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Marquise vs Princess Cut: Which Is Better? (2024 Comparison)

Looking to know which is better between Marquise vs Princess Cut?

You’re at the right place!

This is our comparison of the Marquise vs Princess Cut.

In this article, I have reviewed both diamond cuts in-depth and will fully explain to you which one is better.

Let’s get started with an in-depth look at what sets these diamond cuts apart.

Let’s get started!

What’s The Difference Between Marquise vs Princess Cut?

Marquise Cut Diamond

Marquise cut diamonds are easily recognized by their elongated shape, resembling an eye. They feature an elliptical outline with a wider middle section that tapers towards each end, forming sharp points. If you view a marquise cut diamond ring from different angles on a vendor’s website, you can clearly see the pointed ends and the wider body of the diamond.

In terms of facets, marquise cuts typically have 58 facets: 33 on the crown (the top part of the diamond) and 25 on the pavilion (the bottom part). While it is a modified brilliant cut, meaning the facets have a similar shape to round cuts, the overall design has been altered to create the distinct marquise shape while still retaining strong brilliance and fire.

When incorporated into jewelry, a marquise diamond is often used as the main centerpiece on top of the ring. However, there are also settings that position the marquise diamond along the shank of the ring, parallel to the band, as accent stones.


Princess Cut Diamond

Princess cut diamonds are renowned for their square or rectangular shape and brilliant cut facets. They are often referred to as “square modified brilliants” because their facets resemble those of round cuts but are modified to create the distinctive square shape. In fact, when a princess cut diamond is flipped upside down, it resembles a pyramid.

When viewed from the top, as shown in the image of the French Pave Princess Cut Diamond Ring, the diamond appears square. Most princess cuts have a length to width ratio ranging from 1.00 to 1.05, which gives them a square appearance to the naked eye. If the ratio exceeds 1.05, the diamond will appear more rectangular. However, going beyond this ratio can result in a loss of brilliance and fire, as the facets may not effectively capture and reflect the maximum amount of light.

Princess cut diamonds typically have between 50 and 58 facets. The majority of these facets are located on the pavilion (bottom) and crown (top) of the diamond, while some are spread across its girdle (the outer edge).

While princess cuts are commonly used as the main diamond in an engagement ring, they can also be set along the shank of the ring, alongside another diamond cut on top. For example, you may find a round-cut diamond in the center with a princess cut diamond on each side. This combination of contrasting shapes adds a stunning aesthetic to the piece.


Differences Between Marquise and Princess Cuts

Certainly! Here are three key differences between diamonds with an excellent cut grade and those with a very good cut grade:

1. History

Marquise diamonds derive their name from the Marquise of Pompadour, a prominent figure in 18th-century France. It is said that King Louis XIV had the diamond cut in a shape resembling the Marquise’s lips, hence the association with her title. Initially, the term “marquise” referred to a rank below a duke, and the marquise cut became a symbol of status and prestige. This unique diamond shape is also referred to as “Navette,” meaning “small ship” in French, and has acquired other names such as boat-shaped, eye-shaped, or football-shaped, all describing its distinct design.

On the other hand, the princess cut is a more modern design that evolved from the French cut, which originated in the 14th century. The princess cut as seen in today’s engagement rings emerged in the 1980s. It was developed by Betazel Ambar and Israel Itzkowitz, who combined techniques used to create round brilliant cuts and applied them to create a square shape. The aim was to offer an alternative to the traditional round cut while maintaining a high level of brilliance.

2. Color

The color grade of a diamond refers to the presence of yellow or brown tints within the stone. The highest color grade is assigned to colorless diamonds with no visible yellow hue, while diamonds with darker brown tints may fall into the “light” category on the GIA color scale.

The ability of a diamond to hide or show its color is influenced by its proportions and how it interacts with light. Diamonds with cuts that exhibit high brilliance tend to conceal color by reflecting white light.

In comparison, marquise diamonds may show color more readily than princess cuts, but the difference is minimal. If you were to place a princess cut and a marquise cut with the same color grades next to each other, the color would likely appear identical to the naked eye.

Most diamond buyers prioritize a stone that appears colorless without the need for magnification, even if it doesn’t receive the GIA’s colorless distinction. For a princess cut, a recommended color grade would be H or I. This allows you to avoid paying a premium for a colorless diamond while ensuring that any slight yellow tints are not visible to the naked eye.

In the case of marquise cuts, I would suggest a color grade of H or higher. The shallow depth of each end of the marquise diamond makes it more susceptible to showing color compared to its wider middle section. However, to the naked eye, an H color grade on a marquise diamond will appear similar to an F, E, or D grade, but at a lower price point.

3. Price

Marquise cuts generally tend to have a higher price per carat compared to princess cuts, but both are typically less expensive than round cuts. The reason for this price difference is that fancy-shaped diamonds, including marquise and princess cuts, have lower demand compared to the classic round cut. Additionally, more of the rough diamond material is wasted during the process of shaping it into a round diamond, which adds to the cost.

On average, you can expect to pay around 15-20 percent more for a marquise cut diamond compared to a princess cut diamond with similar qualities. For instance, using prices compiled from James Allen for diamonds with the following traits: 1.00 carat, E color, and SI1 clarity, the average price for a marquise cut with those qualities is $4,775, with a price range of $4,310 to $5,210.

In comparison, the average price for a princess cut diamond with the same traits is $3,986, with a price range of $3,400 to $4,610. This indicates a roughly 20 percent premium for the marquise cut over the princess cut.

At Blue Nile, the price difference between marquise and princess cuts is slightly lower, averaging around 16 percent.

While there may be some cases where prices for marquise and princess cuts are comparable, in most instances, choosing a princess cut will save you money. The savings can be allocated towards a larger carat weight, better color or clarity, or even the setting of the diamond.

4. Brilliance and Fire

Brilliance and fire are indeed highly desirable characteristics in diamonds, contributing to their overall appeal. Both princess and marquise cut diamonds score high in these aspects due to their brilliant-cut facets.

In princess cut diamonds, the triangle and kite-shaped facets effectively gather light and reflect it throughout the diamond, ultimately emitting it through the table. This design also minimizes light leakage, enhancing the diamond’s brilliance and fire. Quality cuts of princess diamonds exhibit a combination of light and dark flashes, creating a captivating visual effect as the diamond rotates.

Similarly, in marquise cut diamonds, selecting a diamond with an ideal length to width ratio, minimal inclusions, and a well-cut design will result in brilliance and fire comparable to other diamonds in its category, with the exception of round brilliants. The unique shape of the marquise cut, along with its brilliant-cut facets, helps maximize the diamond’s light performance.

5. Clarity

Indeed, the clarity characteristics of diamonds, such as cavities, feathers, and etch channels, can vary, and some diamond cuts are better at hiding inclusions than others. The brilliant-cut facets of marquise and princess diamonds can often make inclusions invisible to the naked eye without the need for magnification. The brilliance and fire of these cuts can effectively disguise blemishes and make them appear flawless.

It’s important to note that purchasing a flawless diamond is not necessary for it to appear flawless to the naked eye. Inclusions that impact the diamond’s appearance and compromise its durability should be avoided, but small inclusions that are invisible to the naked eye are acceptable.

For both princess and marquise cuts, starting the search at SI1 clarity grade offers great value. Diamonds at this clarity grade are significantly less expensive than flawless diamonds but can appear indistinguishable from flawless diamonds in a normal setting. However, if you are considering a diamond larger than two carats, it is recommended to choose a diamond with at least a VS2 clarity grade to ensure a higher level of clarity.

One specific flaw commonly observed in marquise cuts is the bow-tie effect, which refers to black lines in the shape of a bow-tie extending across the diamond’s table. While almost every marquise cut exhibits a bow-tie effect, it is worth investing the effort to find a diamond where this effect does not significantly impact its appearance.

6. Size

You are correct that the size of a diamond is measured in carats, which is a unit of weight. Two diamonds that are both three carats in weight would be considered the same size in terms of carat weight.

However, visually, the size perception of a diamond can be influenced by its shape and cut. Marquise cut diamonds are known for their ability to appear larger than other cuts of the same carat weight. If you were to compare a one-carat marquise cut diamond with a one-carat princess cut diamond side by side, the marquise cut would give the illusion of being bigger.

The elongated shape of a marquise cut diamond contributes to a wider surface area compared to the squarish shape of a princess cut diamond. This broader appearance can create the perception of a larger diamond. Additionally, the length of a marquise cut diamond can visually elongate the fingers, making them appear longer and slimmer.

If size is an important factor for you when choosing a diamond, considering a marquise cut diamond can be a good option due to its ability to visually appear larger than other cuts of the same carat weight.

7.  Popularity

Princess cuts are indeed more popular than marquise cuts in the engagement ring market. Approximately 30 percent of engagement ring diamonds sold are princess cuts, while marquise cuts account for about five percent. However, both fall short of round cuts, which are the most dominant shape and make up over 50 percent of the market.

The popularity of the princess cut peaked in the 1980s and 1990s when it was a relatively new addition to the diamond scene. The combination of its alternative shape and strong brilliance contributed to its rise in popularity, making it the second most common diamond cut.

On the other hand, marquise cuts were most popular right before the invention of the princess cut. In the 1970s and 1980s, their elongated shape and brilliant-cut facets made them a popular choice for engagement rings.

As both princess and marquise cuts rank among the top five most popular diamond cuts, you can expect to find a variety of options available at most jewelry retailers. They will offer a range of carat weights, color grades, and clarity grades to suit different preferences and budgets.

8. Durability

You’re correct that durability can be a concern for both marquise and princess cuts due to their sharp corners. These corners are vulnerable to chipping if they are hit against a hard surface or dropped.

To enhance the durability of princess cuts, it is important to place them in a setting that protects each corner. Options such as V-prongs or a bezel setting can provide the necessary corner protection. A bezel setting completely surrounds the diamond with a metal rim, offering excellent protection for the corners.

For marquise cuts, the wide middle and two sharp points are susceptible to breaking. To improve their durability, different settings can be used. Some settings feature V-prongs at each end, along with standard prongs holding the middle. Others utilize three prongs on each end, with additional prongs securing the middle portion.

When selecting a setting for a princess or marquise cut diamond, it’s essential to find a balance between enhancing durability while also ensuring that light can enter the diamond and maximize its brilliance. Exploring the variety of available settings will help in finding the right combination of protection and light performance for these diamond cuts.

9. Settings

You’re absolutely right that choosing the right setting is crucial to enhance the beauty of marquise or princess cut diamonds. Different settings can complement their unique shapes and enhance their overall appearance.

Both marquise and princess cuts can stand alone as solitaires because of their exceptional light performance and brilliance. However, for step-cut diamonds like princess cuts, you might also find halo or pave settings used to compensate for any warm glow or to add extra sparkle.

For example, the 14K yellow gold solitaire setting you mentioned with a princess cut diamond is a stunning choice for a proposal. It highlights the beauty and simplicity of the diamond.

If you prefer additional stones on the ring, a marquise cut diamond with a halo setting, as shown in the example, can be a great option. The halo surrounding the marquise cut mimics its shape, and from a distance, the halo and the main diamond can blend together, creating an illusion of a larger center stone.

Both marquise and princess cuts can pair well with various setting designs, such as channel-set, pave, three-stone rings, or vintage-inspired settings. These designs offer a range of styles and allow for personalization based on individual preferences.

What to choose between Marquise or Princess Diamond

When considering a marquise versus princess cut diamond, it’s important to understand the qualities that impact their appearance and light performance. These brilliant cuts offer distinct alternatives to the traditional round cut, but they differ in terms of price, size, popularity, and more. Here are some guidelines to help you decide between the two:

If you are looking for a diamond that appears larger than other cuts, consider the marquise cut. Its elongated shape can create the illusion of a larger diamond size.

For the marquise cut, be prepared to choose a setting that protects its ends from chipping. The pointed ends are more susceptible to damage, so selecting a setting that provides proper protection is essential.

If having a unique and less popular cut is appealing to you, the marquise cut might be the right choice. It offers a distinctive shape that stands out from more commonly seen cuts.

On the other hand, if you desire a square or rectangular diamond shape with strong brilliance, the princess cut is worth considering. It combines the fancy shape you’re looking for with the desirable trait of high brilliance.

Despite its fancy shape, the princess cut remains popular in the diamond market. So, if you prefer a cut that is both unique and well-liked, the princess cut offers the best of both worlds.

Additionally, if price-per-carat is a significant factor for you, the princess cut tends to be priced lower compared to marquise cuts.

To make an informed decision, it is important to examine all available options at online and in-person retailers. Also, consider how different settings can enhance the beauty of each cut. By understanding the unique qualities of marquise and princess cut diamonds and pairing them with suitable settings, you can find the perfect diamond that aligns with your preferences and style.

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