Bow Tie Effect In Diamonds – Where Does It Come From?

Q:

Hi Liz,

bow tie effect oval diamond

The bow tie is a dark contrast area created when you are looking down into the crown (top) of the diamond. This contrast pattern can be unsightly if it’s too large and appears overly dark.

I’m so glad that I came across your website! I’ve been looking for a 1 ct. oval diamond this past month and have some reservations about buying something so expensive without seeing it in person!

I would greatly appreciate it if you could give me your advice/opinion on the following diamonds found on ODBA’s diamond search? Please bear in mind that I’m looking for an eye clean stone with maximum light reflection. I’d like: G color or higher, VS1 or higher, EX polish, no fluorescence.

Could you please explain what the bow-tie effect is?   Thank you so very much for all your help!

https://www.ritani.com/diamonds/oval-diamond-1-01-Carat-G-color-GIA-certified/D-6R2RV6

https://enchanteddiamonds.com/diamonds/view/O109-U8JAY6

https://enchanteddiamonds.com/diamonds/view/O100-GGGA39

https://enchanteddiamonds.com/diamonds/view/O107-SRKUW6

https://enchanteddiamonds.com/diamonds/view/O101-H9R919

Best,

Norma

Bow Tie Effect In Diamonds – What, Where and Why

A:

Hello Norma,

The bow-tie effect is an industry term that refers to a dark area across the width of a diamond. This dark area often resembles the shape of a bow tie; hence the name. Fancy cut diamonds including: marquise, oval, pear, and occasionally heart shapes can show this effect.

The bow tie is a dark contrast area created when you are looking down into the crown (top) of the diamond. This contrast pattern can be unsightly if it’s too large and appears overly dark. However, most well cut marquise, oval, pear or heart shaped diamonds do have a small amount of dark bow tie contrast as it is unavoidable. This is similar to the dark arrows you see as a dark contrast pattern in super-ideal cut H&A round brilliant diamonds (see BGD ‘Signature’ diamonds).

I’ve taken a look at all of your ovals. My favorite is this 1.00ct G VVS2: https://enchanteddiamonds.com/diamonds/view/O100-GGGA39

1.00ct G VVS2 with no bow tie
It has a beautiful scintillation pattern and fantastic white light return for an oval. It is a plumper oval so is taking advantage of the round geometry in order for it to have better than average brilliance and therefore less bow tie effect. Keep in mind:

  • Fatter Oval = Less Bow Tie
  • Longer/Skinner Oval = More Bow Tie

Please let me know what you think or if you have any questions.

Kind Regards,

Liz

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