|Asscher Cut Gemstones
The Asscher cut is a modified square cut or emerald cut that dates back more than 100 years. Originally designed for diamonds, it was a popular cut in the 1920's and incorporated into many Art Deco designs. The late 1990's saw a resurgence of interest in the Asscher cut as a number of celebrities selected it for engagement rings.
The Asscher cut was first designed by Joseph Asscher in 1902. At that time the Asscher Diamond Company was already recognized as one of the most expert in the world. They were charged with cleaving some of the most important diamonds in the world, including the 997 carat Excelsior diamond in 1903 and the 3,106 carat Cullinan diamond in 1908.
The Asscher cut solved the problem of increasing the brilliance of step cuts such as the emerald cut. The new Asscher cut was was square, compared to the rectangular emerald cut, with dramatic cut corners, forming an almost octagonal outline. The bottom was cut with symmetrical parallel facets, ending in a single central point, instead of the standard keel-line of the shallower emerald cut. The total number of facets is usually 58, including the table and the culet (66 facets including the 8 girdle facets). Colored gems are often cut with a sharp point on the bottom rather than a culet facet. The symmetry of this new style, combined with the greater depth of the stone, resulted in greater brilliance and fire than the emerald cut. It also displays an interesting windmill-like pattern on the table.
In 2001, Edward and Joop Asscher updated the design, adding more facets and a slightly larger table to increase brilliance. The Royal Asscher Cut has a high crown and 74 facets. While square emerald cuts and Asscher cuts are similar in facet patterns, Asschers tend to have a depth of 60% or greater and a smaller table. If you are considering an Asscher cut, you should know that they face up quite small for their carat weight due to their depth relative to their crown dimensions.
Asscher cut diamonds are now available from most diamond dealers, though the recent Royal Asscher Cut is patented and only available from Royal Asscher. In colored gemstones, the Asscher is a very specialized cut, mostly to be found from custom lapidaries. The square Princess cut is still easier to find in colored stones.
- First Published: July-22-2010
- Last Updated: March-01-2011
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