All about Asscher diamonds...
Quality step-cut diamonds may be tough to find, but they’re absolutely stunning when done correctly! Take the Asscher cut diamond, for example; it carries all the grace and glow of an emerald cut stone but features an elegant “windmill” faceting pattern that sets it apart from other cuts.🦚 Asscher diamonds are rare and tough to cut, but they’re gorgeous when done right!
With Art Deco flair and a mirror-like glow, Asscher cut stones only make up 2% of the diamond supply! Thinking of getting one for yourself? To make sure you find a quality Asscher diamond, let’s look at:
- Asscher diamond basics
- What to look for when buying an Asscher cut stone
- Comparing the Asscher cut to similar styles
- Pricing and places to buy Asscher cut diamonds
- Asscher cut care tips
- Pros and cons of Asscher diamonds
Basics: What is an Asscher cut diamond?
This may sound odd, but there are actually TWO Asscher diamond cuts! The standard Asscher cut made its debut in the Netherlands in 1902, whereas the Royal Asscher cut is an improved version of the former that appeared in 1999. Both were made by members of the Asscher family through their family business, which is now known as the Royal Asscher Diamond Company.
A mainstay of the Art Deco period, the vintage cut Asscher diamond rose to fame in the 1920s as an architectural style that suited the fashion of the time. After quietly receding into obscurity for decades, the cut recently regained favor with shoppers after tweaks were made to the cut design to improve its glowing appeal.😊
Features of an Asscher cut diamond
The Asscher cut may look very similar to an emerald cut from its outline, but there’s so much more to this design than meets the eye! An Asscher cut diamond features an octagonal form—8 sides when you count the flat corners—that is square rather than rectangular. The original design featured 58 facets, but the improved Royal Asscher has 74 facets for added shine.
Another unique feature of the Asscher cut is its X-shaped facets that reach from the corners of the stone to the culet. These added facets combine with the broad, rectangular facets in a step-cut formation that produces a mirror-like shine as well as an X-shaped “sparkle” across the table of the stone.🤹🏻♂️
This cut has a higher crown than most shapes, which gives it a weighter feel. It also has a smaller table and deeper pavilion than other shapes, so while this silhouette will “sparkle”, it won’t be as brilliant as round or princess-cut diamonds.
The Asscher cut is a perfect choice for anyone who wants a vintage-inspired diamond. It’s easy to see why many people fall for the refined, royal allure of this particular cut, but let’s dive deeper into how to shop for your own Asscher cut stone!👇🏻
What should I look for when buying an Asscher diamond?
The 4Cs are the bread and butter of diamond grading and sparkle! Looking for a high-quality Asscher cut diamond for your engagement ring? We’ve collected some helpful information regarding what to look for when it comes to the 4Cs of Asscher cut stones:
Like other fancy shapes, Asscher cut diamonds do not receive a full cut grade. However, they do still receive polish and symmetry grades, and there are suggested measurements that denote how well they are cut.
Polish and Symmetry
While the GIA does provide polish and symmetry grades for fancy-shaped diamonds, there aren’t any major opinions on what makes up the “perfect” Asscher cut when discussing these characteristics.
For the best sparkle, Excellent or Very Good polish and symmetry grades are your safest bet. High cut grades like these mean the stone’s facets are aligned and well-defined for enhanced brilliance.💡 If you have time, you may even want to look at diamonds with Good polish and symmetry to see if you can find a quality stone for a lower price, as it’s not unheard of to find quality Asscher cut diamonds in this category.
When visually inspecting each diamond’s table, look for the “windmill” pattern created by the X-shaped facets that run from each corner down to the culet. ⚠️This four-armed windmill design should be symmetrical, and it should have very few black boxes in its X-like pattern. Furthermore, you want the X to be wide and proportional to the square silhouette of the diamond with points that “kiss” at the center of the stone.
Asscher cut diamonds are supposed to be squarer than their emerald cousins, so a length-to-width ratio of 1.00-1.05 is best to maintain that ideal shape. This guarantees that all sides are roughly the same length, and this will help support that brilliant X-shaped patterning within the stone’s table as well.
Although an Asscher diamond is traditionally square, some people prefer a more rectangular silhouette, in which case you should seek diamonds with a ratio of 1.40 to 1.50. Just note that an Asscher cut stone with a rectangular build will sport a longer, narrower X-shaped pattern under its table, and the overall silhouette will look more like an emerald cut stone.
Depth and Table Percentages
Asscher cut diamonds are often cut extremely deep to preserve value per carat, which can bother some wearers as it means the diamond may sit very high above your finger. As such, pay attention to depth and table percentages, and always visually compare any stones you’re considering to avoid a tall diamond.
For depth percentage, we recommend sticking to 60% to 68%. These measurements will still give you that deep, X-shaped sparkle without creating skyscraper-esque height. For table percentage, try to find diamonds in the 60% to 68% range as well.
Typically, the lower the percentage the better when it comes to these ranges. While brilliant cut diamonds require depth to enhance light refraction for a high level of sparkle, step cut stones like Asschers don’t need nearly as much depth to produce their glowy shine.⚖️ Below, we’ve collected the suggested cut parameters—including girdle size and culet—for Asscher diamonds:
Ideal Cut Parameters for Asscher Cut Diamonds
|Depth %||60-68%||59-60.9% or 67.1-70%||57-58.9% or 70.1-74%|
|Girdle Size||Very Thin - Slightly Thick||Very Thin - Thick||Very Thin - Very Thick|
The glow of a step-cut diamond is mesmerizing, but those rectangular facets don’t hide color as well as a brilliant cut’s sparkle. Asscher cut diamonds are no exception, so we recommend a color grade of I or better for the best value.
As the size of the diamond increases, the color grade should increase as well to avoid any discoloration. Larger Asscher diamonds have wider tables and facets that can show more color within the stone, so stick to H color or better if you’re sizing up beyond a 1.5-carat diamond.
If you’re choosing a setting with side stones, don’t forget to color match these gems to your Asscher cut diamond! This is especially important if your side stones are brilliant cut, as these diamonds may look whiter than Asscher cut diamonds even if they have the same color grade. You want your set of diamonds to look seamless, so mix and match varying color grades to make sure they work well together.
Similar to color, clarity is a crucial factor when choosing an Asscher cut diamond. Brilliant cut diamonds have brilliance, fire, and scintillation that easily mask inclusions at lower clarity grades, but step cut stones aren’t so lucky. Their tables act as unobscured windows into the stone’s depths, showing every little flaw!
So, when talking clarity, stick with VS2 or above for Asscher cut stones. Even at a VS2 grade–which would be eye clean for most brilliant cuts–you’ll still need to inspect each stone closely to ensure any imperfections aren’t under the diamond’s table, as this is where they’re most visible to others.
As with color, sizing up your diamond means you need to amp up that clarity grade as well to avoid visible inclusions!
While we don’t have a specific size recommendation for you regarding Asscher cut diamonds, we do have some advice on how to choose the right carat weight for you!
Asscher cut stones may give you more diamond per carat than most shapes, but a lot of this weight is carried below the girdle for a deeper silhouette. As such, you won’t see this added size when looking down at your diamond, and it’ll actually look smaller than its size implies.
So, if you want a larger-looking diamond, you’ll need to pay a little extra to size up. Consider sizing up roughly 0.25 carats from your intended carat weight for a larger stone that doesn’t break the bank.
Asscher cut diamonds use 65-75% of rough diamond, so they’re a semi-efficient cut that gives you more diamond per carat. As a result, they’re a fairly affordable cut, averaging roughly $3,300 to $3,800 for a 1-carat diamond with VS2 clarity and G-H color. Just keep in mind this price can reach up to $5,500 as quality increases!
However, their deep cut means they look visually smaller than other cuts of similar size. For instance, a 1-carat round brilliant may have a width of 6.4mm, but an Asscher stone of equal size will only be 5.5mm (almost a full mm smaller!).⚖️ This may seem insignificant, but anyone looking to get more diamond per dollar won’t easily see the return on their investment with an Asscher stone. So, you may have to pay a little more to get the right size Asscher cut diamond for your needs.
What’s more, if you’re looking to get more than one Asscher stone—maybe for Asscher cut diamond earrings or a necklace—you’ll probably end up spending more to get matching stones. It’s safest to buy high-quality stones when purchasing more than one to avoid any visible inclusions or discoloration between them!
So how does the Asscher cut stack up to similar styles? While it may not be as popular as most of these cuts, the Asscher diamond has plenty of redeeming qualities that make it stiff competition for any other silhouette.🦄
Asscher vs. Emerald
Often referred to as “the square emerald cut”, Asscher cut diamonds have plenty in common with emerald cuts. Both designs feature a step cut that includes long, broad facets tapering downward toward the culet of the stone. This gives both cuts that mirror-like glow many wearers have come to love! They also both have cropped corners, making them octagonal in nature.
Outside of their shared silhouette, they’re rather different cuts! For starters, Asscher cut stones have pointed culets, which are completely different from the long “keel” of an emerald cut. Emerald cuts are also visually much longer, since the Asscher diamond typically has a nearly 1:1 square ratio compared to the 1.30 to 1.50 of an emerald cut.
While emerald-cut diamonds may appear larger, Asscher-cut stones are better for sparkle. Their extra X-shaped facet pattern gives them more brilliance than the long facets of the emerald cut, which also reveal inclusions more easily.
In terms of pricing, there isn’t much difference between these two shapes, and an emerald may cost roughly a few hundred dollars more per carat. But, because the Asscher cut is square and looks visually smaller, you may have to spend more to make this silhouette look as large on your hand as an emerald. Both step cuts also require higher clarity grades, so you may need to shell out more cash for an eye-clean version of either silhouette.
Asscher vs. Princess
The Asscher cut diamond’s shape is sort of a combination of the emerald and princess cuts. Both cuts feature a square silhouette, but the Asscher cut has cropped corners that more closely resemble the emerald shape.
And that’s about where their similarities end. Other than their squarish nature, princess cuts are rather different from Asscher diamonds! Princess diamonds feature a brilliant cut, which means more facets and a pattern that is tailored to enhance brilliance, fire, and scintillation.
On the other hand, Asscher cuts have wider, longer facets in their step cut that pull the eye inward toward the center of the stone. While an Asscher cut diamond will still sparkle, it won’t be as brilliant as a princess cut, and its shine is geared more toward showing off the clarity of the stone rather than its brilliance.
Regarding price, you’ll save a little more by shopping for Asscher cut stones (as much as $500 per carat). Princess cuts are a popular diamond shape that maximizes brilliance, which means they’re worth a bit more than the less sought-after Asscher cut.
Despite this, keep in mind that the princess’ brilliant cut can mask inclusions better, so you’ll need a higher clarity grade in an Asscher cut diamond of equal size to avoid this. If that’s the case, you could end up paying more, negating the price difference altogether!💲
Asscher vs. Radiant
For brilliant sparkle with a similar silhouette, the radiant diamond bears a close resemblance to the Asscher cut stone. Unlike the 8-sided Asscher, a radiant cut features 4 sides and 70 facets—almost as many as the Asscher’s 74 facets.
How these stones sparkle is their main difference. While they both can have squarish bodies, a radiant diamond has a “crushed ice” sparkle thanks to its unique facet pattern that looks more like a round brilliant stone. It can also come in both square and rectangular silhouettes, so it’s somewhat like a brilliant variation of the Asscher and emerald styles.
This means the radiant cut masks inclusions better than the step cut Asscher, but you’ll pay a little more for a radiant cut—roughly $200 per carat. Overall, if you love the look of the step cut, an Asscher diamond is the right choice. But, if you want a bit more sparkle rather than shine, consider a radiant cut stone instead.
Asscher vs. Cushion
Similar to princess and Asscher cuts, a cushion cut stone usually has a squarish body, although it can come in rectangular forms as well. A cushion cut also has rounded corners, which is a stark contrast to the flat corners of an Asscher cut and produces a softer, feminine appeal.
Both the cushion and the Asscher feature a cut maximized for sparkle, but the cushion cut has a brilliant style cut and more facets. As such, its fire, brilliance, and scintillation are likely to be more intense than that of a step-cut Asscher stone.
These two shapes are very close in price, so the difference really comes down to the 4Cs. A cushion’s brilliant cut will mask inclusions and coloring well, so you may spend a bit more to find an Asscher cut of equal, eye-clean quality. Keep in mind that both shapes are fairly affordable in terms of diamond pricing, so the difference shouldn’t break the bank!
Since Asscher cut stones only make up 2% of the diamond supply, they’re a bit difficult to find. So, where should you start your shopping journey for your ideal Asscher match? We recommend starting with these four major retailers who offer quality diamonds, so you can be sure your Asscher stone is top-notch:💪🏻
- Blue Nile
- 3,000+ Asscher diamonds available
- 360° videos and images
- Free shipping and returns
- Virtual appointments available
- Limited supply, but diamonds are high-quality
- HD videos and images upon request
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 1-year buyback program
- James Allen
- 4,300+ Asscher diamonds in stock
- Interactive 360° videos and images
- Free shipping and returns
- Real-Time Diamond Inspections with professionals available
- 1,800+ Asscher diamonds available
- Diamond imagery with videos for some stones
- Free returns and exchanges
- Diamond price match guarantee
How can you make sure your new Asscher cut diamond engagement ring lasts a lifetime? With proper care and cleaning, of course!
Luckily, Asscher diamonds can be cared for much like any other fine jewelry piece. That means monthly cleanings where you soak your ring in a combination of warm water and dish soap for 15-20 minutes. Then, gently brush away any debris with a soft toothbrush and make sure you get in those nooks and crannies. Once you’re finished, just rinse your item under warm water and dry with a lint-free cloth to avoid any leftover fibers. With that, you’re all set!❤️
Many stones with a deep Asscher cut sit higher than usual, leaving the stone susceptible to scratching, dings, and chipping. To avoid any lasting damage, remove your ring for most physical activities. And we do mean most: in addition to common activities like exercising, cleaning, and manual labor, you should also remove your ring while brushing your hair, changing your clothes, folding laundry, etc. If an activity involves motion that could result in your ring hitting or snagging, take your ring off!
It’s time to sum up the good and not-so-good of Asscher cut diamonds. Whether you opt for this unique shape or decide on another, here’s the low down on Asscher cut stones:
- It’s one of the oldest diamond cuts, making each Asscher cut stone a little piece of diamond history.
- Their step cut gives Asscher cut diamonds a sophisticated glow rather than a brilliant sparkle.✅
- Asscher cut stones are perfect for vintage and Art Deco-inspired pieces.
- No sharp edges means Asscher diamonds won’t snag or chip as easily as pointed shapes.
- When it comes to price per carat, Asscher cut diamonds are fairly affordable.
- The X-shaped facets of the Asscher cut make these diamonds more brilliant than other step cuts.✨
- You can choose between two cut variations: vintage Asscher cut diamonds and the newer Royal Asscher cut.
- They’re hard to find! Asscher cut diamonds make up only 2% of the diamond supply.
- Asscher stones have a distinctly vintage look, even when placed in a modern setting.
- Their step cut means Asscher diamonds don’t sparkle as brightly as brilliant cut stones.
- Asscher cut diamonds more readily reveal inclusions and color, so you’ll need to choose higher grades in both categories to avoid visible imperfections.
- Asscher cut stones look visually smaller than their actual size, so you may need to size up.
- Asscher diamonds are very deep, so they may sit higher on your finger than other shapes.
With a long history in the diamond world, Asscher diamonds are sophisticated and runway ready! Their square shape sets them apart from their emerald-cut cousins, but don’t expect them to offer the same size bump per carat due to their shorter frame. If you’re looking for a diamond with a step-cut glow and plenty of antique appeal, we recommend an Asscher cut stone.
However, you may want to learn more about the competition before making any final decisions about an Asscher cut diamond ring. Read our thorough guides on emerald, cushion, radiant, and princess cut diamonds for more information about other cuts that may suit your diamond needs!