Last updateWed, 26 Feb 2020 1pm

The Story Behind the Stone: East meets West in a clever turn

Jarrett-JanAn eye-shaped gemstone, known as the Marquise cut, is not a new stone shape. In fact, it is thought to owe its delightful silhouette to Madame de Pompadour, the mistress of 18th century French King Louis XV. It is alleged that he commissioned this diamond cut to resemble his mistress’ beautifully shaped mouth.

For most of its long history, the Marquise cut gemstone has been placed in jewelry in a vertical orientation. Set in a ring, the Marquise cut with its slender shape and gracefully pointed tips at both ends tends to elongate a lady’s finger, creating an elegant look.

But alas, the classic use of the historical Marquise cut stone has fallen out of favor just as every cut does from time to time.

Happily for jewelry lovers, innovative designers are resurrecting this beauty and setting it in an East-West mounting. It gives a fresh appeal to the cut, and woos an entirely new audience of fancy cut jewelry fans.

Jewelry designer Richard Rothenberg goes one step further with his bouquet of colored gemstones cut en cabochon in Marquise shape. The modern interpretation of this form speaks to collectors who love classic shapes re-envisioned with unexpected flair. These pieces are exciting but not trendy. So they will be enjoyed now and treasured for years to come.


Modern doesn’t mean lacking in style. Rothenberg’s East West Marquise rings in sterling silver are detailed with pavé diamonds outside the V prongs holding in the center stone. Shown here: Amethyst, Iolite and newcomer Peruvian Opal in an eye-catching light blue-green. This is a timeless style that can become your customer’s signature look.

Award winning trade journalist and gemologist Diana Jarrett is a Registered Master Valuer Appraiser and a member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA). She’s a popular speaker at conferences and trade shows. Jarrett writes for trade and consumer publications, online outlets, Color-n-Ice blog, and at www.jewelrywebsitedesigners.com. Contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit her website at www.dianajarrett.com, and/or follow her on FaceBook and Twitter (Loupey).