When you’re shopping for diamonds, you’ll probably come across various different shapes in addition to the standard round brilliant shape, including Asscher cut diamonds.
Asscher cut diamonds are one of these, and as with any diamond shape, there are certain things you’ll want to look for in Asscher cut diamonds in order to ensure that you’re getting the best possible value.
What are Asscher cut diamonds?
The name of the Asscher cut diamond refers to the jewellers who originally created it: the Asscher Brothers of Holland, who first unveiled this particular cut in 1902. The Asscher cut is part of the “step cut” family of diamond shapes.
These are diamonds that are either square or rectangular in shape, with square or rectangular facets that sit parallel to the girdle, or the widest part of the diamond. Step cuts are sometimes known as “trap cuts.”
The Asscher cut is essentially a modified version of the emerald cut, which itself is one of the oldest and most common types of step cuts and resembles the traditional rectangular shape of a cut emerald. The main thing that differentiates Asscher cut diamonds from emerald cuts are the Asscher cut’s truncated corners. This helps to make the Asscher cut less susceptible to damage near the corners, although the truncation makes it possible that the diamond’s natural coloration is more easily visible around the corners. Also, Asscher cut diamonds, unlike emerald cuts, are always square or nearly square, with a maximum length to width ratio of around 1.05.
Note that the cut in Asscher cut does not have any direct connection to the cut grade that appears on a diamond certificate. The Asscher cut is only a specific diamond shape, and can still have a range of cut grades, which in turn affect the overall quality and appearance of the diamond.
What makes Asscher cut diamonds special?
The Asscher cut has a unique appearance thanks to its combination of square shape, rectangular facets, and cropped corners. The rectangular facets help to highlight the diamond’s natural clarity, while the overall square shape, as with the radiant cut, can look particularly good in the right type of setting.
Until fairly recently, the Asscher cut was one of the rarest diamond shapes and was carried by very few vendors. Its rarity led to a certain prestige, and the Asscher cut became very popular among diamond enthusiasts. Several years ago, the Asscher cut was mentioned on the popular TV show Sex and the City and since that time it has undergone a major upswing in popularity among the general public. The Asscher cut is now considered one of the most fashionable diamond shapes, although it still isn’t as common as the round brilliant, and there are still some diamond vendors that do not carry it.
What should I look for in Asscher cut diamonds?
The unique features of the Asscher cut diamonds mean that there are particular things to be aware of when shopping for one. The clarity grade of the diamond is especially important with Asscher cuts, because this shape accentuates the natural clarity of the diamond, for better or worse. Asscher cut diamonds with a high clarity grade will appear even clearer than other diamond shapes with the same clarity rating, while Asscher cuts with poorer clarity grades will suffer in appearance more than other shapes. For this reason, diamonds with clarity rated VS2 and above are recommended.
With respect to color grades, Asscher cut diamonds with color grades of J and below will often have visible coloration in the corners, so in most cases, it’s a good idea to stick with diamonds with a color grade of I or better.