Gems naturally have slight imperfections, whether they come in the form of its color, clarity, brilliance, or another factor. But there are characteristics a gem may have that have nothing to do with its natural state but are instead entirely affected by how it’s cut and styled.

This is especially true of oval cut stones that have their brilliance limited by the bow-time effect.

What is the Bow-Tie Effect?

The bow-tie effect is a condition that primarily affects diamonds cut into oval shapes. In general, it looks like two dark triangles in the center of the stone that come together in a way that resembles the appearance of a traditional bow tie. 

What Causes the Bow-Tie Effect?

The bow-tie effect is caused by the stretching of facets in the stone’s cut. This stretching makes it very difficult for light to pass through a gem and disperse properly, which leads to dark spots.

This greatly affects a stone’s overall value because it greatly affects the stone’s overall brilliance–one of the greatest selling points a stone has.

How to Avoid the Bow-Tie Effect

Avoiding the bow-tie effect entirely can be very difficult if you want to proceed with getting an oval cut stone. And every time a jeweler must compensate to avoid the bow-tie appearance and dark shadows within the stone, they must sacrifice in other places on the stone which may be less ideal.

If an oval is cut wider or deeper than strictly necessary, the effect may be avoided, but you will be sacrificing overall karat size. Additionally, it will lessen the size of the gem’s face and can even impact the perfect ratio that oval gems are most well-known for.

Are Gems Graded Considering the Bow-Tie Effect?

The bow-tie effect will not appear anywhere on most grading reports. This is because it is not an inherent aspect of the gem but rather a characteristic of the specific cut. And while it’s true that the dark shadows within a stone can limit its brilliance, this will not appear on clarity, color, or other common grading reports.

Want Tips on Selecting the Best Jewelry Options?

If you’re looking to buy an oval cut stone and want to avoid or minimize your risk of ending up with a bow-tied stone, work with our superstar team. We’re more than happy to get you the best quality gems for your pieces, so don’t wait–contact us today!