6 Reasons Not to Buy an Asscher Cut Diamond
An Asscher cut diamond isn’t for everyone. Here are our top 6 reasons to take the blue pill, preserve your emotional wellbeing, and focus your search on a more practical cut. Or, cut to the chase and shop Asscher cut engagement rings.
By Stephanie Dore
The Asscher cut diamond is fussy. They’re expensive. And good ones are so difficult to find that you could exhaust even the most patient jeweler. Diamond cutters cut less than 2% of diamonds into Asschers. They’re rarer than rare. But, they also have a unique appeal. If you’re already an Asscher diamond addict, we don’t have a cure for that. But for those of you that aren’t yet Asscher-addled beyond repair, we’ll try our best to talk you out of this mysterious cut.
A Good Asscher Cut Diamond is Hard to Find
Most diamonds aren’t quite as rare as they’re made out to be. There are over a quadrillion tons of diamonds deep inside the earth, and a trillion dollars worth of diamonds locked up in baby boomer safes and deposit boxes. But, unless there’s a diamond in your family with your name on it, all the kajillion diamonds out there won’t make it any easier or less expensive to find the perfect stone for your engagement ring.
While diamonds may not be as rare as their marketing suggests, they are truly expensive. That’s because starting a new diamond mine is really, really expensive. And once they’re started, mines don’t try to sell all their diamonds at the same time. They keep prices high by slowly releasing measured quantities of diamonds over decades, carefully timed in response to market demand. So, your typical round brilliant diamond may be rare to you, but it’s not particularly rare in a cosmic sense. Asscher cut diamonds, on the other hand, are uniquely difficult to find. Only 2% of diamonds are cut into Asschers, so finding one that has the perfect combination of carat, quality, and price is going to test your patience.
If you’d rather have more than a few options to consider or don’t have all the time in the world to find the perfect diamond, we rest our case. If having something truly unique and difficult to find is worth the extra effort for you, by all means, aim for an Asscher.
To Love an Asscher Cut Diamond, You Need to Love Art Deco
Asscher cut diamonds are the embodiment of art deco. Graphic lines and geometric forms characterize art deco, and the jewelry is no exception. The emerald, Asscher, and baguette diamond became wildly popular. Platinum and white gold replaced the soft yellow gold tones of the period’s predecessor – art nouveau.
“It was the style of the flapper girl and the factory, the luxury ocean liner and the skyscraper, the fantasy world of Hollywood and the real world of the Harlem Renaissance. Art Deco affected all forms of design, from the fine and decorative arts to fashion, film, photography, transport, and product design. It was modern, and it was everywhere.” Rob Sutton
If all of this sounds a bit old-fashioned to you, it’s going to be hard to get excited about an Asscher cut diamond. They’re a vintage cut. If, on the other hand, the romance of yesteryear is something you crave, prepare yourself for more disappointment and read on or cut to the chase and shop Asscher cut engagement rings.
Asscher Cuts Tend to be Poorly Cut
First things first, there are not very many Asscher cut diamonds on the market. To make this even more of a pain in the, ahem, Asscher, most are poorly cut. Generally, they are too deep or have poor symmetry. Poor symmetry is a big problem for the Asscher cut, because it is more apparent than almost any other diamond shape. Look at the table of the diamond head-on, where the pavilion tapers to form the culet. You’ll see a windmill pattern formed by the pavilion. They should “kiss.” If they don’t come neatly to the same point, it’s going to annoy the heck out of you. It is also a poorly cut stone.
If you’re not sure how to evaluate or need some help, you can ask for an ASET. We can provide this for almost any stone listed on our website.
The Asscher Diamond Isn’t Super Super Sparkly
This is the biggest hurdle for most Asscher-curious shoppers. They do flash and refract light to create the colors we call fire. But they just aren’t that sparkly. This is especially true when you compare them to a round brilliant, oval, cushion, or even a triangle cut diamond.
This is because Asscher’s are a step-cut diamond. Their facets are a series of parallel, mostly rectangular shapes. Compared to the diagonal faceting of brilliant cuts, step cut diamonds have a less sparkly and more orderly appearance.
For some, the Asscher cut diamonds have an understated and sophisticated look. Well-cut Asscher diamonds throw bright, colorful flashes of light, and create a mesmerizing hall-of-mirrors effect. People tend to prefer step cuts diamonds, like the Asscher, if they value clarity sparkle.
The Asscher Cut Lets it All Hang Out
Asscher cut diamonds show their color and clarity more than brilliant cut diamonds. Remember the 4C’s? All four of them are annoyingly important with Asschers. Their large table is like a clear window that shows off inclusions to anyone that cares to look. Inspect the certificate carefully to make sure any inclusions are located away from the main table. An Asscher diamond’s deep shape accentuates its color. This is because there’s more material for light to pass through. We recommend shopping G and above if you’re planning to set your stone in white gold or platinum.
If you’re shopping for an Asscher cut diamond on a budget, here are three tactics to make your diamond look bigger.
Asscher Cut Engagement Rings are $$$$
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations, you are truly Asscher afflicted. But there’s one more problem we haven’t covered — painful economic reality. Rare things cost more. If you can find an Asscher you love, you’re going to pay for it. The price per carat of Asscher’s is often more than 10% higher than other diamond shapes. They’re a pricey shape for three reasons.
Asscher diamonds are difficult to cut. The rough diamonds that cutters work with are usually better suited to more conventional cuts. The Asscher cut diamond often wastes more diamond material in cutting than other shapes, and that goes into their cost. Asscher diamonds also have the most facets of any diamond cut. 72 facets means 72 opportunities for mistakes.
Asscher diamonds look smaller than other diamonds, so you’ll probably need a bigger Asscher. Asscher cut diamonds also tend to be deeper than other cuts, so their carat weight is partly concealed from view. Plan on adding a quarter carat or more to equal a round brilliant.
Asscher Cut Diamonds Have Big Bottoms
Depth. Asscher’s have an annoying tendency to come with a whole lot of junk in the trunk. Deep Asscher’s are so common because cutters are trying to make them as heavy (read valuable) as possible. Deep Asschers are going to appear smaller than they should, and stick up higher on your finger. You’ll also be paying for carat weight you won’t see. If you’re considering an Asscher, consider booking an appointment with a Frank Darling concierge who can help you keep track of all the factors you’ll need to be mindful of when selecting an Asscher.
The Asscher Cut is Prone to Windowing
Symmetry isn’t the only place an Asscher cut diamond can take an ugly turn. Like your apartment or house, Asscher diamonds have windows. Windows look like, well, windows, and allow light to pass directly through the stone.
The best way to assess windowing? An ASET Test.
An ASET test is designed to help color code the light performance of a diamond. It looks a bit like a kaleidoscope. Red is the best. It means maximum light return. Green is the second best. Green areas will show both white and black highlights, creating contrast. Blue is bad and indicates some light leakage. Black is the worst, indicating total light leakage.
These types of issues aren’t listed on the cert so you’ll have to dig into the weeds if you want to find a great stone. Want us to do the work? Just ask. Or get started by browsing our inventory of more than 150,000 diamonds.
Still Sweating the Ascher
If your heart’s set on an Asscher cut diamond, click here to head over to our diamond selector. There, you can browse over 150,000 natural and lab grown diamonds.
Don’t see what you’re looking for? Schedule an appointment, and we’ll curate a selection of Asscher cut diamonds from our offline inventory.
Or take the ring quiz to get a free sketch of your dream ring. From unique side stone shapes to vintage prong styles and unconventional setting orientations, we can help you bring your ring to life.