Buying a diamond is a big deal. No matter what your budget and other specifications; a diamond comes with expectations and requirements. The easiest way to make sure that you’re doing the right thing is to look for the all-important 4 C's: clarity, colour, carat and cut.

It is cut that we are focussing on today. While all four Cs are important, the Cut is the key differentiator. Let’s see how.

When we speak of Cut in connection to a diamond, it means the way in which the diamond is given its all important element- facets. These facets are surfaces off which the light is reflected when it falls on the stone. Simply put, the better the stone’s cut, the more its brilliance. Facets are what absorb the light and push them back into the world to shine it up with illumination and dazzle.

When a diamond is cut well, no matter its size, it shines with a luminescence like not much else. It shows off itself, big or small in the best possible way. When the diamond is not cut well, it doesn’t shine so bright, and often emits a dull shine, sometimes appearing glass-like, and not nearly as radiant as a diamond should.

The best way then to show off your diamond is to invest in one that has many facets. While the traditional cut choice is the round shape, or what’s known as the Princess cut, it is in the Marquise cut that your diamond truly shines. It’s not hard to see why. A typical marquise cut diamond feature not one, not ten, but a whopping 58 facets. These facets, impressive as they are, are shown off to their best advantage in the shape of the marquise diamond- elliptical. Imagine- the -unromantic- shape of an American football and you’ll see what the elliptical cut is. It tapers off at the ends, giving it a pointed shape. This narrow shape draws eyes to the diamond like not much else.

The story of how the shape evolved is a fascinating one. Back in the 18th century, the then King of France, Louis the Fifteenth commanded a jeweller to create a shape that was akin to the King’s mistress’s lips. The mistress was the famous Madame de Pompadour, the Marchioness also known as Jean Antoinette Poisson. The cut became a way by which members of the royal court could flaunt their exalted status in the order of things. The cut is now used in other stones as well, including the sapphire, emerald and ruby.

The original shape is also not the one we recognise the stone to have of late, but it all started with a king, a commission and a pair of what appears to be full lips! In fact, the French connection is apparent in one of the other names used to describe the marquise cut- navette, which also means ‘little ship,’ in French.

If you’re considering the marquise diamond cut for your finger ring, here’s another piece of good news- the shape of the diamond, narrow at the ends, works to make your finger look slimmer. But the narrowing of the stone comes with its own concerns.

1. You must make sure that the diamond is perfectly pointed, in a harmonious fashion on each end. If not, it can throw off the entire look of the stone. Check with the jeweller for this and also make sure you take a look through the loupe. It needs to be symmetrical and aligned, at equal distance from the centre point of the stone.

2. The ends are sharp and can also chip, crack or break away. The sharp ends can hurt another person or the ring wearer, get caught on fabric and furnishing and generally be an issue. The easiest way to handle the problem and give safety to your ring is to cap it with prongs at both ends. Do consider the V-shape for prongs. They don’t hide the stone too much and still do their part in securing the diamond and keeping it safe.

3. The cut is important not just because of the 58 facets but also because of the slim shape of the diamond. All the cuts cause a lowering of colour around the middle of the stone. This can cause the diamond to have a distinct shape and colour difference that’s often been compared to a bow tie. While this is true for all long stones, if cut well, the marquise diamond will not look like a clothing accessory but a genuine attractive stone!

4. One way of bringing in some character to the stone and also looking after the previous point is to go in for some colour in your diamond. Why not? Just the slightest hint of a hue can make the diamond uniquely yours.

Buy a marquise diamond and give your jewellery a bit of history and glamour.