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 an Art Deco air that appeals to many brides-to-be who love vintage elegance. The step cut of the asscher diamond also emphasizes the clarity of the stone, and it is ideal for showcasing higher clarity loose diamonds.
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Asscher Diamond Popularity
The asscher diamond cut 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, but there's no denying the vintage appeal of these stones. 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. And don't you think there isn't representation of this diamond's old school charms in Hollywood. Check out the celebrity engagement rings that star an Asscher cut diamond:
- Elizabeth Taylor probably owned the most famous Asscher cut diamond ring, which featured the Krupp diamond, a 33.19 carat stunner
- Jessica Alba was given a 5-carat Asscher cut engagement ring by Cash Warren, complete with a diamond halo and pave band
- Kate Hudson used to wear a gorgeous Asscher cut ring with an Art Deco style halo, which was given to her by now-ex Chris Robinson
- Zooey Deschanel sported a 3 carat Asscher cut diamond ring when she and now-ex-husband Ben Gibbard were together
- Ashlee Simpson donned an Asscher cut halo engagement ring featuring a 4 carat center stone when she and Pete Wentz were together
- Gwyneth Paltrow's Asscher diamond engagement ring from Chris Martin was set on a shockingly delicate micropave band
- Pippa Middleton shows off an Art Deco-inspired Asscher diamond ring with a geometric halo that's set in either white gold or platinum
- Kate Bosworth's elegant Asscher cut engagement ring with baguettes in an Art Deco design matches her effortlessly chic look
History of Asscher Cut Diamonds
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, now called the Royal Asscher Diamond Company. The original asscher cut, created by Joseph Asscher, had 58 facets. Up until World War II, the Asscher family had a patent on the cut, which meant only their company could produce it.
WWII Changed Everything for the Asscher Cut
But the entire company changed during WWII. The Asscher family was deported from the Netherlands, along with hundreds of their diamond polishers, and confined in concentration camps. 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, a mere 15 of them survived. There was no company for them to return to. Amsterdam had been the diamond polishing capital of the world, but WWII destroyed the diamond industry there.
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.
The Rise of the Asscher Cut
The Asscher diamond reached its peak popularity during the 1920s Art Deco era. This is one of the main reasons that many modern brides commonly refer to asscher cut diamond engagement rings as being “vintage” or “antique.” (When speaking about these rings, we'll call them vintage-style or antique-style engagement rings to make it clear what's actually vintage or antique and what is simply made in designs that mimic them.)
While true Asscher cut vintage engagement rings require special shopping, there are plenty of ways to make your Asscher engagement ring appear vintage. If you're interested in the different Asscher diamond settings, go ahead and skip down to that section lower on this page. We'll break down how these diamonds are typically paired with a setting as well as some of the ways you can make your ring stand out and look more unique.
The asscher cut has changed since the original one with 58 facets. The Royal Asscher cut was developed using modern diamond cutting methods with the intention of improving the overall cut and quality of the traditional asscher cut diamond. The crown was raised and more facets were added. The Royal Asscher cut has a total of 78 facets, compared to 58 facets the 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. (You can see a diagram showing the difference between the Royal Asscher cut, on the top, and the original Asscher cut, on the bottom, below.)
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 of the same carat weight. 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 an 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%. If you're looking for a 1 carat Asscher cut diamond ring, you can expect to pay around $3716 for the stone if it's Excellent cut, VS2 clarity, and a G color diamond. Learn more about diamond pricing here.
Asscher Cut vs. Emerald Cut
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. Check out our in-depth page to discover more differences between the asscher cut and emerald cut.
Asscher Cut vs Princess Cut
It's likely the silhouette that has you torn if you're deciding between these two stone shapes. But that's where the similarities end. Although they're both relatively square in shape, the Asscher cut features cropped corners. It also has fewer, longer facets than the princess cut. So while the step-cut Asscher is mesmerizing and its facets lead the eye to the center of the stone, it's best for showcasing the clarity of a diamond, not the brilliance. A princess cut diamond, on the other hand, has elaborate faceting that's created to magnify the brilliance of the stone. That means you'll get much more brilliance, fire, and scintillation from engagement rings featuring this diamond shape.
Asscher Cut vs Cushion Cut
This debate is similar to Asscher cut vs princess cut. Overall, the biggest difference is that cushion cut diamonds will be more brilliant than Asscher cut diamonds. Like princess cuts, cushions are brilliant cut. They have more facets than the step-cut Asscher, which means light bounces through the stone and back to your eye more. The outline of the stone is different between these two as well. While the Asscher has blunt, cropped corners, the cushion's corners are rounded. The cushion's shape is all about arches, making it a good choice for brides-to-be who love a soft, feminine look. The Asscher on the other hand is architectural. The straight lines and clear, large facets are perfect for those who love something simple and elegant, with a tinge of the vintage. To discover more differences between these two diamond shapes, check out our in-depth guide to Asscher cut vs cushion cut.
Tips for Buying Asscher Cut Diamonds
Asscher cut diamonds are step-cuts. This means, like you probably discovered in the shape comparisons, they aren't cut for their brilliance. Instead, they're prized for their lustre and ability to showcase the striking clarity of high quality diamonds. But that means there are certain considerations that need to be made when buying one of these diamonds. Due to their large, open facets, inclusions and color are easier to see, and these diamonds will make flaws more obvious to the naked eye. Here's what you need to take into account if you're set on an Asscher cut diamond ring:
Choose a Higher Color Grade for your Diamond
Like we mentioned, the large, open facets of the Asscher diamond makes flaws easy to spot. Faceting can generally hide a bit of color. But since an Asscher has fewer of them, opting for even a slightly tinted stone, like a J color diamond, isn't advisable. You might be able to get away with an I color diamond, but we highly suggest working closely with a gemologist who can inspect the stone and speak to the color saturation. But if you want to be on the safe side, we suggest not going lower than an H color diamond. And, of course, there will be even less chance of color showing through the closer you get to a G color diamond.
Opt for a Higher Clarity Grade
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 thanks to the faceting. 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. Talk to an expert gemologist if you have a stone in mind. In some cases, inclusions found in the corner of an Asscher cut can be hidden with specific engagement ring settings.
Talk to your Gemologist About the Stone's Depth
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. You can find a chart of the different depths for Asscher diamonds in the section below.
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 Settings
We'll always preface this conversation by saying that designing your ring, whether it's an Asscher cut solitaire or a 3 stone Asscher cut engagement ring, ultimately comes down to personal preference. Only one person will be wearing the ring day after day, and that's the only person whose opinion really matters in this. But what we can do is tell you how Asscher diamonds are typically set, and how to make yours unique if you want it to stand out among other rings with this same center stone.
Since Asscher diamonds first rose to popularity during the Art Deco era, many people choose to honor this tradition with their engagement ring setting. But this diamond shape doesn't need much in order to turn heads. The clear step cuts are enough to take center stage, so it's worth considering an Asscher cut solitaire engagement ring. And since the larger the stone, the more you can see the clarity of the diamond, we think these settings look particularly striking with a 2 carat Asscher cut diamond. But we also like applying this look with a subtle hand, like with our Three Stone Tapered Baguette Diamond Engagement Ring. The baguette side stones are also step-cut, reinforcing the striking linear look of the Asscher diamond. But then it's balanced out with round stones on the pave band.
But what if you want your 2 carat Asscher cut diamond ring to look distinct? There are plenty of ways to do that, like not leaning into the Art Deco era. But one of our favorite ways to play with the look of a ring is to dig deep into your metal options. Not many people know that an Asscher cut rose gold engagement ring can look completely different depending on whether you choose 14K or 18K rose gold. A rose gold Asscher cut diamond ring with 14K, for example, will look much pinker than an Asscher cut rose gold engagement ring using 18K rose gold. That's because 14K rose gold uses more copper alloy in the metal, which imparts that rosy hue.
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.