What Causes The Bow-Tie Effect In Oval Diamonds?

Hello, friend! Have you ever admired the sleek elegance of an oval diamond, only to notice a strange, dark pattern running through the center, almost like a gentleman's bow tie? Well, you're not alone! This is a common phenomenon in oval diamonds, and it's lovingly known as the "bow-tie effect." Let's dig in and understand more about it!

Understanding Diamonds and Their Cuts

Diamonds have always been a symbol of love and commitment. Their beauty, strength, and the craftsmanship that goes into each cut make them truly special. Now, when it comes to diamond cuts, it's not a one-size-fits-all scenario. There's a wide array of dazzling shapes, and each cut has its own unique charm. Among them, the oval cut diamond has garnered quite a following, thanks to its brilliant sparkle and elongated shape, which often appears larger than other cuts of the same carat weight.

The Anatomy of an Oval Diamond

An oval diamond is, in essence, a brilliant cut diamond that's elongated to form that distinctive oval shape. Its beauty lies in the harmonious balance between its length and width, as well as its facets, which when proportioned well, can emit a delightful brilliance. But just like all things unique, the oval cut has a distinctive feature of its own, the bow-tie effect.

Introduction to the Bow-Tie Effect

Imagine the elegance of a gentleman in a crisp suit and a stylish bow tie. Now, imagine that bow tie pattern in a diamond - a dark, ribbon-like pattern across the width of the stone. That's the bow-tie effect. It's not a flaw or imperfection, but rather a reflection of light caused by the diamond's unique shape and cut.

Causes of the Bow-Tie Effect in Oval Diamonds

Why does this effect occur? It all comes down to the diamond's cut and proportions:

  • Diamond cutting and shaping: As the diamond is cut and shaped into an oval, certain facets can create areas where light is not optimally reflected, causing a shadow effect that we see as a bow tie.
  • Light reflection and refraction: Diamonds are all about playing with light, but the way an oval diamond's facets are angled can sometimes result in light leakage in the center, creating the bow-tie effect.
  • Diamond proportions and symmetry: If an oval diamond is cut too deeply or shallowly, or if the symmetry is off, the bow-tie effect could be more pronounced.

Bow-Tie Effect - Pros and Cons

Some people find the bow-tie effect adds to the character and individuality of the diamond, while others may view it as a distraction from the overall brilliance. The bow-tie effect is subjective and often comes down to personal preference. It's worth mentioning that it's a natural outcome of the oval cut and not necessarily a flaw.

How to Evaluate and Minimize the Bow-Tie Effect

  • Visually inspecting a diamond: Look at the diamond from various angles. If the bow tie effect is too prominent, you might want to consider a different diamond.
  • Working with jewelers and gemologists: At Cut Fine Jewelers, we guide you in choosing a diamond that minimizes the bow-tie effect without compromising on the beauty of the stone.
  • Selecting cuts and settings: Certain cuts or settings can help reduce the visibility of the bow-tie effect.


The bow-tie effect is part of what makes an oval diamond unique. Remember, every diamond is one-of-a-kind, just like the love it symbolizes. If you need a friend to guide you through this process, we at Cut Fine Jewelers are here for you. Book an appointment with us today, and let's find that perfect diamond together!