What Is an Oval Diamond Bowtie?

If you want to buy a traditional round diamond ring but cannot afford it due to cost, you could consider buying an oval cut diamond instead. These diamonds are fast gaining popularity. 

Oval diamonds are elongated in shape and possess the same brilliance and sparkle as a round diamond. Moreover, they have a larger surface area, so they appear larger than a round cut diamond of the same carat weight. The most important thing is that they are at least 25 percent cheaper than round cut diamonds of the same carat weight.

However, selecting an oval diamond can be difficult because of the bowtie effect. The bowtie appears as two black triangles in the middle of the diamond arranged with their ends touching each other, just like a bowtie. And it’s a sign that the diamond is poorly cut.

If an oval-cut diamond has a more pronounced bowtie effect, it can obstruct its sparkle. Therefore, you should choose your oval-shaped diamond wisely. In this article, we will discuss the oval diamond bowtie effect in detail.

What Is an Oval Diamond Bowtie

What Is a Bowtie in an Oval Diamond?

A bow tie is a feature found in some cuts of diamonds such as oval, marquis, and pear-shaped cuts. This feature looks like two opposing black triangles in the center of the diamond. This pattern happens because the light is getting blocked inside the diamond.

All diamonds need light to show their attributes. The facets of the diamond act as a mirror, in that they gather light from the surroundings and refract them back to your eyes. 

When you hold an oval-shaped diamond closely, you can observe a dark bow shape pattern. The bowtie becomes less pronounced as you position the diamond further away.

Bowties are difficult to observe in an oval diamond because they look different from different light angles. From some angles, you would be able to visualize the bowtie, and sometimes you might miss it completely. 

What Causes a Bowtie Effect in Oval-Shaped Diamonds?

Even a poorly cut round brilliant diamond can leak light and sparkle less than it otherwise would because the facets bounce back some of the light.

If you see a dark triangle at the center of the diamond that looks like a black bowtie that runs on the top of a diamond, this is known as the bowtie effect.

One of the biggest factors while purchasing a diamond is its brilliance. The facets of a diamond are cut to maximize the light entering it and minimize the dark spots.

But in oval-shaped diamonds and other fancy cuts like marquise cut and pear cut, a shadow is created by your body and head, blocking the light from entering the facets. 

The shadow is reflected at you, and you see something that looks like a bowtie on the diamond. If a diamond has a more pronounced bowtie, this reduces the diamond’s sparkle. The bowtie effect becomes more visible if you bring the oval diamond close to your face because your body is obstructing more light. 

Cutting diamond facets is hard. A stonecutter has to give importance to the angles from which an oval diamond might be seen. If some facets are cut in a way that traps light, the light will not go out through them.

But the main thing that influences the bowtie effect is the cut quality. A well-cut diamond will show a minimal bowtie effect.

Do All Oval Diamonds Have Bow Ties on Them?

Yes, all oval diamonds do have bow ties. The size and how dark the bow tie appears may differ in each diamond, but the bow tie will be present there. 

Sometimes, having a little bow tie effect in your oval diamond can also enhance the look of the diamond. This is because a diamond can look more beautiful when it has contrast in it. The contrast in a diamond can provide some finish and appeal. 

A diamond having dark shades in some places and bright spots in others will look unique. Sometimes a diamond that has no bow tie may look dull. Then again, there is a difference between contrast and a thick black line across your diamond. 

On the other hand, a little bowtie effect can also enhance the beauty of a diamond. A bright white diamond with a few deep dark areas looks stunning. But don’t buy an oval diamond with a thick black line running on the center of the oval diamond as this would be an indication of a poor cut quality.

Is the Bowtie Effect in Oval Diamonds Listed on the Grading Report?

No, GIA does not assign any grade to a bow tie cut diamond. A diamond grading report will not tell you about the presence of a bow tie in the diamond. 

So, you need to inspect the diamond properly to assess its bowtie effect. If you are purchasing diamonds online, you should carefully view the video and inspect the diamond from all angles shown.

Also, how much a bow tie affects the value of an oval diamond is subjective. Some people can accept a generous amount of it in their diamonds, while others don’t want even the smallest of shadows in their diamonds.

Note that you cannot avoid the bowtie effect completely. All oval diamonds will have some bowtie because of their complex faceting.


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Which Is the Best Cut of an Oval Diamond?

The cut plays a vital role when choosing an oval diamond shaped ring. People often confuse shape with cut. The shape of a diamond refers to the general outline of the stone. On the other hand, cut grade refers to the stone quality and its interaction with the light.

A diamond’s cut is graded via the following 6 point scale:

  • Ideal
  • Excellent
  • Very good
  • Good
  • Fair
  • Poor

A poor grade cut scale diamond means it is cut too shallow that it cannot reflect light properly. An ideal-grade diamond is cut perfectly and reflects most of the light entering it.

An ideal or excellent cut oval diamond is less likely to present a bowtie dark spot.  

The best cut for an oval cut diamond is ideal. But this does not mean that you should avoid very good or good cut grade diamonds, as these cuts will have excellent sparkle as well. It’s just that they might have a slightly higher bowtie effect. 

So, when buying an oval-shaped diamond, you should ask yourself whether you value better quality or an affordable price?

Is a Bow Tie in a Diamond Flawed?

Yes, having a large bow tie in your oval diamond may diminish the look of your diamond. There can be a very dark or watery bow tie in your oval diamond that will prevent your diamond from appearing as clear or shining as brightly.

While purchasing an oval diamond, you may try and look for a diamond where the cut helps the bow tie to blend in, rather than become obvious. You should be looking for a diamond that has contrast not just on the inside but also on its edges. 

How Can I Avoid Bowtie in Oval Shape Diamond?

1. Give More Focus to Cut Grade

A diamond’s cut will influence the bow tie’s prominence in the diamond. Fine and precisely cut diamonds will have a less visible bow tie within them. Generally, you can look for diamonds that are rated high in the GIA grading scale to minimize bow ties.

2. Opt for North-South Orientation

You can set your oval diamond in a north-south orientation to highlight minimum dark spots on the center of the stone.

3. View the Diamond In Different Lights

It is also essential to view your oval diamond from all angles and in different lighting. A diamond reflects the light shining upon it. When you consider the diamond in different lighting, you will get a good idea of how the diamond will appear in other places. Some jewelry stores are lit with various lights, which will help you screen the diamond properly, whereas others use soft and dim light where you cannot see the bowtie properly.

4. You Can Perform an ASET (Angular Spectrum Evaluation Tool) Test

If you don’t trust your eyes to evaluate the bowtie effect on diamonds, then ask the jeweler for an ASET test. It will help you in inspecting the bowtie in an oval shape diamond. Reading an ASET test is very simple:

  • The diamond is bright if it has a redder color.
  • Green represents less bright light.
  • Blue signifies obstruction of light. The more blue its color, the greater the bowtie effect.

4. Avoid darker tips

Don’t purchase oval diamonds whose tips are dark. These diamonds are not of higher quality, and these tips can take away the natural beauty of the diamond. 

5. Embrace Bowtie

You should remember that all oval-shaped diamonds have a bowtie effect. Little dark areas at the center of the diamond contribute to better contrast, which can contribute to the beauty of the diamond.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are oval diamonds more expensive?

No, oval diamonds are not more expensive. Oval-shape diamonds will cost you almost 25 percent less than round brilliant cut diamonds.

3. Is oval a good diamond shape?

An oval cut provides excellent brilliance and sparkle. It can even lengthen the appearance of the finger of a wearer. We recommend purchasing an H color with SI1 or SI2 clarity grade for this shape.

4. Will oval diamonds go out of style? 

No, diamonds will never go out of style, and especially not oval diamonds. Due to this cut’s unique look, oval diamonds are in fashion these days. Oval diamonds give an elegant look to the person wearing them. Despite the bow tie flaw, oval diamonds will likely always be in style.

5. How can I tell if I have an excellent oval diamond? 

An excellent oval diamond will have good contrast in it. You can tell an oval diamond is good by observing the dark and white spots in the diamond. 

Also, the length-to-width ratio for an excellent oval diamond should be between 1.25-1.50. If this ratio goes above 1.50, your diamond may appear too narrow. 

6. Is color or clarity more important in an oval diamond? 

The color of the diamond should take priority over the clarity of the diamond. When purchasing an oval diamond, you should look for a diamond with an H color grade or above. 

7. Do oval diamonds look bigger?

Yes, oval diamonds appear bigger even if they are the same size and carat as a round diamond. Oval diamonds look bigger because they have a shallow cut, and they take up more space on your finger compared to a rounder diamond. 

Final Thoughts

Oval-shaped diamonds can give you a sophisticated look. It is a mix between a pear shape and a brilliant round diamond, but it has no pointed corners. It even has the same number of facets as a brilliant round diamond.

Oval diamonds produce the same level of sparkle and brilliance and are almost 25% less expensive than brilliant round diamonds. But unfortunately, these diamonds have a darkened area on the center of the precious stone called a bowtie. The degree of the bowtie effect differs from one oval-shaped diamond to another.

If this aesthetic matters to you, you should inspect your diamond very closely before buying. Remember that a minimal bowtie effect generally corresponds to better cut quality.

Related articles:

What Is a Portrait Cut Diamond?

Your Guide To Cloudy Diamond Rings


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James Allen is our most recommended online jeweler that guarantees a wonderful online shopping experience. You will find the most beautiful and best quality diamonds available for very competitive prices.

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