The story of the asscher cut diamond is one not without its trials and tribulations and exemplifies the evolution of diamond cuts. Not only this, the history of this specific cut displays the impact political instability has had on industries such as the jewellery trade.
The Asscher brothers, Joseph and Abraham were renowned Amsterdam-based diamond cutters and founders of the Asscher Diamond Company. The original asscher cut was created in 1902 by Joseph Asscher, these diamonds are step cut and roughly square in shape but have faceted corners to maximise light intake with an ideal length to width ratio of 1 to 1.04. Other characteristics include a high crown and deep pavilion which produce an outstanding brilliance known as the ‘hall of mirrors’ effect. As the first diamond cut to ever be patented, the asscher cut signifies the forward-thinking nature of the Asscher brothers.
The asscher cut was particularly prized during the Art Deco period due to its straight lines and geometric ratios up until the Second World War. By circa 1940 the Asscher Diamond Company was severely damaged as most of its employees were victims of the Holocaust. The company and its assets were then seized by the Nazis and the patent dissolved. With this, the remaining diamond trade were able to duplicate the cut producing it on mass and thus many asscher cut diamond engagement rings available on the market today do not adhere to the strict ratio criteria set out in Joseph's 1902 design. Because of this, pre-war asscher cut diamond rings born under the Asscher brothers are very rare indeed not only because of their proportions but their historical significance.
Existing family members decided to rebuild the company and in 1980 it was granted a Royal title status by Queen Juliana of the Netherlands in recognition of its contribution to the diamond industry. Almost 100 years after the original asscher cut, Joseph's great-grandchildren Edward and Joop have evolved the cut into what is known as the Royal Asscher cut which has been trademarked and patented and consists of a high crown, 74 facets and perfect symmetry. The company is still owned by the Asscher family and is internationally renowned for its expertise and of course their historical story which resonates still.
Treat your loved one to a true piece of history with an early asscher cut diamond, the pioneer and predecessor to the Royal Asccher cut. Berganza has a lovely selection of asscher cut diamond set jewellery which can be viewed on our online website or alternatively visit us in Hatton Garden for one of our jewellery specialists to show you the ‘hall of mirrors’ effect.