The Marquise Brilliant takes its name from a legend that the Sun King desired a stone to be polished into the shape of the mouth of the Marquise of Pompadour.
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS AND CUTTING ISSUES
The Marquise Brilliant is a boatshaped modified brilliant. It is generally agreed that a length-to-width ratio between 1.75:1 and 2:1 is most pleasing. As with other fancy shapes, a certain degree of what constitutes a beautiful shape has to do with the consumer’s individual taste. The ultimate shape of the finished diamond is determined by the rough and what parameters it allows. The typical Marquise Brilliant contains 56 facets.
MARKETS AND MARKETING
The Marquise Brilliant is sold on all levels of the market, from the mass merchandiser to the upscale luxury market, in qualities appropriate to the particular market level. Most are sold as center diamonds for engagement rings. They are generally ordered by the single piece, and by weight. Sales of the Marquise Brilliant have declined over the past year or two, as the graduated “pyramid” ring has shown a loss of popularity. The Oval Brilliant has supplanted the Marquise Brilliant as the elongated symmetrical fancy shape of choice. In particular, i-carat sizes and over are moving slowly, and especially in lower qualities.
PRICING AND SUPPLY
Short supply of rough material affects the Marquise Brilliant as it does other shapes. Due to its decline in popularity, fewer Marquise Brilliants are being cut in better qualities. Promotional, mass-merchandise quality engagement rings featuring Marquise Brilliants are still being presented by retailers in that market. An ample supply is available in imported makes, particularly in lower grades. Marquise Brilliant prices are consistently below those of round brilliants. In the F /VVS2 category, prices are about 5 to 8 percent lower than round prices. In H/VS2, Marquise Brilliant prices are 10 to 15 percent lower than rounds. In commercial qualities such as K/Il, the difference is approximately 15 percent.
WHAT BUYERS SHOULD LOOK FOR
Buyers should first look at traditional factors of shape and make. As mentioned, a length-to-width ratio of 2: 1 or slightly under has the broadest appeal. For salability in to day’s market, look for colors of G through I or better, and SI or above in clarity. As with pear shapes, a tip with insufficient girdle thickness presents durability problems, while an extremely thick girdle can cause difficulty in setting and hides weight. Be sure that brilliance is sufficient to make the diamond attractive overall. Facet misalignment can detract from brilliance; overall appearance should always be a consideration. In the Marquise Brilliant, as with pear shapes, the “bow tie” – a dark area in the shape of a bow tie that occurs when the angles of the cut are not optimum – visible in varying degrees is inherent in the cut. The bow tie becomes identified as a negative in a competitive sales situation more than through the observations of the consumer. In general, only an exaggerated or overly dark bow tie effect will have a negative impact on salability.