All about baguettes
Baguette diamonds are such unsung heroes. These long narrow stones are most often relegated to the position of “mere side stone” but, as any jewelry connoisseuse knows, the side stones in her jewelry are far from inconsequential; side stones, when well placed and positioned, can elevate a simple center stone to masterpiece status, and poorly chosen side stones can simply ruin a piece of jewelry.
So this is our ode to the baguette, a shape of diamond often seen yet seldom celebrated. “Baguette” refers to a few different shapes of stones. A baguette can be straight or tapered, very long or not so long, step-cut or brilliant, but as a rule, a baguette is at least twice as long as it is wide and has pointed corners.
Many people believe that “baguettes” take their name from the bread, but history shows it may well be the other way around. “Bague” means ring in modern french, but in the 17th century, the word "bague" meant “jewel,” and historical dictionaries show “baguette” referring to “little jewels” as far back as 1673. Baguette bread was named in the 1920s, so the diamonds were not named after the bread; if anything, the bread was named after the diamonds.
Secrete Fine Jewelry designed this amazingly unique eternity band featuring tapered baguettes, rounds, and marquise-cut diamonds in a joyful cluster full of movement.
The baguettes in this regal anniversary band in 18k white gold are graduated and framed by graduated size round brilliants. This classic diamond ring could be a statement engagement ring, a wow-factor wedding band, or an amazing cocktail ring. Handmade at Secrete Fine Jewelry.
This unique circular ring features a cluster of round brilliants surrounded by invisibly-set tapered baguettes in 18k white gold. One of our lovely DC brides used this design as an engagement ring. We love the creative use of baguettes so much, we made another one for the showcase.
What to look for in a baguette:
Ten years ago, we would have asked what to look for in a pair of baguettes or a suite of baguettes, because the assumption would have been that baguettes are side stones and side stones only. Today, in bridal and high-fashion jewelry, baguettes are taking the center stone position more frequently as an edgy, unconventionally simple choice. No matter how you’re going to rock the baguette, it’s useful to know a few things before you make your choice.
Cut: Baguettes are typically step cut (though brilliant cut baguettes do exist and are simply fabulous), and can be cut straight or tapered. Symmetry is very apparent on these sleek stones with parallel edges, so look for baguettes with square corners and symmetrical cuts.
The baguette on the left has an "excellent" symmetry grade, while the one on the right has a "fair" grade. The lopsided top right corner of the fair-cut stone is much more noticeable on this geometric shape than it would be on a round stone.
Color: When used as a side stone, baguettes should match the color of the center stone. Secrete Fine Jewelry is adamant about stone color matching; many “design your own ring online” sites give the appearance of luxury, but the settings are all pre-made in factories. This means that the side diamonds will likely be darker or lighter in color than the center stone-- either making the setting look dirty or the center stone look cheap. A good custom jeweler will hand-make a setting in whatever style you want with stones that actually look good together.
If you’re using a baguette as a solitaire, choose a white or near-white stone that highlights the simplicity and sleekness of the diamond.
Clarity: Step cut stones show inclusions more than brilliant cuts, so make sure your baguettes have a high clarity grade and are clean to the naked eye.
These three stones are all the same size and color, but their clarity differences are apparent. The VVS1 shows no inclusions to the naked eye, but the VS2 (which is eye-clean on a round brilliant) shows a few wispy white pieces in the center, and the SI2 has a large inclusion running down the center of the stone, so it looks like someone snapped it in two and glued in back together.
Carat: For side-stone baguettes, it’s all about proportion. An experienced designer will balance the side stones to the center stone to the fraction of a millimeter. Some designs will feature a spray of little baguettes around a ring in a ballerina setting, while others will showcase two long and lean stones on either side of a center. No matter what the design, the size of your baguette should be carefully selected.
This custom diamond cuff with diamonds in multiple shapes in brushed 18k yellow gold was handmade at Secrete's Bethesda workshop. We love the lively, modern artistry of this extravagant wrist-piece.
Best baguettes in history
Joan Crawford's retro-era baguette eternity band was anything but expected. The tapered baguettes curved around her finger in an asymmetric crescendo that had so much style it didn't need a big brilliant cut to make heads turn.
Joe DiMaggio gave Marilyn Monroe this gorgeous baguette eternity band shortly after their wedding. Simply classic.
Gal Gadot looked lovely in this necklace featuring baguette diamonds and aquamarines at the 2019 Academy Awards.
Grace Kelly received the Bains de Mer Tiara as a wedding gift when she became the Princess of Monaco from her husband. This iconic tiara featured round and baguette diamonds and round cabochon rubies.
The Rockefeller Sapphire is a 62 carat baguette-cut. This is definitely one of the best baguettes in history.
Freshly baked baguettes
Secrete made this Art Deco-inspired engagement ring with diamonds from the bride's grandmother's engagement ring. The combination of vertical and horizontal baguettes is amazing.
The baguettes in the halo of this vintage-inspired cushion-shaped engagement ring are what make it unique. Inspired by Retro-Era "ballerina" settings, this was a lovely surprise for a 2019 DC bride!
This bezel-set emerald is flanked by tapered baguettes. Handmade at Secrete Fine Jewelry as one of our favorite Art Deco-inspired engagement designs.
These diamond stud earrings in 18k white gold are extra-special because of the vintage-inspired baguette and marquise shaped halos. Available now at Secrete's DuPont Circle store.
Design your own
This 1.50ct F VS1 GIA certified baguette cut would be perfect as a cutting edge sleek solitaire. Contact us for details!
Want to design your own engagement ring, wedding band, or custom fine jewelry piece? Contact us today, or visit us in Wildwood Shopping Center in Bethesda, Maryland, or DuPont Circle in Washington, DC.