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The Bow Tie Effect in Elongated Diamonds: How to Avoid It?

January 25, 2023

The Bow Tie Effect in Elongated Diamonds: How to Avoid It?

A diamond shape is one of the most critical factors you should consider when buying custom made diamond jewelry in Singapore. There are numerous stylish and popular shapes of diamonds you can choose from. However, if you want a diamond with many light-catching facets that create ample sparkle and brilliance, elongated shapes are the choice to make! These shapes include oval, pear, and marquise.

There's a good reason why elongated-shaped diamonds have become a go-to favourite among fashion icons like Kourtney Kardashian and Blake Lively. These diamond shapes are as alluring and brilliant as they come. However, they also come with one distinct visual trait, considered by some as a disadvantage: the bow tie effect.

What Is the Bow Tie Effect? 

As its name suggests, the bow tie effect is a specific phenomenon that affects certain diamond shapes by casting a shadow that looks like a bow tie over the middle part of the diamond. It happens when the light radiates through and reflects off the stone's facets, which is defused in a manner that creates a shadow. Unlike the other diamond facets, the light won't be reflected in a few deeper centre facets, causing a dark void.

Although professionals debate just how unfavourable the bow tie effect is, most people will agree that having it across a diamond isn't ideal. Fortunately, the bow tie effect doesn't affect all types of diamonds. It only manifests in diamonds with elongated shapes. So, if you're planning to purchase one, you may need to sort through your options to avoid an obvious bow tie unless it is something you prefer.

How to Avoid the Bow Tie?

If you plan on purchasing a sparkly elongated diamond but you constantly see a bow tie within it, there are a couple of things you can do to make sure you don't buy a diamond with a visible bow tie:

1. Focus on the Cut Grade

According to diamond experts, the cut's quality affects the bow tie's noticeability in a diamond. For this reason, selecting a stone that has been cut professionally is essential. Particularly, pay attention to cut grades, and look for one that's above or very good on the Cut Grading System set by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). 

2. Opt for a North-South Orientation

While it's relatively uncommon to see an elongated diamond set in a horizontal or east-west orientation, this is certainly something you should avoid if you don't want your diamond to come with a bow tie shadow. This choice is because setting the diamond in a vertical or north-south orientation is less likely to emphasise those dark spots at the centre of the diamond.

3. Try a Variety of Lighting

An essential rule of shopping for stones when searching for a diamond without a bow tie is to inspect it in person in various lighting atmospheres. Most jewelry stores have adequate lighting allowing you to inspect the quality of each diamond. Therefore, don't forget to do some inspection before you make your purchase.

4. Consider the ASET Test

The Angular Spectrum Evaluation Tool (ASET) is a test that can help you find a bow tie-free elongated diamond. This test determines the way a stone interacts with the light surrounding it. 

When you ask for an ASET test from your jeweler, they'll usually generate a colour-coded image that can assist you in identifying every facet angle that gathers light. The centre will manifest with dark triangles in images of diamonds with obvious bow ties.

5. Embrace the Bow Tie

It's necessary to keep in mind that nearly all diamonds with elongated shapes will come with a bow tie shadow to some extent. Do remember that this is not all bad. A little darkness at the diamond's centre can improve contrast and even boost your stone's multidimensional and astonishing look. So you could opt to embrace your bow tie and love your diamond! 

Prominent Bow Tie: A Diamond Trait That Can Be Avoided

There are several things listed above that you can do to make sure your diamond ring doesn't come with a noticeable bow tie shadow. Nonetheless, you must remember that all elongated-shaped diamonds like oval, pear, and marquise will manifest the bow tie effect to a certain extent. While many people consider this a downside, you can also embrace the bow tie and make your diamond ring look more mesmerising with it.

For the most beautiful pieces of diamond jewelry with little to no bow tie effect, LeCaine Gems is the merchant you should partner with! LeCaine Gems will provide you with your desired jewelry such as Si Dian Jin sets, lab-grown diamonds, and coloured gemstones. Our jewelry pieces come in different shapes and designs, with lots of stones you can choose from. 

As our in-house artisans meticulously craft all our jewelry pieces from excellent materials, you can ensure that we'll achieve your desired jewelry. Don't hesitate to book an appointment or send us a WhatsApp message at +65 8020 0353 to learn more about our jewelry pieces.


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