‘Cutters of the most beautiful diamonds in history, the Asschers truly are masters of the art of cutting for beauty.’This is the reputation associated with the Asscher name. But this story, six generations deep, is still unfolding, continually adding chapters since the first was written in 1854. Browse our history to discover the journey of one Amsterdam family onto a global stage alongside royalty, leaders, cultural icons, and diamond lovers from every walk of life.
Weighing 3106 carats when discovered on January 26th, 1905, in the Premier Mine in Pretoria, South Africa, The Cullinan remains the largest gem-quality rough diamond in world history. Named after the mine’s chairman Sir Thomas Cullinan, the diamond’s discovery was so significant that it became a global event followed and covered avidly by the world’s media.What followed after its discovery is a chapter in history that defines the expression, ‘Life is stranger than fiction,’ a tale involving the most powerful king at the time, grand-scale deceptions, and possibly the most high-risk diamond-cutting endeavor ever.
The Excelsior Diamond, discovered in 1893, was the largest known diamond at its discovery.Upon the rise of the 19th Century, after the prodigious diamond had been quiescently sitting in a London vault for ten years, Asscher Diamond Company was commissioned to sculpt the imposing diamond into smaller segments. This enormous task called for exceptional craftsmanship due to integrated black inclusions as a result of carbon spots.Although the final cut segments from the Excelsior cultivated significant diamonds, it would have been possible to carve substantially greater pieces. Why it was not, remains a mystery.
Since our doors at Tolstraat 127 in Amsterdam opened 167 years ago, an extraordinary range of human beings has walked our corridors. From heads of state to captains of industry and introverted intellectuals to glamorous celebrities, those who met with us wore many hats. Some even wore crowns. Despite this variety, all our visitors shared one common trait - they were true diamond lovers at heart. Since the early days of Royal Asscher, at the end of every visitor’s tour of our office and in-house atelier, a register would be presented to the guest with a humble request to pen some words of their visit. Now over 100 years old, this ‘Golden Book’ is a testimony of our many visitors, with page after page of personal messages from Emperors, Kings, Queens, Princes, Princesses, Dukes, Duchesses, Ambassadors, magnates, stars, luminaries, and emissaries of every type from all corners of the world.A treasure-trove of anecdotes, heartwarming messages, and memories of a bygone era, Royal Asscher’s Golden Book is one of our most cherished possessions - a leatherbound collection of ink on papyrus describing the manifold delights only diamonds can conjure.
Upon establishment in 1854, the Asscher Diamond Company (as it was called in the beginning) set up its office at Tolstraat 127 in Amsterdam.If walls could talk, this building would tell some astonishing tales of the most amazing goings-on. Tolstraat 127 staged the greatest diamond cutting feats; is the birthplace of the world's first-ever patented diamond cut; survived a foreign invasion and two world wars; hosted a multitude of the powerful, rich, and famous; and upon receipt of the Dutch Royal Predicate from Queen Juliana of The Netherlands in 1980, changed signage to Royal Asscher Diamond Company.The company remains family-run into the sixth generation now, operating out of the very same building where the Assher family diamond dynasty began over 150 years ago. At Tolstraat 127 in Amsterdam.