The Royal Asscher Diamond
It’s not very often in one’s life you can hold magic in your hands that all at once reflects the magnitude of the past and the promise of the future. The Royal Asscher diamond is that magic. Cut from an octahedral shaped piece of rough to a 74 facet step-cut octagon, this diamond exhibits all the punch of a hurricane without sacrificing its quiet sophistication and regal temperament. Quite simply, lightning has struck twice for the Royal Asscher diamond company that first introduced its predecessor, the Asscher, back in 1902 and now the Royal Asscher at this summer’s Las Vegas Jewelry Show.
With just a glance one is pulled into this masterpiece like a fish to water, drawn deeper and deeper into its trance and pond-like effect that can only be described as a pebble tossed into a lake that ripples and reverberates its cinematic impact upon the fortunate viewer.
When I interviewed “Joop” Asscher for this article (his friends call him Joe). I was immediately put at ease by his soft-spoken demeanor. A man of 51, married with two children, he is descended from a line of cutting royalty dating back to 1854. His grandfather, Joseph Asscher, was entrusted by King Edward VII of England with cutting the largest diamond ever found, the Cullinan weighing in at 3,015 carats. Asscher’s clients read like a who’s who of royalty from Emperor Hirohito and Emperor Akihito of Japan; Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain; Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands; King Carl-Gustav and Queen Sylvia of Sweden; King Constantine and Queen Annemarie of Greece and Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus of the Netherlands.
When I asked Joe why the new Asscher he simply said, “It’s a diamond whose time had come! With the mass marketing of a new brand or style practically every single day it was time for the old guard to take its rightful place in history.” And I couldn’t agree with him more. Every Tom, Dick and Harry with a cutting wheel thinks they can invent a new standard overnight, which isn’t going to happen. What impresses me so much with the new Asscher is its attention to detail and symmetry. Without it you’d just have a lifeless block of ice. More good news is the marketing arm Asscher has chosen to deliver their new baby and that’s by making veteran M. Fabrikant & Sons the sole North American distributor.
Recently, I put the new Royal Asscher through its paces measuring every angle, facet and percentage. This is how it performed:
|Royal Asscher||Traditional Emerald Cut|
|Brilliance:||52% to 55%||70% to 80%|
|Dispersion:||45% to 48%||20% to 30%|
|Light return:||67% to 91.3%||38.8% to 54.78%|
|Bow tie:||None||Medium to strong|
Where the Royal Asscher appears to get its magic is from its carefully sculptured pavilion. By removing the keel line and replacing it with a small or pointed culet and slightly bowing out the step cut pavilion main facets, the pavilion is transformed more into a mirrored bowl than an ornamental cone. Opposing pavilion main facets are precision cut to twin themselves in order to not disrupt the fluidity of the “Pond effect” created upstairs from the nucleus of the table to the octagonal-faceted girdle. Practically from any vantage point the diamond appears to be poetry in motion always desiring to reflect and redirect a kaleidoscope of bar flashes back to the eye.
In closing, I think the thing to remember here isn’t we’ve got another traditional cut diamond with a new brand name, because we don’t. Brand names don’t sell diamonds, it’s the fire from the ice that will determine the success or failure of any new cut. This diamond isn’t breath taking because it’s called The Royal Asscher, its beauty lies in its cut and facet arrangement. That is true today as it will be true a thousand years from now. Quite simply you’ve got to see it to believe it. Mere words do not suffice. To find a retailer near you call (800) 432-8895.
Please note that Royal Asschers are no longer on the primary market since 2005. The only way for one to purchase this cut is through the secondary market—aka used diamonds.
by Fred Cuellar, author of the best-selling book “How to Buy a Diamond.” More questions? Ask the Diamond Guy®