A modified brilliant cut, also called navette which is French for “little boat”, because it resembles the shape of a sailboat.
The marquise cut’s origin dates back to the 18th century when King Louis XV of France commissioned a jeweler to design a shape that resembled the lips of his mistress, the Marquise Madam de Pompadour. Because of its large crown surface, a marquise cut can appear to be larger than its actual carat weight. The symmetry of this fancy shape is very important, requiring that the two pointed ends be aligned and that the sides of the stone form a near mirror image. Optimal length to width ratios are between 1.75:1 and 2.25:1. If the stone is improperly proportioned, a gray to black bow tie may appear across the width of the stone when viewed face up.