If you're a Gem Breakfast fan, you know the Asscher cut diamond has a special place in our hearts. Our Founder, Catherine wears an Asscher cut engagement ring that's always in the spotlight with ring selfies and stack requests on Instagram. It's the diamond cut that spurred her gemstone obsession (and ultimately led to the creation of Gem Breakfast!)
So needless to say, if you're shopping for an Asscher cut diamond engagement ring or treat-yourself ring, you've come to the right place! Keep reading for:
What is an Asscher cut diamond?
Why we love the Asscher cut
How to choose an Asscher cut diamond - the 4Cs
Asscher cut versus emerald cut, princess cut, and radiant cut
The most famous Asschers
What Is an Asscher Cut Diamond?
Sometimes thought of as the square emerald cut, an Asscher cut diamond is a square step cut diamond with cropped corners. From the top view, it has an X pattern with long facets coming from the corners to the center. It looks like an endless stack of diamond squares - a hall of mirrors, kaleidoscope vibe. With an extra high crown, it looks taller from the side view than other diamond cuts - some extra grandeur that we love.
The original 'Catherine Ring' - a rotated Asscher cut diamond with kite diamond sides
What Is the Meaning of 'Asscher'?
First created in 1902 by the Asscher brothers of the Asscher Diamond Company (now known as the Royal Asscher Diamond Company), the asscher cut became popular in the 1920's - hence the vintage art-deco vibes! The Asscher family patented the cut, giving them exclusive rights to produce it until the 1940s.
The original Asscher cut had 58 facets. It's since been redesigned and seriously zhuzhed up to include 78 facets and a raised crown for extra sparkle and panache.
Asscher Diamond Popularity
Making up only 2% of all diamonds cut worldwide, Asschers are much less common than other shapes, which you know we love. Though the Asscher diamond cut has been around since 1902, it's still a unique and unexpected choice for those we prefer to deviate from the norm.
What Is Special About An Asscher Cut Diamond?
Asschers have a hypnotizing, never-ending hall of mirrors energy that draw you in and keep your attention. Every angle offers a new perspective that feels architectural with its clean, geometric lines.
Asschers carry that 1920's art-deco magic into today. They feel like champagne in crystal flutes, dancing in flapper fringe, and all the unapologetic opulence of the roaring twenties - take us there, please!
Full of flashy surprises
Whereas brilliant cut diamonds sparkle continuously, step cut diamonds gives off flashes of bright light with a softer shine outside of the light. Asschers decide when they want to shine bright, and we love spontaneity in a diamond!
A+ for durability
Other square diamonds like a princess cut have sharp corners which can be chipped or damaged. Asscher diamonds, with their beveled corners, are far more durable.
Is Asscher Cut a Good Cut?
Yes! The Royal Asscher cut is a stunningly beautiful, lustrous diamond shape that has been honed and perfected throughout the ages. It's incredibly durable, seriously hypnotic, and totally timeless with its subtle shine and crystal clear surface.
Is The Asscher Cut Rare?
Asscher diamonds are very rare! Diamond cutters only cut about 2% of diamonds into Asschers. That means if you're choosing an Asscher cut diamond, you're in a unique and exclusive club, however, it also means that finding your perfect stone is a touch trickier with less selection to choose from. We're all about a good diamond hunt though - the best things are worth searching for.
Asscher Cut Diamonds – Clarity
Clarity refers to the amount of blemishes or inclusions in a diamond. The Royal Asscher cut has a large flat table (diamond top) which gives a clear view into the stone's center. Because of this, inclusions are very easy to see in this diamond shape (as with all step-cut diamonds).
Brilliant cut diamonds on the other hand, have a facet pattern that hides inclusions and camouflages blemishes very well.
So, if you're looking for an eye-clean diamond (no blemishes visible to the naked eye), you'll want to choose a higher clarity grade with an Asscher cut diamond vs other diamond shapes. Also, the larger the stone, the more apparent blemishes will be.
The GIA clarity scale
Flawless (FL) - No inclusions or blemishes can be seen with 10× magnification
Internally Flawless (IF) - No inclusions (but some blemishes) can be seen with 10x magnification
Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) - Inclusions are difficult to see under 10× magnification
Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) - Minor inclusions can be seen under 10x magnification
Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) - Noticeable inclusions under 10x magnification
Included (I1, I2, and I3) - Obvious inclusions under 10× magnification
Asscher Cut Diamonds – Cut Quality
Our favorite of the 4 Cs, 'cut' is what matters most for a stunningly sparkly, aesthetic diamond you can't look away from.
You'll want to avoid poorly cut Asschers - they either have poor symmetry or are too deep. If the symmetry is poor, it will be very apparent as you can see to the center of the stone and any abnormalities will be impossible to ignore. That gorgeous X pattern will look wonky and the lines will look mismatched.
The GIA doesn't give a definitive cut grade for Asscher cuts like they do for round brilliant diamonds, making it a touch trickier to evaluate cut. The best place to start: look at factors like polish and symmetry, table percentage, and depth percentage. Check out our table below for advice on where to start.
Just a little caveat before we get into that stats: while numbers and ratings are helpful, the truth is, a diamond is best evaluated with your eyes - make sure you see it in person or in movement through a video to make the best choice.
Or, even easier, book a free consult with us and we'll do all the work for you to find the most beautiful diamond in your budget.
Recommended proportions for an ASSCHER cut diamond
Length to width ratio
1.05 – 1.10
What this all means
Polish: refers to how smooth the diamond's facets are. Choose a diamond with an ideal to excellent polish grade for the sparkliest stone.
Symmetry: a measure of the shape and alignment of the diamond's facets. Any asymmetry in the diamond will affect the overall aesthetics of the stone and will dim the sparkle. Because imperfections are very easy to see in an Asscher cut diamond, choose a diamond with Very Good or Excellent symmetry for a diamond you'll love looking at.
The 'Catherine' Ring with a champagne Asscher cut diamond and white kite diamond side stones
Length-to-width ratio:an ideal Asscher cut looks square. To keep that square look, choose a length to width ratio of 1.00 – 1.05.
Depth percentage and table percentage:these numbers tell you how well a diamond reflects light.
Girdle:the slim perimeter of a diamond that separates the top from the bottom.
Cutlet:the tiny point at the bottom of a diamond.
Best Settings for an Asscher Cut Diamond
We love a solitaire or three stone setting for an Asscher cut diamond to let the stone sing. Our Founder, Catherine's Asscher cut engagement ring has spurred a setting style of its own, coined 'The Catherine Ring' with a rotated Asscher cut center stone and kite diamond sides.
Asscher Cut Diamonds – Color
Diamonds are graded for color by the GIA from D (colorless) to Z (champagne tones). As we shared above with clarity, the unobstructed table on an Asscher cut diamond will show a diamond's color more than other diamond cuts.
Having said that, multiple color grades may look exactly the same to you, so ultimately, pick what feels perfect to you, whether that's bright white or sunny champagne. Choose with your intuition first, and worry about grading later.
Asscher Cut Diamonds – Carat
Contrary to popular belief, 'carat' refers to the weight of a diamond and not the size. Having said that, the carat you choose is completely up to you and your budget! Whether you're a massive skating rink kind of woman or a sleek and subtle lady, pick the carat weight that feels right for you.
Something to keep in mind: Asscher cut diamonds tend to look smaller from the top view than other diamonds shapes of the same carat weight. Why? They hold a lot of weight in the bottom of the diamond, so it looks smaller from above. So, if you want a certain amount of finger coverage, opt for a higher carat weight vs other diamond shapes.
Champagne Asscher Cut Diamond
Primary Differences Between Asscher Cut and Other Diamond Cuts
Asscher cut vs emerald cut
Emerald cuts and Asscher diamonds are almost identical, except for their shape. Where Asscher cuts are square with cut corners, emerald cuts are rectangular with cut corners. They're both step cuts with that captivating stacked square energy.
HOW TO CHOOSE BETWEEN AN ASSCHER CUT AND AN EMERALD CUT
Square or rectangular - the choice is yours! Emerald cut diamonds can slim and lengthen the look of your finger with its elongated shape, whereas Asscher cut diamonds are potentially easier to stack (though you know we can create a stack with any ring as the#moreismore stacking queens). Pick the diamond shape that feels right for you!
Champagne Asscher cut diamond
Champagne Emerald Cut Diamond
Asscher cut diamonds vs princess cut diamonds
While Asschers and princess cuts are both square diamonds, the similarities end there. Asschers are step-cut diamonds, whereas princess cuts are brilliant cut diamonds. Where princess cuts have sharp corners, an Asscher cut diamond has beveled corners.
How to choose between an emerald cut diamond and a cushion cut diamond
If you love the blinding sparkle of a brilliant cut diamond, a princess cut diamond may be your match. If you're drawn to a subtler, magnetic, architectural energy, you may be an Asscher fan. Things to keep in mind: while you'll need a higher clarity and color grade with an Asscher vs a princess diamond, Asschers are more durable than princess cuts.
Asscher cut diamond ring
Princess cut diamond ring
Asscher cut vs cushion cut diamonds
Just like princess cuts, cushion cuts are brilliant cut diamonds, meaning they have more facets and are more brilliant and sparkly than Asschers. Cushion cut diamonds also have rounded corners, whereas Asschers have blunt cropped corners.
How to choose between an Asscher cut and cushion cut diamond
If you love next-level sparkle with a soft, romantic vibe, a cushion cut is for you. If you're on team clean, art-deco energy on the other hand, an Asscher cut diamond may be calling your name.
Asscher cut diamond ring
Cushion cut diamond ring
The Most Famous Asscher Cut Diamond rings
Topping the list of most famous Asschers is Elizabeth Taylor's 33.19 carat Asscher cut, known as the Krupp diamond. So, needless to say, if you're a fan of the Royal Asscher cut, you're among some glamorous and iconic company.
More recently, you've seen an Asscher cut diamond engagement ring on Pippa Middleton, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Zoey Deschanel, and Kate Bosworth. Oh and who can forget the 3-carat Asscher diamond ring Aiden proposed to Carrie with on Sex and the City? The one she wore on a necklace so it was 'closer to her heart' - oh, the memories.