Bow Tie Effect Observed in Diamonds

The bow tie that kills brilliance

And it’s nothing to do with James Bond. He would probably know not to buy one. Maybe?

Bow tie effects observed in Diamonds is basically 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.

Dark bow tie easily observed in this Marquise Cut

Marquise Diamodn with a visible Bow Tie

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. They should, these gemologists are looking at and grading Diamonds all the time, they would easily see thes visual signs.  It should be noted.. While most of the online retailers will have a live chat, they won’t be able to really enlighten you on the visual aspect of a particular diamond, but some do.

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. but a Video is essential.  As previously mentioned in my post Diamonds for Sale or ASET Tool Images , these websites are the leaders in their field with clear images and videos that tell no lies.

Bow Tie Effect Observed in Diamonds 1

Lets have a closer look at some gorgeous Oval Diamonds from James 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.

Bow Tie Effect Observed in Diamonds 2

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.  But at first glance isnt always the best way to see these Diamonds.  You must click on the video, watch it turn back and forth, only then will you see if the ‘Bow Tie’ is really evident and large or it is just little and only viewd at one angle..

I watched the video and on a desktop you can also swing the stone left and right, so you really get to see it clearly.  Unfortunately this diamond has a large bow tie, and has been cut too thin and is therefore very susceptible to showing a ‘Bow Tie’. Although the diamond is cut thin, it may have been done on purpose. There could be a number of reasons, ie: there was a noticable inclusion near the culet (bottom) and it made more sense to sell the Diamond as Internally Flawless than an SI stone or even the Diamond Rough may not have very thick to start with.. Only the cutter would know.

I would be having a closer look at the 1.22ct D VVS1 right next to it 

1.22ct Oval Cut Diamond



Last say;  As i’ve already stated above, if you are searching for Diamonds that are asymmetrical such as a Marquise, Oval, Heart and Pear ? then chances are that there will be some form of a ‘Bow Tie’ – Try to minimise it and you will still find an amazing Diamond. 

If you still have some doubt when buying a Diamond Online!,  then get in touch and I’ll find you your perfect Diamond.  Even though I’m based in Australia, I can find and supply you one Worldwide. My offical Jewellery Website –


Bow tie evident in this Pear Cut Diamond

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