Asscher Cut Diamonds
The asscher cut, (also a step cut diamond like the emerald cut) is a blend of the princess and emerald cuts with X-shaped facets from its corners to its center culet. The brilliance of its faceting can mask certain inclusions and lower color grades. Asscher cut diamonds have a clean balance, visual appeal, and can reflect clarity inclusions and color. Higher grades in both categories are generally recommended. The step cut emphasizes the clarity of the diamond, and it is ideal for showcasing higher clarity diamonds. Asscher cuts are a popular shape that was developed during the Art Deco Period. The suggested cut ratio: 1.00 to 1.05 for square proportions.
The asscher cut diamond is a popular choice for many women around the world. When you are choosing a shape for your diamond engagement ring, it really comes down to your personal preference and style. The asscher cut diamond engagement ring consists of a step-cut stone. This means that it has long and rectangular facets, which gives it a glassy shine and large flashes of brilliance.
The asscher cut diamond first came about in 1902, and it was named after the Asscher brothers. The Asscher brothers were the founders of the Amsterdam/Holland-based Asscher Diamond Company. Today, the company is called the Royal Asscher Diamond Company. The first original asscher cut that they developed had 58 facets. It was created by Joseph Asscher. Up until World War II, the Asscher family had a patent on the cut. Therefore, only the company could produce it. The main stages of popularity after it was created was during the Art Deco. It reached its peak popularity during the 1920s. This is one of the main reasons that many modern brides commonly refer to asscher cut diamond engagement rings as being “vintage” or “antique.”
The asscher cut has changed since the original one with 58 facets. Brothers Edward and Joseph Asscher created the Royal Asscher cut by using modern diamond cutting methods. They wanted to improve the overall cut and quality of the traditional asscher cut diamond. Therefore, they raised the crown and added even more facets. The Royal Asscher cut has a total of 78 facets, compared to 58 facets like the first original asscher cut had. The brilliance and classic look of the original design was still retained, and the Royal Asscher is the main reason why the asscher cut has made a major comeback within the past decade.
History of Asscher Cut Diamonds
During World War II, the Asscher family was deported from the Netherlands. They were all confined in concentration camps, and so were their hundreds of diamond polishers. Pretty much all of the diamonds that the company had were seized.
After the war ended in 1945, there were only 10 Asscher family members remaining. Out of the over seven hundred diamond polishers, only a mere 15 of them survived. There was no company for them to return to. Prior to the war, Amsterdam was the diamond polishing capital of the world. After the war, the diamond industry in Amsterdam was completely destroyed.
In 1946, after serving the concentration camps, Louis and Joseph Asscher tried to rebuild their previously destroyed company. They were determined and would not give up, they wanted to restore the Asscher Diamond Company to what it was before the war.
Not too long after, the Majesty Queen Juliana of Holland granted the Asscher Diamond Company a royal title. This was in tribute to the family and the company and their important role for a century in the diamond industry. The Asscher Diamond company then became the Royal Asscher Diamond Company.
In 1999, Edward and Joop Asscher (two of Louis Asscher’s sons) started to try and figure out how to enhance and improve the original Asscher cut. They worked diligently and tirelessly. Soon Edward and Joop introduced the Royal Asscher Cut, just under 100 years after the original Asscher Cut that Joseph Asscher patented. This new Royal Asscher Cut was protected by a safer and more international patent, so no one else could imitate it.
Asscher Cut Pricing
Asscher cut diamonds tend to be a bit deeper and so they use rough diamond more efficiently than round diamonds. They use a very large percentage of the rough diamond (approximately 65% - 75%). Asscher cut diamonds hold more carat weight distribution in the center or belly of the diamond, rather than out wide. This makes them look visually smaller than round cut diamonds. A round cut diamond with 1.00 ct weight will be about 6.4 mm whereas the asscher cut will be 5.5 mm.
Knowing that the size is visually smaller, you can therefore expect to pay less for a asscher cut than a round cut, holding all other factors the same. The average discount to a round cut diamond may be as much as 15%. Learn more about diamond pricing.
Asscher Cut Engagement Ring Popularity
Here are some celebrities that wear Asscher Cut Engagement Rings:
- Elizabeth Taylor with her infamous Krupp Diamond, bought for her by Richard Burton for $305,000. After her death, it sold for $8.2 million.
- Jessica Alba has a 5 carat Asscher cut diamond engagement ring.
- Kate Hudson had an Asscher cut ring when she was married to Chris Robinson.
- Zooey Deschanel has an Asscher cut ring from Ben Gibbard, member of the band Death Cab for Cutie.
- Ashlee Simpson was proposed to with a 4 carat Asscher cut ring in 2008.
Asscher Cuts vs. Emerald Cuts
Another common name for asscher cut diamonds is the “square emerald cut.” This name was given to it because most of the asscher cut diamonds have a close length to width ratio of around 1:1. They have similar features such as the step-cut and blunted corners. However, the asscher cut has a pointed culet (which is the bottommost facet of a stone), whereas the emerald cut has a long flat culet. The pointed culet of the asscher is an appealing aspect to many buyers because it draws the eye into the center of the diamond. By doing so, the observer is often mesmerized by its dazzling depth.
How to Buy Asscher Cut Diamonds
Asscher cut diamonds are step-cuts. This means that they aren’t cut for their brilliance. Additionally, these diamonds show colors and flaws more obviously to the naked eye. Due to their large, open facets, inclusions and color are easier to see. Therefore, it’s best to stay as high as possible on the color and clarity scales. When purchasing an asscher cut diamond, try to look for the color H or higher. For clarity, VS or better is always preferred. For the depth, anywhere between 60-69% is good, and the table should be around 58-69%. For the polish/symmetry, look for diamonds that have a rating of good, or better. Diamonds that are certified by the GIA are always a plus.
Asscher Diamond Guide
Asscher cuts are mostly square in shape. The ideal ratio, from length to width, of a square princess cut is 1.00 to 1.04. Below are the proportion ranges for asscher cut diamonds and their respective cut grades.
Depth % for Asscher Diamonds
Very Good: 78%-53%
Table % of Asscher Diamonds
Very Good: 76%-50%
Length to width Ratio for Asscher Diamonds
1.00 - 1.05
Asscher Diamond Size Chart
Asscher cut diamonds have approximate millimeter sizes that correspond to certain carat weights. Please see a chart of the popular asscher cut diamond sizes and their carat weights. For all sizes and shapes, please visit our diamond size chart page.
Tips To Consider When Purchasing An Asscher Cut Diamond
Asscher diamonds look great in any setting, but they are especially suited for a square halo setting. This brings lots of attention to the beautiful center diamond and makes it appear larger than it actually is.
When you buy an Asscher cut diamond engagement ring, you need to pay more attention to color than you would if you were buying something like a round or princess cut. Both round and princess cuts are brilliant cuts, which means they do a great job at disguising the colors of the diamond’s material. However, Asscher cuts do not have any brilliance. Their cuts are for clarify and lustre, rather than brilliance. This means that nothing is hidden on the diamond’s surface.
Due to this fact, it’s always better to buy a higher color grade, never going below an H color. If you get a G color or anything higher, that’s much better. Ideally, an I color is best and you’ll get the best value for it as well. Getting a J color with an Asscher cut isn't the greatest because it will retain more color than it would if it was a round or princess cut diamond.
It’s recommended that you never go below VS2 clarity when buying an Asscher Cut Diamond. VS2 inclusions in a round or princess cut diamond will likely never be seen. However, those exact same inclusions in an Asscher cut can easily be seen. That’s because, as mentioned above, Asscher diamonds are not cut for brilliance. Therefore, there’s no break ups of light which would normally hide inclusions. They are known for their beauty in being able to show up a clean and sharp gemstone.
It’s not impossible to find an Sl1 graded Asscher cut that is clean to the naked eye, but generally speaking, it’s always best to buy VS2 clarity or higher.
When buying an Asscher cut diamond, the lower the total depth, the better it is. The best number to aim for is a total depth anywhere from 60-68%. Depth is definitely more important for brilliant cuts than it is for step cuts. This is because with step cuts, you don’t need a specific built-up amount of depth in order to maintain brilliance. This way, you can go as low as possible. This is great because generally, the more shallow a diamond is, the larger it will look.
Here is a great overall and general recommendation to follow and aim for with Asscher cut diamonds:
- Depth: 60% to 68% (once you start looking for depth under 65%, you’ll notice that it’s actually very hard to find)
- Table: anywhere from 60% to 68%
- Polish/Symmetry: Good, Very Good, or Excellent
- Length to Width Ratio: With an Asscher cut diamond, anywhere from 1.00 to 1.05 is the GIA’s acceptable range which can classify as defending a diamond as being a “square” shape