Friday, October 22, 2010

Marquise Cut Engagement Rings: Fit for Royalty

Marquise cut diamonds is a style of cut that is often in high demand, but has low public exposure. This is mostly due to the fact that Marquise cuts engagement rings are mostly custom made or commissioned.

Such was the case in 1998 when international soccer star David Beckham prepared to propose to his current wife, Victoria “Posh Spice.” Beckham proposed with a three carat, Marquise cut diamond engagement ring, flanked by Round cut baguettes on a yellow gold band. Custom designed perfectly, since the size and the shape of a Marquise is best paired with round or oval side stones, Beckham even had a version designed for himself as well.
The shape of a Marquise is best described as an oval that has been pinched at the two ends to create points, necessitating six prongs to stabilize the diamond instead of the normal four. It is also often referred to as the “Navette” cut, which means ‘little boat’ in French, because the shape resembles the hull of a sailboat. However, rather than a boat, this cut was originally designed in the 1700's to resemble a woman’s mouth.
King Louis, the 15th king of France, was a notorious ladies man, and during his affair with Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour, he commissioned his personal cutter to create a diamond shape that resembled the beauty of her mouth. Hence the more well-known name, Marquise.

The result is a striking style that is not only unique, but because of its shape, creates the illusion of long and slender fingers when placed on woman’s hand. Due to this, a Marquise diamond engagement ring is usually set length wise along finger, but is versatile and can also be placed parallel to the knuckle, creating what is known as the ‘bowtie’ style.

Even though Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglass may have reached the ten year mark in their marriage, the engagement ring he proposed with continues to be one of the most famous celebrity engagement rings to date. Douglass purchased a stunning 10 carat, antique Marquise cut diamond engagement ring from the 1920’s worth over $1 million. Interestingly, this particular ring is one of the few Marquise styles that was set horizontally, creating that bowtie look.

The beauty of Verragio rings are that they are always custom made, and certain styles can be ordered with a Marquise center stone if you’re looking for something a little rarer than a Round cut. Side stones are traditionally set but not necessary for a Marquise. Verragio’s Venetian 5007CU is the perfect example of how to combine a marquise diamond with another popular style. This engagement ring features a pave’s set split shank, and Brilliant Round cut diamond halo that usually surrounds a Round diamond center, but can be customized to fit a Marquise to combine the best of both worlds. A ring with all that bling could compete with even Catherine Zeta Jones’s ring.

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