Asscher Cut Diamond
Description of Asscher Cut Diamonds
An Asscher cut diamond resembles an emerald cut diamond, except it is square, rather than rectangular. Both of these cuts have cropped corners, allowing a four-prong setting to grasp the corners neatly.
Clarity and color of the diamond are most important in an Asscher cut. The open table highlights the diamond’s clarity, just as the open table does for an emerald cut diamond. The original Asscher cut had 58 facets, like a modern square emerald cut diamond. The updated Royal Asscher has 74 facets. The top displays many small step cuts, and underneath the diamond the facets are longer and larger. It has an open culet. The facets combine to give the diamond a sparkling quality and draw the eye deep into the middle of the diamond. While the center of the stone may glitter, the corners are likely to reveal the diamond’s true color.
History of Asscher Cut Diamonds
In 1902, Joseph Asscher invented the Asscher cut in Holland; in 1999, after two years of research, Joseph’s great-grandsons, Edward and Joop, unveiled the Royal Asscher cut, with an additional 16 facets.
The Asscher family’s reputation for exquisite craftsmanship and the Asscher Diamond Company began before 1902 and are ongoing. Joseph’s brother, Abraham, cleaved the 997-carat Excelsior Diamond, the largest diamond ever found at that time. Four years later, the 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond was discovered and presented to King Edward VII, who consulted with the Asscher brothers on how to best cleave the rough diamond. An audience gathered to watch Joseph Asscher cleave the Cullinan Diamond into three pieces—requiring a very precise blow. He struck—the diamond didn’t crack, but his blade broke. A week later, he tried again, after dismissing the audience, so that only a notary was present. He was successful, the diamonds were polished, and the three resulting diamonds became part of Great Britain’s Crown Jewels.
The Asscher Diamond Company was destroyed during World War II when the family and the company’s employees were placed in concentration camps. Only 15 of 500 polishers survived, as well as 10 Asscher family members.
The family rebuilt their company. In 1999, the Royal Asscher cut was unveiled. In 2008, the fifth and sixth generations of Asscher family jewelers were heading the company.
Celebrities Wearing Asscher Cut Diamond Rings
Christine Baumgartner (5-carat, engaged to Kevin Costner), Elizabeth Hurley (15-carat, engaged to Arun Nayar), Kate Hudson (5-carat, engaged to Chris Robinson), and Reese Witherspoon (4.5-carat, engaged to Ryan Phillippe).
Trivia for Asscher Cut Diamonds
- The largest Asscher cut, D-color, flawless diamond in the world is named Star of America. The rough stone, 225 carats, was discovered near the Orange River. To commemorate the launch of Graff USA, the company’s craftsmen spent nine months cutting and polishing the stone into the 100.57-carat Asscher cut diamond.
- Why is the 1999 design called the “Royal” Asscher cut? In 1980, Queen Juliana of Holland granted the Asscher Diamond Company a royal title, and it became the Royal Asscher Diamond Company.