Bow-Tie Effect in Pear Shaped Diamond – Should You Worry?

The following photographs are used with permission from JamesAllen.com – a vendor I highly recommend. The 360° video technology featured on their website is revolutionary and enables customers to critically inspect diamonds.

pear cut diamond with big bow tie
pear diamond with faint bow tie
pear cut diamond with no bow tie

All 3 diamonds above show a varying degree of the bow tie effect. In my personal opinion, the one on the right has a blended looking bowtie which I find desirable. If I were to make selections out of these three stones, I would pick the ones in the middle and on the right.

Another point I want to raise here that the diamond’s color can be quite noticeable in pear cuts. The diamonds on the left and middle are both graded as H color by GIA while the one on the right has a D color grading. Do you notice how the faint yellow hue is more saturated near the tips?

For people who are looking for a diamond that faces up white, you probably need a G or better color; with the requirements increasing as size goes up.

Static Images Alone Aren’t Enough!

Now, 2D photographs alone would only show the severity of the bow ties in the face-up view. This does not tell you the whole story about how well the diamond was cut. In ideal scenarios, you should physically view the stone from various angles to get a better idea of its performance.

pear on turntable

Click this link to see this diamond on a turntable you can play around with…

Luckily for us, 2D imagery is a thing of the past as video technology has changed the way we buy diamonds. By tilting the diamond and viewing it from various angles, you can determine how the bowtie would actually impact its outlook.

Some Problems You Would Likely Face When Shopping For a Pear

Keeping all that in mind, you might automatically assume that the local stores are your best bet to sourcing for a pear cut diamond. Unfortunately, I have to respectfully disagree. This can be attributed to a variety of reasons based on my personal experiences of store visiting in various parts of the world.

very dark and huge head and shadow effect in fancy cut diamonds

You don’t want to end up with a stone like this…

1) Stock. It is very likely that your local store will not carry a particular fancy shape in stock. Why? Fancy shapes are widely considered to be “exotic” tastes. Most brick and mortar stores only carry round diamonds because they are in higher demand and sell better.

2) Budget. Even if your local store has some pear shaped diamonds in stock, it is very likely that they only have a limited number of them. Given the fact that close to 90% of fancy shaped diamonds are cut to poor proportions and have dismal light performance, the odds are stacked against you in finding one that is well-cut. Also, most stores would usually stock fancy cut diamonds of more than 1 carat in weight. If you have a smaller budget and cannot afford larger sized diamonds, tough luck. You are going back to square one.

3) Buying Online. Did you know that most online stores do NOT even possess the physical stone in their inventory? This is my biggest gripe of buying over the Internet. Most vendors simply download inventory lists from their suppliers and display it on their site – passing it off as their own in the process. If they haven’t seen or examine the stone themselves, how would you expect them to offer any constructive advice about the diamond?

What’s the Best Solution to Overcoming This Problem?

poorly cut pear shape diamond with darkness
well cut brilliant pear shape brilliant diamond

Being able to see and interact with a diamond is key to making a great purchase. As seen above, both diamonds may appear very similar based on their specifications and grading reports. However, the diamond on the right has far better optics than the stone of the left.

I know this sounds a little contradictory right after I lambasted online stores for not providing sufficient information about their diamonds. My personal preference is to shop online only at websites that actually provide additional information like videos or optical performance data.

Compared to the local stores, online stores carry a huge range of diamonds that can cater to people with different budgets and preferences. That happens to be the biggest advantage of shopping online since it enables you to cherry-pick diamonds that are the cream of the crop (provided you know how to go about doing so).

The important thing to note here is not to buy sight unseen. This means avoiding online vendors who only perform dropshipping (e.g. Bluenile) and those that only provide information limited to a grading certificate.

Don’t worry. I will show you exactly how to choose a diamond with a step by step process you can easily follow in a while. On the next page, I had compiled a table of recommended proportions that will help you narrow down potential selections.

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