Updated March 9, 2018

Asscher Cut Diamond: What You Need to Know

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Get the best asscher cut diamond for your money. Read this to pick the right color, clarity, fluorescence, table percentage and depth percentage.

Asscher Diamond is the Modern Vintage Cut

An asscher cut engagement ring is for the sophisticated girl who enjoys vintage glamour. Learn about this unique cut and how to choose one wisely.

Are you looking for a diamond that will stand out on your beloved's finger?

Consider the asscher - one of the most unique cuts.

The asscher cut diamond was all the rage in the Art Deco period. Since then, it has tapered off in fame. But in recent years, it has experienced a resurgence in popularity. Nowadays, it's still rare enough that it's a head-turner.

The asscher has a stunning shine. It's a square-shaped, step cut diamond with deep cropped corners, giving it a sophisticated, octagonal shape. The style evokes vintage glamour, but with a modern update.

However, there are a couple of downsides with this cut. Learn about the asscher cut, including tips on making the best purchase for your money.

Recommendations for the Ideal Asscher Cut Diamond

Let's get down to business first. Thinking of buying an asscher cut diamond? Here are our bottom line recommendations:

  • Color: H or higher (G or higher for over 1-carat), as yellow tints are more easily revealed
  • Clarity: VS2 or higher (VS1 or higher for over 1-carat), as flaws are easily seen with this cut
  • Fluorescence: None, as any fluorescence runs a risk of a hazy appearance
  • Table percentage: 61% - 68% for maximum light performance
  • Depth percentage: 60% - 68% for maximum light performance

Now read on for the detailed guide to asscher cut diamonds.

7 Things to Know About the Asscher Cut

Is the Asscher just a square emerald?

Yes and no. We'll explain.

The asscher cut was first created by Joseph Asscher in the early 1900s. When it was first created, it was basically a square emerald with 58 facets. However, about a hundred years later and with newer technology, the asscher got an update. The new Royal Asscher Cut was introduced in the early 2000s, with 74 facets for more sparkle.

Did you know? The history of this cut is quite fascinating. When the asscher cut was first created, it was the first diamond cut to be patented. This cut remained popular until World War II. By the end of the war, the patent had run out.

To revive the cut, the new Royal Asscher Diamond Company was born and created the new Royal Asscher cut in the early 2000s. The modern asscher cut now has a worldwide exclusive patent. A true Royal Asscher will have a laser-inscribed logo and ID number.

So what are the differences between the modern asscher and emerald? The emerald cut has a large, open table and is "flatter" on top. The asscher has a higher crown, a smaller table, larger step facets, and a deeper pavilion. This makes the asscher cut more brilliant than its emerald cousin.

It's a step cut, which gives it a unique shine

Just like its emerald cousin, the asscher is a step cut. This means that the diamond has rectangular facets running parallel to the edges. Visually, the effect is like peering down a hall of mirrors. It doesn't have intense sparkle like a brilliant cut diamond. Instead, the diamond is enjoyed for its beautiful clarity and luster.

But that said, the asscher is still more brilliant than the emerald. So it's great for the girl who loves the vintage look, but wants something a little more sparkly.

Color and clarity are easily revealed

Instead of the multi-faceted surface of brilliant cut diamonds, step cut diamonds have an open table. This allows you see into the depth of the diamond.

As such, any tints of color or flaws are easily seen. Brilliant cut diamonds can get away with lower color and clarity grades, because the light reflecting off of each facet will mask flaws. But you don't get this with step cuts. It's best to choose slightly higher color and clarity grades.

For asscher cut diamonds 1-carat and below, we recommend no less than a color of H and clarity of VS2. For diamonds larger than 1-carat, you'll want to adjust up.

GIA and AGS don't assign a cut grade

Unlike round and princess cuts, the GIA and AGS don't assign a cut grade to asschers. So there's no certification that tells you if it's cut well or not. But we do have some suggestions for ideal proportions for maximum light performance.

Table Percentage61% - 68%
Depth Percentage60% - 68%
Length to Width Ratio1 - 1:04
GirdleThickness Very Thin - Slightly Thick
SymmetryVery Good - Excellent
PolishVery Good - Excellent

It's one of the most expensive fancy cuts

Unfortunately, the asscher cut is one of the pricier fancy cuts. This is because a lot of rough material is lost when making this shape. And only a very skilled jeweler can master this complicated cut, so that also adds to the higher price.

Here's a rough idea of how the asscher cut compares in price to other shapes. We are using 1-carat as the benchmark, color H, and clarity VS2.

  • Asscher: $4,500+
  • Round: $5,500+
  • Princess: $4,000+
  • Emerald: $3,500+
  • Cushion: $3,500+

And it also has one of the smallest surface areas

Another potential turn-off: it's also notorious for being small when compared to other shapes of the same carat weight. It has a high crown and a large pavilion, which means that a lot of the weight is
contained in the depth.

So how does it compare in size?

The princess cut and asscher cut are both square-shaped diamonds. But the asscher cut has slightly smaller dimensions. It also has cropped corners, which only add to it looking small.

The round diamond is another shape with a reputation of having a small size. Compared to round, the asscher has a smaller surface area - about 10% smaller.

Here are some hard numbers for your use:

ShapeSurface Area (in mm2) of 1-carat weight
Emerald31.42 (+/-4%)
Oval36.00 (+/-5%)
Marquise38.00 (+/-4%)

Fun fact: If you notice, the princess and emerald cuts have a smaller surface than round as well. But the corner-to-corner length is longer than the width of a round diamond, so they often appear larger.

But it's unique and is great for the girl with modern vintage tastes

Despite the downsides, you do get a diamond with a very stunning look. In my opinion, it's one of the most beautiful cuts.

The asscher cut reached its popularity in the Art Deco period. Design and fashion during this period was characterized by bold geometric shapes and intricate details. So this cut looks great in vintage settings. And because the modern asscher has more brilliance, it will shine and stand out on the finger.

A geometric halo setting is gorgeous around an asscher diamond, as it further creates the vintage feel. Tapered baguettes on either side will also beautifully accentuate the center stone. Or just a simple solitaire will allow it to be the star of the show.

One word of caution: stay away from bezel settings, as the metal rim won't let light properly enter the stone.

Did you know? Perhaps the most famous asscher cut diamond of all time is the famous Krupp diamond worn by Elizabeth Taylor. This 33.19-carat diamond was a gift from Richard Burton, and was purchased originally in 1968 for $305,000. After Liz's death, it was sold for a jaw-dropping $8.2 million.

Other celebrities who have received asscher engagement rings include Gwyneth Paltrow, Zooey Deschanel, Jessica Alba, and Kate Hudson.

Bottom Line

Asscher cut diamonds are still rare enough that they will draw attention and stand out. I love the cut for the old-world glamour it exudes, and also the unique shine it has. It's perfect for the girl who is elegant and classy, but likes to make a statement through her personal style.

Write to Anna G at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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