What Causes The Bow-Tie Effect In Oval Diamonds?

What Causes The Bow-Tie Effect In Oval Diamonds?

Welcome back to Pineforest Jewelry´s "Ask Diamond Jim" series, where we explore the fascinating world of jewelry. Today, we're examining a peculiar characteristic of oval diamonds: the bow-tie effect. This optical phenomenon is a distinguishing feature in elongated fancy cuts, including oval, marquise, and pear-shaped diamonds. Let's delve deeper into the causes and implications of this intriguing effect.

Embracing the Unique Beauty of Oval Diamonds

Oval diamonds are celebrated for their elegant, elongated shape and captivating brilliance, making them a popular choice for those seeking a distinctive and sophisticated gemstone. Despite the potential presence of the bow-tie effect, the unique beauty of oval diamonds offers several advantages that make them a cherished option for engagement rings and other fine jewelry.

Timeless Elegance with a Modern Twist

  • Graceful Silhouette: The oval cut's elongated shape creates a graceful silhouette that can elongate the appearance of the wearer's fingers, lending an air of elegance and refinement.
  • Versatile Style: Oval diamonds seamlessly blend classic beauty with a contemporary edge, making them suitable for a variety of jewelry styles, from vintage-inspired designs to modern minimalist settings.

Exceptional Brilliance and Fire

  • Impressive Light Performance: When expertly cut, oval diamonds exhibit a remarkable display of brilliance and fire, with light dancing across their facets in a captivating show of sparkle.
  • Unique Visual Appeal: The soft curves and elongated form of oval diamonds provide a visually appealing alternative to the more traditional round brilliant cut, offering a unique aesthetic that stands out.

The Anatomy of the Bow-Tie Effect

The bow-tie effect appears as a dark shadow, resembling the shape of a bow tie, across the central width of an oval diamond. It's not a physical flaw or inclusion within the stone but rather a result of light interaction with the diamond's facets.

Why Is the Bow-Tie Effect More Prominent in Oval Diamonds?

The bow-tie effect is a distinctive feature commonly associated with oval diamonds, as well as other elongated fancy shapes like marquise and pear cuts. Its prominence in these shapes can be attributed to several factors related to their cut and facet arrangement:

Oval Cut Characteristics

Elongated Shape

The oval cut's elongated shape naturally creates areas where light may not reflect as efficiently, leading to the formation of shadowy regions that resemble a bow tie.

Curved Facets

Unlike round brilliant diamonds, which have a symmetrical facet pattern that optimizes light reflection, oval diamonds have curved facets. The curvature can cause light to be unevenly distributed across the stone, accentuating the bow-tie effect.

Facet Alignment

The alignment and angle of the facets in an oval diamond play a significant role in light reflection. If the facets are not optimally aligned, they can fail to reflect light back to the observer's eye, contributing to the visibility of the bow tie.

Causes of the Bow-Tie Effect

Cut and Faceting

The cut of a diamond is the primary factor influencing the bow-tie effect. Oval diamonds have a unique facet pattern, with curved facets that can create areas where light is not optimally reflected. The alignment and precision of these facets play a crucial role in the visibility of the bow tie.


The proportions of an oval diamond, such as its length-to-width ratio, can affect the prominence of the bow-tie effect. Diamonds with certain proportions may exhibit a more pronounced bow tie due to the distribution of light within the stone.

Depth and Table Size

The depth of the diamond and the size of its table (the flat top facet) also contribute to the bow-tie effect. A diamond with a deep pavilion or a large table may be more prone to displaying a bow tie.

Viewing Angle

The angle at which an oval diamond is viewed can also affect the visibility of the bow-tie effect. In certain positions, the bow tie may be more or less noticeable.

Assessing the Impact of the Bow-Tie Effect

Aesthetic Preferences

The bow-tie effect is a matter of personal taste. Some individuals appreciate the distinctiveness it adds to a diamond, while others prefer a stone with minimal or no visible bow tie.

Balancing Brilliance

A pronounced bow-tie effect can detract from the overall brilliance and fire of a diamond. When selecting an oval diamond, it's important to consider the balance between the bow-tie effect and the stone's light performance.

Expert Selection

Collaborating with an experienced jeweler can help you navigate the selection process. They can provide insights into choosing an oval diamond that aligns with your preferences and minimizes the impact of the bow-tie effect.

Mitigating the Bow-Tie Effect

Careful Cut Selection

Opting for a diamond with a well-executed cut can minimize the bow-tie effect. Skilled diamond cutters can craft facets that enhance light reflection and reduce the appearance of the bow tie.

Consider Alternative Shapes

If the bow-tie effect is a concern, exploring other fancy shapes like radiant or cushion cuts might be a suitable option. These shapes offer elongated elegance without the pronounced bow-tie effect.

Viewing in Different Lighting

Observing the diamond under various lighting conditions can provide a better understanding of how the bow-tie effect manifests and its impact on the stone's overall appearance.


The bow-tie effect is an inherent characteristic of oval diamonds and other fancy cuts. While it's a crucial consideration, it doesn't necessarily diminish the stone's beauty or value. By understanding the causes and effects of the bow tie, you can make an informed decision when selecting an oval diamond that beautifully represents your style and love story.

At Pineforest Jewelry, we understand the significance of selecting a gemstone that not only captivates the eye but also resonates with your personal story and style. Embracing the unique charm of oval diamonds means choosing a symbol of elegance that reflects your distinct taste and the special moments you wish to commemorate.

We invite you to visit Pineforest Jewelry, where our passion for exquisite craftsmanship and our commitment to personalized service come together to help you discover the perfect oval diamond that speaks to your heart. Let us be a part of your story as you embrace the unique beauty of oval diamonds and the endless possibilities they offer.