The Diamond Butterfly And Bowtie Effect

Fancy Yellow Color 1.15 Carat Pear Shaped Diamond, HPHT Treated and VVS2 Clarity

What Is A Diamond Bowtie?

The diamond bowtie, also referred to as the butterfly effect, is the appearance of a dark shadow that sometime appears in fancy shaped diamonds, such as the oval, marquise, pear and princess cut diamonds. While customers are often familiar with imperfections affecting a diamond’s clarity grading, the bowtie effect is related to the cut of the diamond. In fact, rather than being caused by the loss of light, like other issues related to the diamond cut, the bowtie in a diamond appears as a result of the obstruction of light, caused by the way we look at a stone.

Usually when looking at a diamond, the facets of the diamond will reflect light in different directions, depending on the angle at which the diamond is being held. However, in some cases, no matter how much one tilts or moves a diamond, some facets of the diamond will never reflect light properly. This results in the bowtie effect. When looking at the stone, the rays of light are blocked by the human head, creating a dark area at the girdle of the diamond. A diamond bowtie can often be seen from the naked eye, without using a diamond loupe.

Can the Bowtie Effect Be Treated?

Rectifying a bowtie effect should be addressed towards the end of the cutting process. However, this is a more complicated process compared to other common treatments such as the HPHT color enhancement process, clarity enhancement or the laser drilled treatment. Reducing or eradicating the bowtie effect while maintaining a high cut grade of a diamond will only come as a result of the work of a very skilled diamond cutter.

The process is determined by many different angles, meaning that the cutter cannot simply “cut out” the bowtie. Further, while it may be possible, albeit challenging, to diminish the bowtie effect in a diamond, it may also be more costly than simply selling the diamond with the bowtie effect.

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Should You Avoid Bowtie Diamonds?

Many customers purchase bowtie or butterfly diamonds and are happy with their purchase. Some diamonds will have a more severe bowtie effect while others will have a lighter bowtie diamond. The more severe the effect of the bowtie, the less light the diamond tends to produce. However, a smaller bowtie effect can still look attractive in a diamond. In some cases, customers will prefer a diamond with a butterfly effect, perhaps to go with a particular setting or side stone arrangement. Further, a minimum bowtie effect will not be easily seen from a distance and will not always affect the overall brilliance of the diamond.

This photo shows a clarity enhanced 2 carat canary yellow radiant cut diamond with an SI1 clarity that contains the bowtie effect. The effect in this particular stone would be described as medium, meaning that it would not immediately be noticed by the naked eye and would still appeal to many customers; as with many types of diamonds, what may discourage one customer may be a selling point for another.

Bowtie Effect in 2.2 Carat Radiant Cut Canary Yellow Loose Diamond, SI1 Clarity

3-Step Guide To Buying A Bowtie Or Butterfly Diamond Online

1. Ask About Bowties Before Buying A Diamond

Whether a diamond has the bowtie effect or not will not appear in a diamond’s grading report. Therefore, if you are purchasing diamonds from a trusted online diamond jeweler, you should make sure to ask. Then follow up with these next two steps.

2. Ask For A Video Of The Diamond

A still photo may not fully show the extent of the bowtie, so you should feel comfortable in asking in asking the online retailer to send you a video of the diamond. At CaratsDirect2U, we can provide high quality 360° videos and photos of any angle of a stone, allowing you to view the stone as if you were sitting opposite the jeweler.

3. Compare Three Diamonds

Try to see other, similar graded stones and compare the prices, then request further photos and videos of each diamond and compare them to each other. Remember, how you feel about purchasing a diamond with a bowtie is a matter of personal preference. Therefore, by comparing three diamonds against each other you can get a better idea of whether you would be satisfied with the stone. If you already have some side stones in mind, we at Caratsdirect2U are happy to provide you with videos and photos of the center stones along with side stones so that you can get a clear picture of how your item of jewelry will actually look.

If you have any questions about the bowtie or butterfly effect, we can always be contacted on where one of our expert diamond jewelers will be happy to assist you.

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