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How to Avoid the Dreaded Bow Tie Effect in Your Fancy Cut Diamond

Fancy cut diamonds are notorious for the bow tie effect that often dulls their shine. Read on to learn more about the bow tie effect and how to find a diamond that isn’t largely affected by it.

We’ve reached engagement season, and now it’s time to begin shopping for the perfect ring. Maybe you’ve heard all about the bow tie effect, or maybe you have no idea what it is. Either way, read on to learn what it is and what it means for you.

What is the Bow Tie Effect?

In fancy cut diamonds such as the oval cut or the pear cut, a shadow can stretch along the width of the stone. This shadow is bow tie shaped, usually appearing in the center.

It starts with an obstruction of light. When viewing a diamond, you can cast shadows over it. If the remaining light isn’t properly reflected within the stone, the deepest part of it will appear darker. This is caused by a few things, mainly the design of the stone and the angle of the facets on the diamond. Cutting a diamond to avoid a bow tie is a delicate process. It requires consideration of every single angle that could yield good or bad results. A bad cut can ruin an otherwise beautiful stone.

How to Avoid It

You want your ring to be the best it possibly can be. Since a bow tie doesn’t show up on grading reports, it’s a good idea to inspect the diamond of your choice in person at a trusted jeweler.

Once you've made sure your diamond suits you, it's time to find the best band for your stone. You can find different styles of bands for your stone at luxury jewelry brands such as Simon G, Tacori, Gabriel New York, or our very own Showcase Collection. These brands are known for their expertise in jewelry, and they won't steer you wrong.

What It Means for You

If you’re shopping for the perfect engagement ring, there are a few precautions you can take. First, always shop in person. Even if you find the perfect ring online, find a way to inspect it at a jeweler. View the diamond of your choice from every possible angle and ask for the jeweler’s opinion.

Is It Always Bad?

While large, dark bow ties are unattractive to the eye, some smaller, faint bow ties can give your diamond more character. While it can be done, it’s very difficult to completely rid a fancy cut diamond of a bow tie. In many cases where a shadow doesn’t black out a significant portion of the stone, a small bow tie can bring more personality and appeal to a diamond.

Many diamond cutters agree that a slight bow tie is a mark of good craftsmanship. It means that they’ve managed to cut a stone without disturbing the angles or proportions of the facets of the diamond. But it also means that they haven’t shaved the diamond down so small that it loses some of its sparkle.

Should I Avoid a Bow Tie in My Diamond?

Truly, the decision of choosing a diamond with or without a bow tie is up to you and your loved one. As mentioned above, it’s not recommended to choose a diamond with a bow tie that will black out the center of your diamond. But if you think a small bow tie will add to the aesthetics of your stone, then go for it!

If you would like more information on the bow tie effect or are interested in buying an engagement ring, call the Jewelry Design Center. Our Spokane number is 509-487-5905, and our Kennewick number is 509-579-0456. 


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