Marquise diamonds have an oval shape with pointed, rather than blunt ends. They’re said to originate in the mid-18th century, when a French king asked for a diamond in the shape of his lover’s mouth. Marquises are still worn today for diamond engagement rings and wedding bands. Much of their appeal comes from their uncommon shape and flirty origins.

These jewels are modified brilliant diamonds. Their shape is made of two points, or tips, wings which flank the points and a belly in the center. They’re similar to the round brilliant, as both are made to display white light filling and emerging from the crystal. Standards for the marquise are more flexible than round brilliants. Its shape may vary from quite slender to plump, depending on the cutter and shape of the rough.

Their elongated shape makes the jewels look larger than their carat weight. People looking for budget friendly diamond rings may consider marquises for their central stone. The jewel also appears as side stones, usually mounted along the length of the band. When set parallel to the finger, the shape makes the hand appear longer.

Marquise diamonds look their best when they’re neither too thin nor plump. The recommended length to width ratio is 2:1. Symmetry is important, as the slightest quirk in outline may make the jewel seem uneven. Its wings should be gently curved rather than flat or overly round. The tips are more attractive pointed rather than blunt.

Some designer engagement rings play with marquise’s unique shape. Mounting the central stone lengthwise along the finger with perpendicular side stones forms a study in direction. Pairing the jewel with a vine pattern on the band may create a floral effect. Still more rings may mix marquises with other stones for a play on shape.