Yes, the shape of a diamond affects clarity.
Some shapes of stones display clarity much easier than others. And it’s all due to the cutting style.
You see, most diamonds on the market today are cut with a brilliant cutting style (fancy diamonds, all cuts other than the round, will be listed on a GIA diamond report as a “modified brilliant“). As seen here:
This style gives the diamonds a starburst effect on the pavilion that makes the diamond sparkle like crazy (and the round diamond is called “brilliant” because it is totally symmetrical and it is the most brilliant cut there is).
That style also gives the diamond a lot of contrast, white and black; which hides a vast majority of the flaws in the stone, even black spots are harder to see.
Like in the diamonds shown below:
All of these diamonds are SI2 clarity. Generally these flaws are not seen with the eye in a top-down view, but microscopic only. You see that the black carbon flaws blend in and are more difficult to locate under 20x magnification (diamonds all come from James Allen).
Step cuts, not so much
Step cut diamonds are different in appearance. They are cut with long flat facets that resemble a pyramid. They have the same amount of facets as the round, 58, but they don’t have that lovely starburst pattern on the bottom of the stone to mask imperfections. Hence, they tend to stand out like a sore thumb.
Step cut diamonds are: emerald cut, baguette cut, tapered baguette cut, asscher cut, like these diamonds below (also SI2 clarity):
Notice how the flaws just jump out and become apparent. And some people can even see flaws in an SI1 diamond to the bare eye. Many times you’ll have to go all the way up to a VS clarity diamond just to not see any inclusions.
So when shopping for diamonds, take shape into consideration. While step cuts are beautiful and simplistic in style, you may have to up the clarity.
More things to consider…
- Any shape of diamond will show inclusions to the eye, if it’s I clarity (I1, I2, or I3).
- Larger carat weights, like over 1 carat, will show off inclusions much easier as well.
- Most huge diamonds in jewelry stores (over 2 carats) are I clarity, especially 3 and 4 carats. It gets very rare and very expensive to buy a diamond that big that isn’t included.
Recommended diamond quality: