When it comes to diamond engagement ring shopping, one of the first decisions most people make is which shape diamond they prefer. Round cut or square, oval or pear, many diamond cuts are quite simple to understand and one can select their favorite based on simple geometric names. Then there's the Asscher cut diamond
Complete with a proper capital letter, this namesake diamond cut isn't named after a shape at all, but rather bears the name of a family steeped in diamond history. If you're shopping for Asscher cut diamonds, there's a good chance you've come across the Royal Asscher Cut diamond as well, which may have led you here. But it's a question we get asked all the time: What excatly is a Royal Asscher Cut diamond shape and what makes it better that the Asscher Cut diamond?
The history of the Asscher Cut diamond by Joseph Asscher
As they say, the beginning is a very good place to start. So, let's go all the way back to 1902, when Joseph Asscher created the original Asscher cut diamond, setting this exquisite shape on its path of esteem and excellence.
By then, the Asscher family was already renowned for its uncompromising dedication to diamond craftmanship and artistry. However, at the time, most diamond cuts were quite simple and not so sparkly, at least not by today's standards. Joseph set out to create a diamond cut that had more life to it, leveraging the natural octahedral shape of a rough diamond crystal and perfecting the geometroc lines and faceting pattern of a steep, squared off, step-cut diamond.
What is a step-cut diamond?
Step-cut diamonds like the Asscher cut or emerald cut diamond have elongated, rectangular facets arranged concentrically rather than radiating outward from a center point like a brilliant cut diamond. These eloganted facets give the diamond a hall-fo-mirrors effect, and show off the clarity and fire of a stone. Both Asscher and emerald cuts have clipped corners rather than sharp points, which offers a clean look while also protecting the diamond from damage to its corners, as sharp points are apt to suffer from.
The first ever patented diamond cut in the world
Joseph's original Asscher cut diamond became incredibly popular during the 1920s, as the heyday of Art Deco celebrated this geometric, mirrored look, with its clean lines and never before seen brilliance. The Asscher cut was also the first patented diamond cut in the world, effectively protecting it from replication by anyone else. That is, until WWII.
During the war, the original patent expired and, along with the destruction of the Asscher Diamond Company (as it was then known), was lost to the masses. Today, while the shape often still bears the Asscher family name, what you'll find on the market are simply "square emerald cut" diamonds and they will be listed as such on a Diamond Grading Certificate. These square emerald cut diamonds can be cut by anyone and are not held to any strict standards of brilliance or beauty.
Knowing this was the case, in 1999, Edward Asscher (the fifth generation of the family business) attended a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) seminar. Bearing a name placard across his chest, he was repeatedly asked if people could buy an Asscher cut diamond from him. It was just the spark he needed to get back into the diamond design business, working with his brother Joop to create an even more beautiful Asscher cut diamond that would carry the family name into the future.
The Royal Asscher Cut is born
It took two years of intense research and innovation, but in 2001, the Royal Asscher Cut diamond was born. Taking inspiration form the family's historic cutting of the Cullinan diamond in the British Crown Jewels into gems that bear 74 facets (rather than the square emerald standard of 58), the Royal Asscher Cut is inimitable in more ways than one.
We begin by selecting from only the top 5% of rough diamonds in the world. These perfect octahedral crystals are then sawn above the middle part of the diamond, a crucial action that sacrifices 15% more of the rough diamond to achieve the Royal Asscher Cut's notably higher crown. Master craftpeople then set to work exposing the unique beauty of this collection of diamonds.
Only 75 people in the world can cut a Royal Asscher Cut to perfection
Such is the level of expertise required that there are fewer than 75 people in the world who can polish to Royal Asscher's exact specifications. It takes even the most experienced diamond polisher a minimum of three months of intense training to learn the skills required of this masterful art.
The result of this precision is that every Royal Asscher Cut diamond is perfectly symmetrical . Its proportions must fall within strict parameters so that every facet is absolutely accurate. It is this symmetry, the diamond's high crown, and its extra 16 pavilion facets that give the Royal Asscher Cut its unprecedented dispersion of color and light, setting it apart from the square emerald cuts flooding the market.
The precision of a Royal Asscher Cut
Why is this precision cutting so important? Ultimately, the cut of the diamond is the most important of the 4Cs - cut, color, clarity and carat - determining just how brilliant and beautiful a diamond is to the eye of the beholder. Cut can even make a diamond appear larger, brighter, and more clear.
Acquire a Royal Asscher Cut diamond
To see the difference for yourself, explore our collection of Royal Asscher Cut Diamond Jewelry, including classic diamond solitaire engagement rings, diamond halo styles, diamond anniversary bands and more. Should you have questions about diamonds, our products, boutiques, or tips on picking the perfect diamond jewelry piece, Our Bespoke Service is here to make your journey in our world as beautiful and flawless as our diamonds are.