Asscher cut engagement rings have been a mainstay in the jewelry world for over 100 years. Asscher cuts are very beautiful and unique looking, and so have enjoyed popularity among those who don’t like to be just one of the crowd. If you’ve always wondered what Asscher cut diamond engagement rings are, you are in luck today. Here’s what you need to know about them.
History of the Asscher Cut
Two brothers from Holland who were very well known in the lapidary world created the very unique cut in the early 1900’s. It was much different from other well known and loved diamond cuts of the day, such as the cushion cut diamond. The Asscher cut flourished for about 30 years until the company was closed due to the Great Depression. In 1945 the company re-opened and began designing and distributing Asscher cut diamond rings again. Many of the older rings were designed as art deco engagement rings. Art Deco was a popular design style in the early 1900’s. Then in 2001 the company re-designed and patented the Asscher cut stone – they now have a larger table, which is the flat plane on the top of a diamond, and smaller corners. They also now have 74 facets that allow a higher amount of refraction and lots of fire in the stone. Vintage Asscher cut engagement rings can be identified by their larger corner cuts and the fact that they have less fire and sparkle then the modern ones now do.
What Does an Asscher Cut Engagement Ring Look Like?
An Asscher cut engagement ring is basically square, but its corners are cut off, forming an octagon shape, much like the shape of a modern stop sign. The diamond is cut into steps. Imagine a square fountain with steps on all sides descending into the fountain, and you have imagined what an Asscher cut diamond engagement ring looks like from the top. All of these parallel steps give the impression of descending into the stone as you look at it, drawing you in deeper and deeper.
These diamonds are deeper than other diamonds because of all of the steps required. Most of the time an Asscher cut diamond engagement ring will be set in a 4 prong setting in order to show off as much of the diamond’s beauty as possible. Putting an Asscher cut into a channel setting would hide too much of it. Ideally, the prongs should cover as little as possible of the stone’s corners, also. The design of this cut shows flaws easily, like the diamond in an emerald cut engagement ring would because of the larger facets.
How Much Will an Asscher Cut Engagement Ring Cost?
If you want to keep the cost of your ring under $1000, you will need to stick with “good” quality stones around ¼ to 1/3 carat in size. A ¼ carat good to very good quality Asscher cut diamond will cost you about $500 without the setting. Because they have to start with almost flawless stones due the the fact that flaws are easier to see in this type of cut, larger stones around 1 carat of the same quality jump up into the $2000 to $3000 range. Excellent quality diamonds that are Asscher cut can cost $20,000 or more. If you are on a strict budget, you can find cubic zirconia rings with an Asscher cut stone set in sterling silver for under $50.
Where Do I Find Asscher Cut Engagement Rings?
These rings are not quite as easy to find as other diamond cuts. Do an internet search and you will find some good online dealers, such as Amazon, that sell them. I would recommend looking around for authorized dealers in your area just so you can see what one looks like in person before committing to buy one. If you like vintage jewelry, estate sales and antique shops are a great place to start. To make sure you have a genuine Asscher stone, have a jeweler look for the “Asscher” insignia that is etched on the girdle of every genuine Asscher cut diamond.
Asscher cut diamond engagement rings are certainly beautiful. These rings have a modern flair, yet they would also look wonderful with any vintage jewelry you might have. With their unique look, they are not for everyone. If you do enjoy having something beautifully different than everyone else, then an Asscher cut engagement ring just may be the ring you have been searching for!
When it comes to engagement rings, the Asscher cut is the new “old” kid on the block. “Old” because it was all the rage in the early 1900’s. “New” because it’s now making a come back.
Kate Hudson and Reese Witherspoon are two well-known brides who’ve discovered how special these rings are. And they made an “appearance” on the TV sit-com Sex and the City. With this kind of exposure, these rings are creating a stir and now are a bit easier to find than they used to be. The well known online company Blue Nile is one of the large providers of this diamond cut.
A little history:
Heard of the Star of Africa, royal scepter of the British royal family? It was cut by the famous Asscher Brothers from Amsterdam. It was they, as you would easily guess from the name, that created the Asscher cut engagement ring. The year was 1902 and the ring was very popular in the 1920’s. If you frequest antique shops and yard sales you may have come across some of these.
What does this cut look like?
Do you remember as a kid going to the fair and entering the house of mirrors? The way the asscher is cut you get a hall of mirrors effect as you look deeply into the diamond with its greater than average radiant effect.
It has similarities with the emerald cut but is rectangular in shape rather than square. A four prong setting is typically used to keep the stone from chipping and to raise it to reflect light more efficiently.
Accent stones can be used with this ring along the sides of the diamond in the center. But that’s not absolutely essential since the ring is beautiful all to itself.
A leading provider of asscher cut engagement rings suggest a 1.00 and 1.05 range for the length to width ratio of the stone.
Is it the asscher cut engagement rings for you?
Because of the way this ring is cut, these rings tend to be more expensive than some others. It can require a greater quality diamond to work with in order to make the deep cuts. Or the diamond may be smaller. That may not be bad if you prefer the beauty of the diamond over having a larger diamond. And you may have to make a greater effort to find this ring than with some others.
Make sure you are getting the real thing. This cut is patented and every genuie ring has an ID # along with the Asscher insignia. You can’t see them with your naked eye but the jeweler can show it to you under magnification.
The Asscher cut went through a redesign in 2001. This was in part to make it harder for counterfeiters to pass off their work as the real thing. The newer stones compared to the original ones have somewhat smaller corners but with a larger flat area on top of the diamond. Many more facets were included to make for a greater sparkle.