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Marquise Cut Diamond Guide: Cut, Clarity & Color Insights

Marquise Cut Diamond Guide: Cut, Clarity & Color Insights

Marquise Cut Diamond Guide: Cut, Clarity & Color Insights

Posted by Sharif Khan on 24th Jun 2022

marquise cut diamonds ratio

Key Takeaways:

  • Marquise cut diamonds are among the most popular diamond shapes. There are times when they are the go-to choice, but they can also be the least popular choice.
  • When buying marquise cut diamonds, ensure you know the length-to-width ratio you prefer (see the image above for comparison). We recommend a range between 1.8 and 2.05.
  • Consider a marquise cut with a total depth of 56%–64%, a table of 52%–63%, and a tolerance of 1-2% (up or down).
  • Regarding clarity, SI1 is often eye-clean in under 1.5-carat stones, while VS2 is also a good grade in the 2-2.5 carat range. A good SI2 might also work in the under-1-carat range if you are on a budget.
  • In terms of color, D-F colors are great options, though we recommend G color. H and I are also great budget options.
  • We recommend you consider a GIA or AGS graded marquise cut diamond.
  • Ensure that you have sufficient knowledge about fluorescence and how it affects the price of a diamond.
  • Here is a list of the best places online to buy diamonds.

marquise cut proportions

Marquise Cut Overview

The marquise cut diamond is a modified brilliant cut with an elongated and pointed end and a football or curved shape. It adopted its name from the Marquise of Pompadour during the 18th century, for whom King Louis XIV of France asked for a stone that could perfectly resemble the shape of her mouth. The marquise cut diamond is also known as the "Navette" cut and has features like the oval cut diamonds. Its long and narrow shape creates an illusion of greater size than other shapes of the same carat weight.

Consider the marquise cut diamond if you wish your diamond stands out in the crowd. Its unique shape will demand attention, especially when placed in a solitaire setting. In addition, Marquise cut diamonds have the largest crown surface areas among the diamond shapes—another reason for their perceived greater size.

Here are a few things to remember when buying marquise cut diamonds:

  • Marquise cut diamonds' long and narrow edges will most likely bleak or chip if the bow-tie effect is left unconsidered.
  • Watch for sharp edges and pointed ends in a marquise cut diamond and ensure that its angles are properly cut.

Analyzing Marquise Cut:

Tip: Use tools like James Allen's High-Resolution 3D Video Technology to compare different marquise cut diamonds and determine what might be best for you in terms of the following proportions and length to width ratio. They have the best filter and video magnification technology for diamonds, and it does not cost anything to play with it and get educated about diamonds.

Depth %
  • Poor/Far: <48 or >73.5 / 48-73.5
  • Good: 50.1-53 / 71-74.5
  • Very Good: 56.2-58.1/62.3-67
  • Excellent: 57.8-62.3
  • Table %
  • Poor/Fair: <49 or >71/49 or 69
  • Good: 49-71
  • Very Good: 52/65-66
  • Excellent: 53-64
  • Culet
  • Poor/Fair: Very Large/Large
  • Good: Slightly large
  • Very Good: Medium/Very Small
  • Excellent: None
  • Girdle
  • Poor/Fair: Ex. Thin – Ex. Thick
  • Good: Very thin - thick
  • Very Good: Very thin - slightly thick
  • Excellent: Very thin - slightly thick
  • Length to Width Ratio
  • Poor/Fair: >1.56 or <2.47
  • Good: 1.63-1.73/2.26-2.32
  • Very Good: 1.74-1.80/2.06-2.25
  • Excellent: 1.80-2.05
  • Crown Height %
  • Poor/Fair: <7.9 or >20/7.9-20
  • Good: 8-19
  • Very Good: 10-17.9
  • Excellent: 11.7-15.7
  • James Allen

    This chart serves as a general guideline when evaluating the cut of a marquise diamond. The length to width ratio of 1.74–2.25 is considered classic, although personal preference could override it. When buying a marquise cut diamond, pay due attention to the symmetry. The right and left sides should form a near mirror image, and the two ends should align perfectly. Slight misalignment may ruin the beauty of the diamond, so we recommend excellent to very good symmetry in a marquise cut diamond.

    The setting for a marquise-cut diamond should have prongs to protect the endpoints of the diamond. The prongs will play a key role in hiding the flaws, such as naturals, extra facets, and other inclusions often found near the outer edge of a rough stone.

    Evaluating Color:

    Like other diamond shapes, the color in a marquise cut diamond is critical. The higher the color grade, the better. In our experience, many buyers prefer stones with warm colors over colorless ones, given the price difference. In the color spectrum, the former (warmer colors) refer to the near-colorless range of G-I color diamonds, while the latter (colorless colors) refer to D-F color diamonds. The price for a lower color grade marquise cut diamond will be significantly lower. Any marquise cut diamond with a carat size over 1.0 will probably include colors that appear slightly darker at the endpoints. Therefore, you must consider choosing one color grade higher than you usually buy.

    For more detailed information on the color of a cushion cut diamond, use the table below.

    < 0.50 Carat
  • Poor/Far: >M/ L-M
  • Good: I-K
  • Very Good: G-I
  • Excellent: D-G
  • 0.51 – 1.0 Carat
  • Poor/Fair: J-K / >L
  • Good: I
  • Very Good: H
  • Excellent: D-G
  • 1.0 – 2.0 Carat
  • Poor/Fair: H-I / >I
  • Good: G
  • Very Good: D-F
  • Excellent: D-F
  • >2.0 Carat
  • Poor/Fair: H-I / >I
  • Good: G-H
  • Very Good: D-F
  • Excellent: D-F
  • Choosing Clarity:

    Choose a marquise cut diamond that meets your standards in terms of clarity. Each of our customers has a unique standard for clarity and color. Some want a flawless diamond, while others are perfectly comfortable with a slight inclusion if it is not easily noticeable. The GIA provides excellent help with their clarity grades, enabling you to choose a marquise cut diamond reflective of your standards.

    < 0.50 Carat
  • Poor/Far: I2 / >I2
  • Good: I1-I2
  • Very Good: VS2-S12
  • Excellent: FL-VS1
  • 0.51 – 1.0 Carat
  • Poor/Fair: I2 / >I2
  • Good: SI2
  • Very Good: VS2-SI2
  • Excellent: FL-VS1
  • 1.0 – 2.0 Carat
  • Poor/Fair: SI2-I1 / >I1
  • Good: SI1-SI2
  • Very Good: WS2-VS2
  • Excellent: FL-VS1
  • >2.0 Carat
  • Poor/Fair: >SI2
  • Good: SI1-SI2
  • Very Good: VS1-SI1
  • Excellent: FL-WS2
  • Suggested carat weight, cut, color, and clarity of Marquise Cut Diamond for people with budget constraints:

    Excellent Choice

    • At least 1.0 Carats in Weight
    • Very Good to Excellent Polish and Symmetry
    • G or above in Color
    • SI1 or above in clarity
    • No Fluorescence
    • Length/width ratios: 1.74-2.02

    Very Good Choice

    • At least 0.90 Carats in Weight
    • Good to Excellent Polish and Symmetry
    • H or above in Color
    • SI1 or above in Clarity
    • None, faint or medium blue fluorescence
    • Length/width ratios: 1.74-2.02

    Good Choice

    • At least 0.80 Carats in Weight
    • Good to Very Good Polish and Symmetry
    • I or above in Color
    • SI1 or above in Clarity
    • None, faint or medium blue fluorescence
    • Length/width ratios: 1.74-2.02

    Marquise Cut Diamonds

    Be sure to check out our diamond page to compare prices.