Diamond Bow-Tie Effect

Diamond Bow-Tie Effect

Diamond Bow-Tie Effect

Posted by Sharif Khan on 10th Apr 2021


The Diamond Bow-Tie effect has remained the subject of sharp disagreement in the jewel industry. Some dealers consider a small bow-tie a good factor, given that it contributes to the overall beauty of the diamond. On the other hand, others say that it is a negative factor: a flaw that mars a diamond's exquisiteness. 

Diamond Bow Tie Effect

What Exactly is a Diamond Bow-Tie?

A diamond bow-tie is a shadow that runs along the width of a diamond, usually in the center. This effect is seen in some fancy cut diamonds, such as Pear, Marquise, and Oval, forming a dark shape reminiscent of a bow-tie, hence the name.  Brilliant cut or round diamonds do not get the bow-tie effect because they are perfectly symmetrical in shape. Besides, such diamonds have an even distribution of light compared to the fancy cuts wherein a shadow forms in the deeper parts due to imperfect reflection and refraction of light.

Another factor responsible for the bow-tie effect in a diamond is the blockage of light rays caused by your head when you look at a diamond, creating the shadows reflected within the stone.

James Allen

Use tools like James Allen's 3D Video Technology with 40X Magnification to assess if a diamond has a large bow-tie effect. If it does, you will be better off avoiding it. 

How Does It Affect the Diamond?

Generally, a slight bow-tie effect is rarely avoidable. It is often considered a mark of top-notch cutting - the latter's having been able to properly angle and proportion the facets, table, and pavilion. In instances where the effect is substantial, a flawed and improperly proportioned cut could be responsible for it. Also, the shallowness of the cut could result in the complete absence of the effect, with the attendant consequence of a marked decrease in sparkle. The bow-tie effect is not very visible and will often not be noticeable in a casual look, even from a short distance. If in a small amount, it will not affect the clarity and brilliance of the diamond. Depending on your preference, the bow-tie effect will sometimes have a pleasing effect, with its contrast enhancing the diamond’s aesthetics.

Given that grading reports do not assess and provide information regarding the extent of the bow-tie effect in diamonds, you could buy an otherwise high-quality stone but end up with a significant bow-tie effect. Therefore, visual inspection is the best way to assess the bow-tie effect in a diamond. You can assess how obvious it looks from different distances and how it affects the diamond’s overall brilliance and sparkle. Where you cannot possibly check the diamond out physically, photos will suffice if they are of high resolution to afford you a thorough view.

If you plan to buy your diamond from Petra Gems, ask us for our opinion on how the bow-tie affects the diamond you are considering buying. If you are shopping elsewhere, ask your jeweler’s opinion. We offer 30 days return on our products, and so you can feel assured that if you end up not liking your diamond for any reason whatsoever, you will have sufficient time to return it for a full refund. Make sure you have the option to return your diamond or other diamond jewelry if you are shopping elsewhere.