Although not one of the most well known, or perhaps the most continually popular of diamond cuts, the Asscher Cut is steeped in history and still chosen by many for its brilliance, shine, and sparkle, which is often referred to as a ‘hallway of mirrors’.
In recent years the Asscher Cut has seen a resurgence with the growth in popularity of vintage jewelry and the Art Deco style. The Asscher Cut epitomizes this era and is reminiscent of old school glamour. Many Hollywood celebrities such as Jessica Alba and Gwyneth Paltrow have chosen the Asscher Cut for their engagement rings which has no doubt added to its rising popularity.
This cut is truly versatile and appeals to both Art Deco and vintage style rings as well as suiting more contemporary designs. So let’s take a close look at Asscher Cut diamonds.
The Asscher Cut was invented by an artisan diamond cutter Joseph Asscher in 1902. He was the founder of the Amsterdam based I.J. Asscher a diamond company. The company was later granted rural status by the Queen of Holland and is now called The Royal Asscher Diamond Company.
This original Asscher Diamond cut was not patented, so the term ‘Asscher’ was subsequently adopted to describe a stepped square cut with 58 facets.
In 2001 the great grandson of Joseph Asscher, Edward and Joop redesigned the original Asscher cut which had 58 facets to add an additional 16 (totaling 74 facets). Each facet is precisely measured to ensure that every diamond has perfect symmetry and this cut also has a higher crown which in combination give Royal Asscher Cut diamonds added brilliance and sparkle than the original Asscher cut.
Another difference to the original Asscher Cut is that this redesign was patented to prevent replication by other diamond companies and is called “The Royal Asscher Cut”.
Asscher Cut diamonds look very similar to Square Emerald Cut diamonds. However, the most obvious difference is that the Asscher Cut is almost an octagonal shaped diamond as all four corners are cropped. These cropped corners have the advantage of allowing more light to enter the diamond. This cropping is not immediately visible when the diamond is set into a piece of jewelry such as an engagement ring, as all four corners will be mounted into a prong setting for stability.
An Asscher a cut diamond has an ideal length to width ratio of 1 to 1.04, layered facets, typically 50 or 58, a deep pavilion and a high crown. All of these characteristics combine to produce what experts often refer to as a ‘hall of mirrors’ effect.
The Asscher Cut diamond has no sharp corners which make it the ideal choice for those with an active life as it is less vulnerable to chipping if knocked or dropped. Placing the Asscher Cut diamond in a four prong setting that holds each edge will give it even more protection and stability.
This cut of diamond has a lower cost per carat in comparison to Round Cut diamonds. Round Cut diamonds command a higher price than Asscher Cut due to 2 factors - high demand, and the fact that in cutting much of the rough diamond is wasted. Therefore Asscher diamonds tend to be up to 40% less per carat than Round Cut diamonds as they are not effected by these factors.
The clean and elegant lines, and long rectangular facets of the Asscher Cut diamond maximize light reflection and refraction giving off large flashes of light making for a show stopping diamond.
For those who love vintage style diamond jewelry, the Asscher Cut is the perfect choice. This cut of diamond was the most popular during the Art Deco period of the 1920s, and even in today’s jewelry designs the Asscher Cut still reflects back to the days of the Roaring Twenties.
Asscher Cut diamonds are known for exhibiting low levels of brilliance. Brilliance is used to describe the white light that reflects off the diamond and back to the eye when the diamond is moved round. Asscher Cut diamonds exhibit lower brilliance than other Brilliant Cuts due to its step-cut facets. The elongated shape of Asscher Cut diamonds is not ideal for light collection and refraction, whereas the triangle or kite shaped facets of Brilliant Cuts are very conductive to this. Therefore if a diamond’s sparkle is an important factor in your choice, an Asscher Cut diamond may not be for you.
Bearing in mind that colorless diamonds are the most valuable with quality declining as hues of brown or yellow are present, the fact that Asscher Cut diamonds show more color than other cuts is a definite disadvantage. The reason for this is due to the Asscher Cut diamond’s lack of brilliance which means that the yellow isn’t disguised by the white light, plus the deep cut if the diamond exaggerates the color. Finding an Asscher Cut diamond that is naked eye colorless would mean that you would need to select a color grade higher than, for example, a Round Cut, to achieve the same effect. This presents challenges and also added cost for higher color.
The deep cut of an Asscher Cut diamond means that more inclusions will be shown such as feathers, twinning wisps, etch channels or cavities. Other diamond cuts which have strong brilliance better hide inclusions, whereas the Asscher cut doesn’t hide flaws. To obtain an eye clean Asscher Cut diamond the SI1 clarity grade would provide the most options, particularly for diamonds of less than one carat, for a larger Asscher Cut diamond start at VS2 grade.
The answer’s YES Asscher Cut diamonds offer great value for money in comparison to other diamond cuts as they offer a lower per carat price. The reason for this is largely due to the lack of waste from the rough diamond in the cutting process which helps to keep costs low.
If you’re looking for a diamond cut which lends itself to a vintage style yet also has a contemporary edge, that isn’t vulnerable to damage, and offers value for money for a beautiful gemstone then the Asscher Cut diamond is for you!
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