And it’s nothing to do with James Bond.
The ‘Bow Tie’ effect is in effect a dark colorless line or shadow running across diamonds on their narrow side. This effect can really only be seen in diamonds when viewed ‘face up’ Diamonds that are typically asymmetrical in cut are susceptible to this phenomena, such as a Marquise, Oval, Heart and Pear.
Now you know what the ‘Bow Tie’ effect is, it’s best to try an avoid stones with a pronounced one. Of the cuts mentioned above most of them will have some form of ‘Bow Tie’ within them, its just a matter of minimizing it. Stones of nearly identical proportions and cuts can vary with some displaying the ‘Bow Tie’ prominently while others do not. A common cause is when the diamonds facet pattern is slightly out of precision preventing the correct refraction of light from exiting the diamond.
Take into consideration the way in which light is refracting in the tips of these diamonds. Bright and lively tips tend to reduce the effect and something to be aware of. That being said it can be a real issue when buying diamonds online. A huge number of online retailers list stones they don’t actually have and list the wholesaler’s inventory. Even your GIA, AGS or other diamond grading report will not mention if your stone has a great big ‘Bow Tie’ or a small one that maybe acceptable. While most of the retailers will have a live chat, they wont be able to really enlighten you on the visual aspect of a particular diamond.
My suggestions are, visit the dealer or jeweler! many will offer to get a diamond in for you to view with your own two eyes. If that’s not really an option and it’s going to be an on-line purchase, ensure that you read all you can from my articles and locate an online retailer with as many characteristic tools as you can ie: Photos, Videos and Asset scope. An ideal scope will really not assist you here. As previously mentioned in my post Diamonds for Sale, these websites are the leaders in their field with clear images and videos that tell no lies.
Lets have a closer look at some gorgeous Oval Diamonds from James Allen.com. I am a huge fan of James Allen and their transparency when selling diamonds, with images of all aspects required when buying diamonds online, they provide one on one live chats with a diamond expert and help you all the way.
I completed a diamond search using James Allen’s friendly diamond finder for Oval Cut Diamonds around the 1 carat in size, with a great color and a high Clarity. As you can clearly see from the image above the diamond on the far left it is a beautiful stone and being “Internally Flawless” one would expect it to be very showy and brilliant. However even at a first glance you can see it has a ‘Bow Tie’….why?, what a shame. Unfortunately this diamond has been cut too thin and is therefore very susceptible to showing a ‘Bow Tie’.
I would be having a closer look at the 1.22ct D VVS1 right next to it