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The Asscher cut has been gaining quite a following in recent years. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about Asscher cut diamonds.
Asscher Cut Diamonds – The Basics
You can be forgiven for thinking the Asscher cut is the same as an Emerald cut. Take a look at my explanation of the different diamond cuts and shapes here. It came about in 1902 when it was patented by Joseph Asscher. It had popularity during the Art Deco era of the 1920s before becoming rarer once more. However, it’s making a comeback – and with good reason.
Yes, it is similar to the Emerald cut, but there are some key differences. If you look at my diagrams on the page referred to above, you’ll notice that the Asscher is squarer than the more rectangular Emerald. Proportionally this works in the Asscher cut’s favor because there is equal sparkle without such a large table but with a high crown.
Principally, with an Asscher, what you are looking for is absolute symmetry and uniform cut. This is what gives it great light performance with both brilliance and fire.
What is an Asscher Cut Diamond?
As briefly explained above, it’s a square cut diamond. However, it’s important to note that there are two particular types of Asscher cut – the standard Asscher cut and the Royal Asscher cut. Both were created by the Royal Asscher company.
Interestingly, the standard Asscher wasn’t patented. This is the original design which has 58 facets, like an Emerald cut, and is the one usually referred to when people discuss the Asscher. The Royal Asscher was patented and has an even higher crown with 74 facets.
It does get a little confusing for the consumer though because, understandably, jewelers tend to use the Asscher name when the description could as easily be a ‘square-emerald’. Let me explain the difference.
Asscher Cut vs Square Emerald
It’s understandable that there is confusion concerning the difference between an Asscher cut diamond and a Square Emerald diamond. They are similar. Both use step cuts.
Asscher Cut Diamond – Image Courtesy of Whiteflash Square Cut Diamond – Image courtesy of James Allen
Step cuts are simply diamonds where there is a square or rectangular outline which is matched with rectilinear facets which are utterly parallel to the girdle. It not unusual at all for the corners of a step cut gem to be truncated. This creates an octagonal outline. This is the Emerald cut.
The reasoning behind truncating the corners is that these are the weak points which could result in damage to the diamond. Due to their nature, the crown and the pavilion of a diamond are relatively shallow. This means you tend not to get the bright fire dazzle that you see with a round cut, for example.
However, what you do get is an opportunity to really see the diamond’s clarity – there really is no hiding with a step cut. What defines the Asscher as opposed to the Emerald is that the octagon is square, not rectangular. Typically, they are worth your consideration as they will only be sold by a jeweler who is expert at ensuring both clarity and color.
So, what do you need to look for when you want to buy an Asscher cut diamond?
Things to Look for When Buying an Asscher Cut Diamond
As always, as with all diamonds, we need to look at the 4 C’s. You can read more about these in the Education area of my site. However, with an Asscher cut these need analyzing in a particular way.
The 4 C’s of Asscher Cut Diamonds
Firstly, I urge you to take utmost care when considering the color of an Asscher cut. As I said above, there really is no hiding any flaws. This means that an Asscher cannot accommodate poor or lower grade color without affecting the overall look of the diamond. There is no brilliance, and as such it’s all about the clarity – this must be impeccable. For this reason, and to be confident that you are spending wisely, I suggest that you only consider an Asscher with an I color; for more information on diamond color click here.
G colors and higher don’t particularly offer anything additional in terms of the naked eye. However, they are of more importance with Asscher cuts, particularly if you have any side stones, as you need to ensure they match. It’s not particularly worth your while to go above I color though because you are unlikely to be able to tell the difference.
Where things really matter is clarity. Remember, there’s no hiding with an Emerald cut or an Asscher cut. The vast majority of other cuts, particularly the most popular “round brilliant”, break up and dissemble the light that comes in, and goes out of the diamond. In many ways, this light performance looks like a dance which hides any slight imperfections in clarity. That’s not the case with the Asscher. You aren’t able to rely on any sparkle and fire to hide any imperfections – it’s all about flawless clarity which is exceptional but simply displayed.
When it comes to cut, you’ll find that you can be given some pretty hard and fast rules when it comes to Round cut diamonds, predominantly due to GIA grading. Unfortunately, you’re not going to get this with an Asscher or Emerald Cut. An Asscher is considered a ‘fancy’ shape and therefore the GIA only provide grades on the Symmetry and Polish. In a way it comes down to personal opinion: Hence the importance of using a reputable jeweler.
My general advice would be that the lower the overall depth, the better. Realistically, this means looking at an overall depth within the parameters of 60-68%. Depth really matters here because it’s pretty much your only aid for refracting light.
My Recommendations for Asscher Cuts in Detail
So let me break down exactly what I recommend when you’re considering an Asscher cut:
- Polish and Symmetry (look at the GIA grading): Should be rated Excellent, Very Good, or Good.
- Depth and Table: Should both be within the 60-68% parameters.
- A length to width ratio of 1.00 to 1.05 ensuring it is ‘square’.
- Color: I or above.
- Clarity: VS2 or above.
- Setting: Choose a square halo to truly display the Asscher.
Predominantly I recommend you choose your jeweler wisely. Make sure you trust their reputation and know that they hold themselves to the highest standards in the industry. I suggest taking the time to read through some of my reviews, I would start with Blue Nile, Whiteflash, James Allen.
Richard Jenkins, The Diamond Guru
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