Funny how the topic of jewelry making naturally lends itself to novel-like titles. Then again, gems, gold and jewels are the stuff of romance and history.
A marquis is a nobleman ranking below a duke and above an earl. His spouse is “madame la marquise.” When used in the context of jewelry making, marquise refers to a specific cut. A marquise diamond is elongated.
The marquise cut emphasizes a diamond’s best attributes while its flaws, blemishes and inclusions virtually disappear. It is said that this particular cut acquired its name from a diamond ring worn by King Louis XV’s mistress, la Marquise de Pompadour. Over time, her diamond made such an impression on those who saw it that it came to be known as “the Marquise’s diamond.”
It is worth noting that it was not until the Middle Ages that diamonds were cut to specific shapes. Before this, they were used in their natural state. Those with remarkable shapes were used in jewelry and ornaments, even in the hilt of daggers and swords; those considered to be less attractive were discarded. Today, discarding the smallest of diamonds, even one with flaws, would be unthinkable.
Marquise diamonds are among the most exquisite. For this reason, they are frequently used in engagement rings. Susan Peterson, owner of Sterling Ridge Resort along with her husband Scott, recently brought in an engagement ring bearing a round diamond and two marquise.
“Susan had a 4-prong engagement ring that was soldered to a 14 karat gold wedding band. The prongs were broken and the shank had been cut,” recalls Silvio. “She also brought in a ring from her husband and we discussed how we might use these elements to create something new and more comfortable.”
Silvio used a half bezel, rather than a conventional setting. By doing this, he was able to give the ring a low profile that is not only very easy to wear, but also enhances the brilliance and detail of the diamonds. It surely would have suited La Marquise de Pompadour.