The Marquise Cut (a.k.a. the Navette Cut after the Latin 'navalis', meaning boat shaped) can be traced back to Paris around 1745. The cut is a member of the brilliant family and the story goes that it was first commissioned by Louis XV. He would have ordered the cut for a jewel which was to be worn by his mistress: Mme de Pompadour. This lady was given the title of Marquise in 1745 and the cut was named to honor her and popularize her new title.
|The cut is a modified brilliant of elliptical shape with pointed ends. Consequently the cut has undergone the very same evolution as the round brilliant: the older marquise cuts have wider pavilion main facets and lower bezel facets which intersect at approximately one third of the way towards the culet. The open culet persists into the 1930s when it starts to transition into a closed culet. Keep in mind that exceptions in the form of earlier examples with closed culets do exist; the above describes the general trend, not a hard rule. The diagrams below illustrate these changes: