What is an Asscher Diamond?
Asscher diamonds are square shaped stones with step-cut facets. Also known as a square emerald cut, its facets let light stream into the diamond, emphasising colour and clarity. The asscher cut was invented in 1902 by Joseph Asscher, and became popular during the art deco era of the twenties. The shape we enjoy today is the Royal Asscher cut, created in 2001 by Jospeh Asscher’s grandsons. Unlike a princess cut, an asscher diamond has cut corners, just like an emerald shape.
How Many Facets does an Asscher Diamond have?
A Royal Asscher cut diamond has 74 facets, cut in a geometric step cut. As the name suggests, the perfectly precise facets resemble steps within the stone. Step cut facets create a completely different kind of sparkle than a brilliant cut, emitting elegant light without the intense fire and scintillation of a brilliant cut.
What Makes an Asscher Diamond Special?
For lovers of the asscher cut, no other stone will do. The stunning step cut facets are a visual departure from any brilliant-cut stone, creating an understated and sophisticated sparkle. Step cut stones reflect the light in a ‘hall of mirrors’ effect, a mesmerising look that catches and holds your gaze. What the asscher cut lacks in glitter, it makes up for in vintage appeal. The deco-esque cut looks incredible in a simple solitaire or luxurious halo, excluding twenties glamour and timeless luxury in any setting.
How do you Know if an Asscher Diamond is Well Cut?
Of the four Cs, diamond cut is one of the most important. But as a fancy cut, there is no defined cut grading for asscher diamonds.
It’s left to diamond experts to determine what makes an asscher most beautiful, based on a balance of factors; the symmetry of the facets, the quality of the polishing, and the balance of size and depth.
First we consider the visual impact of the stone - how does the fire, brightness, and scintillation appear? Second, the design - how well proportioned is the diamond? Finally, we look at the craftsmanship - how skillfully has the diamond been cut and polished? While asscher stones are not given a cut grading, there are some suggested parameters for a well-cut stone, including;
Length to width ratio: the length to width ratio of a diamond measures how proportional it is. Diamonds which fall within these parameters will be most pleasing to the eye, with a more distinct and even shape. Look for an asscher diamond with a length to width ratio of 1.00 to 1.03 to ensure it appears perfectly square to the eye.
Table: the table is the largest, central facet of a stone. The table needs to be large enough to let lots of light into the diamond, but not so large that the upper facets don’t have room to sparkle. Look for an asscher diamond with a table ratio between 50 - 60%
Depth: a diamond’s depth is the top-to-bottom measurement of a diamond, from its table to culet. The depth ratio compares this measurement with the overall width of the stone. The depth affects the visual balance of a diamond and its brilliance. If a stone is too shallow or deep the light will not refract properly, escaping through the base of the diamond instead of the top. Look for an asscher diamond with a depth ratio between 58 - 68%.
Choosing a Diamond Cut Grade
As with all diamonds, pay attention to the cut of your asscher. Symmetry is vital for a square stone, although a small difference in the ratio of length to width will not be apparent to the naked eye.
Look for an asscher diamond with a length to width ratio of 1.00 to 1.03 to ensure it appears perfectly square to the eye.
Choosing an Asscher Diamond Colour
Like so much about choosing a diamond, colour grade comes down to personal preference. Colour is graded by letters, with the scale starting at D. A colourless diamond grade is anything from grades D to F.
Most diamond lovers prefer the cool, white hue of a ‘colourless’ diamond, which is why these shades are so highly prized. For grades G and below the diamond colour gets progressively warmer, beginning to draw tones of yellow or brown. Some customers like these warmer shades, or find they can’t easily tell the difference in a yellow or rose gold ring.
If you have chosen a platinum or white gold setting, the difference between the white metal and a warmer colour stone will be more obvious, so we advise going no lower than a grade F.
Choosing the Clarity of an Asscher Diamond
Diamond clarity varies greatly, from perfectly clean stones to those with easily visible inclusions. Truly flawless diamonds are incredibly rare. Step-cut diamonds are prized for their large, open facets. Their cut lets light flood into the diamond and shows off the stone’s clarity.
For this reason, any inclusions are far more visible than they would be in a brilliant-cut diamond of the same clarity grade. To ensure your diamond is eye-clean, we advise choosing a clarity grade of no less than VS2. If your chosen step-cut stone is larger in size, consider grades of VS1 and above.
Is an Asscher Cut the Diamond for You?
You’ve always loved vintage styling, with a particular penchant for the geometric glamour of the twenties. While you adore diamonds, you are drawn more to their clarity and brilliant white light than their sparkle. If your heart longs for just a little glitter, choose a halo engagement ring style and enjoy the beautiful contrast of sparkling round brilliant cuts with your sophisticated asscher.