Diamonds are known for their signature sparkle and shine. While some jewelry incorporates diamonds in a subtle way, most designs allow these precious stones to stand out and be seen like they deserve! Classic diamond engagement rings are the most common pieces of jewelry where diamonds get to be in the spotlight.
With that being said, there is a plethora of diamond shapes to choose from. But which of these shapes appears the largest? Which cut helps the diamond look as grand as it can? Enter the marquise cut.
Marquise-Cut Diamonds: The Biggest of Them All
The visually largest diamond shape on the market is the marquise cut. Marquise-cut diamonds have a unique shape that sets them apart from the crowd: Rounded at the center of the stone, this cut gradually tapers off, finishing with two points, one at either end. Think of the shape of a football. (During a recent Trivia Night we sponsored, one man said it was the “Tom Brady Shape.”)
Trailing close behind in second and third place for largest appearance are pear and oval-shaped diamonds. So what is it about these diamonds that make them look so much bigger than their counterparts? It's all about their mass distribution and length-to-width ratio .
How The Marquise Cut Weighs In Your Favor
So what's the secret behind this diamond shape? It typically has the highest length-to-width ratio. Meaning, unlike a round diamond, which is the same diameter in every direction, a marquise-cut diamond is far longer than it is wide. An industry standard for a marquise-cut diamond is that it be twice as long as it is wide, resulting in a length-to-width ratio of 2:1.
Most people register object size (including diamonds) based on the largest visual dimension they can see. And while pear-shape diamonds could, technically, be cut with a 2:1 length-to-width ratio, the resulting shape somehow doesn’t seem quite right. The marquise cut is the one commonly-known fancy shape where a 2:1 ratio looks just right.
There are many different parts of a diamond, but the most important aspect to think about in terms of the size is how big its crown is in relation to the rest of the stone. To understand, visualize the diamond from the side. The crown is the part of the stone that is above the girdle. The girdle is the widest part of a diamond, and it defines the face-up shape of the diamond. The pavilion is everything below the girdle. In a well-cut diamond, the total depth of the diamond (crown + girdle + pavilion) should be between 58% and 63% (deeper for some shapes) of the smallest girdle measurement. Since a marquise of a certain weight is far narrower than a round, the depth of the marquise will be less than that of a round. Therefore, the square area of the crown of a marquise cut allows for the biggest face-up surface area of any diamond shape of the same weight. For example, a round brilliant-cut diamond weighing in at 2.00 carats would look much smaller than a marquise-cut diamond at the same exact weight.
Finding a Well-Cut Marquise Requires a Jeweler
The downside of all fancy-shape diamonds is that they are far more difficult to cut in a way where they have even brilliance. At Alara, we never purchase or sell fancy-shape diamonds that aren’t cut to the highest standards.
With a round diamond being the same angles all the way around, it is far easier to attain excellent brilliance and scintillation. But, the angles around a fancy shape vary as you travel around the shape. It requires far more expertise to cut a marquise, pear-shape, or oval diamond so that they don’t have “dead zones.” Because of the faceting pattern, dead zones tend to present in a shape known as a “bow-tie.” Literally, there is a black or dark section going through the heart of the widest part of these diamond shapes that is in the shape of a bow-tie.
The minority of marquise-cut diamonds have limited or no bow-tie effect. Because of that, you want a jeweler with the expertise and good sourcing if you want to purchase a marquise-cut diamond that doesn’t just look large, but looks beautiful in the way you expect diamonds to look.
So, if you are looking for a diamond that's big and beautiful also gets you the best bang for your buck, consider going with the marquise cut as your choice.
Wanna learn even more about these concepts? Click here (use https://alarajewelry.com/pages/contact-us) to contact us or to schedule a FREE Professional Diamond Consultation. (Click “Schedule Now” link at top, then select “Education and Exploration” to access.)