What Are Asscher Cut Diamonds?

September 17, 2023

The Asscher cut is a glamorous vintage-inspired square diamond shape making a dramatic comeback. First designed in the early 1900s, Asscher cut diamonds feature dramatically deep pavilions and faceted corners that refract light in a unique octagonal array.

This guide will cover everything you need to know about Asscher diamonds including their history, cutting specifications, pricing, settings, and frequently asked questions.

The History of Asscher Cut Diamonds

The Asscher cut was developed and patented in 1902 by the Asscher Brothers diamond company in Holland. The Asschers were renowned for their Diamond Trading Company.

Breaking from tradition, the Asscher cut was conceptualized as an early “designer” shape. It required brand new faceting arrangements to achieve the cropped square outline with faceted corners.

The cut quickly gained popularity during the Art Deco era between 1920-1930s for its evocative octagonal brilliance and strong geometric appeal. Asscher cut stones accented the bold lines and angles of Art Deco jewelry design.

After the Art Deco period, Asscher cut diamond popularity waned as brilliant rounds and emerald cuts took over. Few jewelers possessed the skill to properly facet Asschers.

In 2001, the Asscher Brothers company, now Royal Asscher, relaunched the Asscher shape for a new millennium. A renewed fascination with vintage styles has made the Asscher cut newly popular.

How Asscher Cut Diamonds Are Cut

The Asscher cut brings together emerald’s stepped facets with a square outline. It is actually an early precursor to the development of the emerald cut.

Faceting Specifications:

  • Square outline cropped at corners
  • Two-tiered step crown
  • Deep pavilion with cropped corners
  • Large, open table
  • Slanted sides and corners
  • Octagonal-shaped facets
  • 58 facets total

The precisely calculated facet arrangement creates dramatic, hall-of-mirrors optical effects. Light travels down the pavilion, reflects off the sides, and returns through the table and crown.

When cut with proper proportions, Asscher diamonds exhibit a balanced and captivating interplay between steely squares of light and dark. The cropped corners frame fiery flashes of color.

Today’s Asscher cuts have some variations from the original specs, with slightly larger tables and higher crowns to enhance brilliance. When expertly cut, they shine brightly while preserving the distinctive Asscher look.

Asscher Cut Diamond Quality

Like other diamonds, Asschers are graded using the 4Cs:

  • Cut - Asschers require great precision. Look for Excellent or Very Good cut grades for optimal beauty. An Ideal cut has length/width ratio of 1.00 and depth percentage between 61%-69%.
  • Clarity - VS/SI clarity grades are common. Inclusions can be hidden by the facets. Go for eye-clean stones.
  • Color - Asschers face up bright and can mask warmth. Color grades G-J offer excellent value.
  • Carat - Asscher looks best around 1.00 carat and over. Go slightly under 1 ct to save.

With its deep pavilion, the Asscher cut retains more weight than a similarly sized emerald cut, so carat sizes tend to run smaller visually. An ideal 1.00 ct Asscher appears more like an 0.80 ct emerald.

Asscher Cut Settings and Pairings

The Asscher cut maximizes visual impact when mounted in simple, geometric settings that accentuate the square shape:

  • Solitaire - Timeless four-prong or halo setting
  • Side Stone - Flanked by trillion cut or princess cut diamonds
  • Band - Works with eternity, micropavé, or channel set bands
  • Three Stone - Paired with round or princess side stones

For vintage appeal, Asschers look beautiful in filigree or milgrain-accented settings. Modern tension setting and split shanks also create drama. Avoid overly ornate mountings that distract from the Asscher’s straight lines and octagonal brilliance.

Asscher Cut Diamond Prices

Price trends for 1 carat Asscher diamonds:

  • Excellent cut, D color, VVS2 clarity - $7,000
  • Very Good cut, G color, VS2 clarity - $4,200
  • Good cut, J color, SI1 clarity - $3,100

Asschers offer reasonable value compared to equivalently sized emerald cuts or cushions. Their historically significant look makes them worth the slight premium over other square shapes.

Asscher Cut Diamond FAQs

How does Asscher brilliance compare to other shapes?

With proper cutting, Asschers exhibit exceptional fire and brilliance. Light reflects brightly through the large table. Their sparkle exceeds emerald cut but lags slightly behind princess cut.

Do all Asscher diamonds have the hall-of-mirrors effect?

The strong octagonal optical effect only occurs with precise faceting. Well-cut Asschers have more scintillation and contrast between the table, crown, and pavilion. Avoid poorly made Asschers.

Should I choose Asscher or emerald cut?

Asscher has more sparkle while emerald has a more clean, elegant look. Asscher also tends to cost slightly less. Choose emerald for understated sophistication or Asscher for high-contrast sparkle.

Do Asscher diamonds show color?

Like emerald cut, Asschers typically face up with very faint color. Go with G-J color grades to maximize value since near colorless grades are still affordable.

How does Asscher carat weight compare to other shapes?

Due to its deeper pavilion, Asschers weigh more than emerald cut. But the square shape makes them appear slightly smaller than round diamonds of the same carat.

With its captivating optical properties and vintage style, the revived Asscher cut offers a truly distinct diamond shape. When expertly cut, Asscher diamonds display a marvelous interplay of light for brides-to-be and diamond lovers wanting a touch of 1920s panache.

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