Bottom Line Recommendations:
- A poorly cut diamond will show a bowtie across its width as you can see with this oval cut here. It is a result of the diamond not reflecting light optimally. While some diamond shapes are more prone to the bowtie than others, always make sure that you pick a diamond with a bowtie that is not easily seen.
- Having a bowtie is not always bad. In fact, a bowtie causes the diamond to have more sparkle. The idea is to reduce its appearance as much as possible. Take a look at a good example here.
- It is important to always view 360-degree videos of the diamond before buying. This is because the report will not mention the appearance of the bowtie.
- When buying a diamond, also compare it with other stones in the same cut grade. This allows you to pick a diamond that is most appealing to your eyes.
- If you prefer a diamond that has no bowtie, consider going for the round cut diamond such as this. This is thanks to its perfect symmetry.
- The appearance of a bowtie can be lessened by figuring out the facets that are causing it and polishing these. This can be done by a highly experienced diamond cutter.
- When buying your diamonds, we recommend using James Allen or the Blue Nile. They offer the best services and high-quality 360-degree videos.
If you were to define a perfectly cut diamond, it would be one that allows light through the table but reflects all that light to the observer. However, some stones are simply are not going to be cut to perfection. These will have leakages of light from the sides and the bottom.
When dealing with fancy cut diamonds, for example, the pear, marquise or the oval cut, you may have a different type of imperfection commonly known as the bowtie effect. It gets its name from the shape that it forms which looks like a man’s bowtie.
What is the Diamond Bowtie Effect?
This is a dark area that runs through the width of the diamond. Its appearance resembles the bowtie of a man.
Just how much the bowtie is visible directly relates to the cut of the Dimond. This situation manifests itself when the diamond is unable to reflect light in the most efficient way.
While most other cut issues are as a result of light leaking out of the diamond, this is not the case with the bowtie. What causes the bowtie is the blockage of light as you look down on the diamond.
As an observer when you look down into the stone, your head will shield the light rays which travel in a straight path. As a result, there will be some dark shadows and these will be reflected inside the stone.
Cutters can lessen the appearance of the bowtie. A cutter needs to be highly skilled and experienced However, there is a bit more involved than just cutting the diamond. One of the most significant factors to consider when trying reducing the appearance of the bowtie is the angle of the facets.
The cutter must consider which facets and angles that are responsible for the bowtie and fix this without losing too much of the diamond.
Also, when it comes to the actual polishing, this may reduce the weight of the stone and so it is not very viable from an economic point of view.
Bowties aren’t always a bad thing
When dealing with fancy cut diamonds, there will always be some degree of the bowtie. In fact, diamonds that are completely lacking in bowtie will have less sparkle and may even look dull. So, a slight bowtie is a good thing since it makes the diamond come alive.
However, a diamond that has a huge bowtie that is easily noticeable is never a good thing. This is a sign of poor-quality cut and such stones should be avoided.
How to evaluate the bowtie in a diamond
Evaluating the bowtie can be one of the trickiest parts of buying a diamond. One of the main reasons for this is because no grading report makes mention of the bowtie. You will not know whether that diamond has a large bowtie or a small bowtie unless you view the diamond yourself
This is exactly why it is never advisable to purchase a diamond using just the grading report. It might look perfect on paper but it might come with a huge bowtie.
Avoid at all costs jewelers who want to sell you a stone-based only on the grading report but cannot show images or 360-degree videos of the diamond.
Use your own eyes to judge the quality of the fancy cut diamond you are interested in. Even while buying online, the best dealers will provide images and 360-degree videos of the diamonds you are interested in to help you make the best choice.
Diamonds most affected by the bowtie
The heart cut, the oval cut, the pear cut, and the marquise are all affected by the bowtie. If you are in the market for any of these shapes, keep in mind that you will need to physically inspect each one of them to make sure you don’t end up with a diamond with a highly visible bowtie.
Round diamonds, on the other hand, are not affected by the bowtie effect. The reason for this is that the other cuts are not perfectly symmetrical like the round cut diamond. When light enters the diamonds, it is not evenly distributed resulting in a shadow across the width of the diamond
When the shadow approaches the middle of the stone, it thins out due to the depth and as a result, it creates a bowtie appearance.
How to purchase a diamond online
Now that you know it’s a bad idea to buy a diamond online based solely on the grading report, how do you make an informed purchase online to avoid a large bowtie effect?
- Start by asking the seller about bowties
Since this is not included in the grading report, the first thing you should do is to ask whether the diamond has a bowtie. A trusted jeweler will let you know whether or not there is a bowtie.
- Ask for a 360-degree video
While some jewelers will give you a still photo, this may not show the full extent of the bowtie. Quality retailers will have this at hand and should send you immediately. You can then view the stone as you would if your there physically and you can see the effect of the bowtie.
- Compare with other diamonds
It’s always a good idea to compare your stone with 3 other diamonds in the same grade. You can see which one has the least bowtie and you can also compare the different prices. Also, ask for images and videos of these other diamonds and compare them.
Keep in mind that it boils down to personal preference when buying a diamond with a bowtie effect. Comparing the stone with others of similar grading will help you make the best decisions and pick the stone you are most comfortable with.
Some sellers will have a search filter where you can pick several diamonds that interest you with ready videos. You can observe each diamond at your leisure and pick one that you like. After that then you can make an order.