The Asscher cut diamond, which celebrated its hundredth anniversary in 2002, is one of the oldest diamond cuts - a timeless vintage choice for those wanting a diamond engagement ring designed to withstand the vagaries of life. There are, of course, other step-cut options, including baguette and emerald diamonds, so what makes the sophisticated Asscher-cut an enduring choice for you?
The step-cut diamond embodies elegance, distinctiveness, and understated class. At Young in the Mountains, these diamonds are favored for their clean edges and nested lines reminiscent of the splendor, style, and joie de vivre of the jazzy 1920s. During the Art Deco era, bold design and opulence took center stage. If cut precisely, the diamond produces a depth of reflection that outshines other cuts and recreates a little of the grandeur and romance of this age.
It is unsurprising that the movement that brought us The Great Gatsby, champagne-swilling, pearl-bedecked flappers, the Chrysler Building, Egyptomania, and chiseled illustration also saw a rise in popularity of the dazzling geometrically inspired Asscher diamond cut.
The Origin and Evolution of the Asscher Cut
The history of the Asscher cut is interesting, having come about in 1902 when Joseph Asscher - born into the diamond-cutting trade - developed the cut at his atelier in Amsterdam. The diamond cutter patented his invention, marking the first instance of a diamond cut being patented. Until World War II, the patent prevented other diamantaires from utilizing his innovation.
The company, founded in 1854, is still on the original site today. Notably, this was the firm responsible for cutting the 3.106-carat Cullinan diamond, which was discovered in 1905 and now forms part of the Crown Jewel collection.
Asscher prospered as the recognizable cut was celebrated by the well-heeled, and seeing as its evolution coincided with that of Art Deco, its unique design quickly gained approval amongst the rich and famous, being particularly sought after for engagement rings.
Asscher-cut diamonds are associated with British and Dutch royal families and have also been linked to Japanese emperors.
The Pros of Buying an Asscher-cut Diamond
Interestingly, due to the precision necessary to cut this intricate shape and the comparative color and clarity generally used, the Asscher cut is rare compared to other shapes, such as the Oval cut. Yet, given these stones' glamor, quality, and light play, they are surprisingly affordable today.
Due to the symmetry of the square cut, imperfections are more easily hidden. This indicates that you won't have to pay a king's ransom for flawless high clarity but will still be able to own a high-quality stone.
In addition, the regal cut also offers a thick, durable outer edge or girdle. It does not have sharp edges, so the risk of damage to the diamond in the form of cracks and chipping is less than would be associated with other cuts.
Asscher Diamond Characteristics
Diamond cutters utilize high-quality VVS, VS, or VS2 clarity stones with excellent color and luster for an Asscher cut, particularly when the carat size is 1.5 or more.
The Symbolism of the Asscher Cut
Considering that the architecture of churches often exhibits octagonal shapes and that this is echoed in the octagonal shape of the Asscher-cut stone, with its symbolism relating to resurrection, rebirth, infinity, or the transition to heaven, it stands to reason that an Asscher-cut diamond could play a meaningful role in any couple's vows.
The Unparalleled Brilliance and Depth of Asscher Diamonds
Carrie Bradshaw wore this style when she married Aidan Shaw on Sex and the City, and chic celebrities who have chosen this vintage "hall of mirrors" diamond cut include Elizabeth Taylor, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson, and Jessica Alba. Who can blame them? The brilliance of these diamonds makes them a best friend to anyone with an eye for radiance.
Depth percentage refers to the amount of light reflected into the eye when looking directly at the stone or studying it through a microscope. An Asscher-cut diamond has a depth percentage between 60% and 69%. More than this reduces the diamond's brilliance, while less than this amount causes excessive light leakage.
Traditionally, the stone, intended to be cut at 1:1.04, had 50 or 58 facets that produced unsurpassed sparkle. Joop and Edward Asscher later added more facets to produce the "Royal Asscher Cut," which has 74 facets and created an even more flashy shimmering effect than the original Asscher cut. The cut's name references the Cullinan II diamond cut at the family firm.
Recognizing the Asscher Cut: Shape and Facets
From a bird's eye view of an Asscher-cut diamond, you will notice an eye-catching X shape or windmill facet pattern emerge. This is due to the meeting of central facets, which then center in the direction of the point or small facet at the bottom of the diamond's pavilion, situated parallel to the table, that is, the culet. If admired from the side, it becomes obvious that there is a higher crown than in other diamond shapes and that the stone has a deep pavilion.
The heavily clipped corners of the stone create a near-octagonal shape. On average, there are around 16 -24 steps on each side, but the number of steps does vary according to stone size.
Comparing Asscher to Other Diamond Cuts
The cut of the principal stone is all-important when seeking out the perfect engagement ring. Round brilliant is the go-to for most modern brides because the universal shape is easily incorporated in various settings, while trillion-cut diamonds present a more edgy triangular shape.
A Princess-cut diamond creates an angular contemporary feel, whereas Pear and Oval-cut diamonds make the bride's fingers appear longer. Meanwhile, step-cut diamonds, like the Asscher and emerald, are sleek, offering infinitely more transparency than other cuts. The Asscher cut differs from the Princess cut in that it has beveled corners.
Although similar to the emerald cut, with its straight-step facets, the Asscher-cut diamond is a square variant of the emerald cut, with its elongated facets and a small table. It has infinitely more shimmering sparkle than standard round or emerald cut diamonds.
Find out more about contemporary to classic diamond cuts and the all-important four Cs of diamonds by clicking on the link.
Enhancing the Asscher's Brilliance with the Right Setting
With its roots in the Art Deco era, it is clear that the classic Asscher cut evokes extravagance and would be complemented by a vintage setting. Still, it looks great in various other settings, including the solitaire, where there are no distractions.
A thin band and small prongs will ensure the diamond remains the talking point, and a thin, modern bezel setting will bring out the facets in the stone. A kite-set solitaire places the stone at a different angle, but the stone's symmetry is essential to carrying off this effect. This is the look we love here at Young In The Mountains. When the symmetrical stone is turned at this angle, it nests perfectly into our Lacuna Ring Crowns.
How Can I Order Asscher-cut Jewelry to Suit Me?
We go above and beyond to ensure that our exquisite hand-crafted jewelry comes from ethically sourced and reclaimed stones.
To learn more about Asscher-cut diamonds and the Young in the Mountains range, which includes engagement rings and Asscher-cut pendant necklaces, contact us today!