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Fancy Cut Diamonds: Emerald vs. Asscher

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Annmarie Swift Photography

Two of our favorite fancy diamonds, the term used to describe shapes other than round, are the asscher and emerald cuts. The term "fancy diamond" was originally created in an attempt to diversify the diamond market and promote shapes other than the typical round. Round diamonds have always made up the majority of the market, but in recent years we have seen different fancy shapes like Asscher and Emerald cuts become increasingly popular.

Both asscher and emerald shapes are known as 'step cut' diamonds. For a diamond to be step cut, the facets must be made up of straight lines that run parallel to the diamond’s sides. Many celebrities proudly sport emerald and asshcer cut diamonds including Amal Clooney, Beyoncé, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Elizabeth Taylor, just to name a few. These diamond shapes are loved for their vintage sparkle and classic elegance. They not only look beautiful set in an engagement ring, but also look gorgeous set in an eternity band.

Think one of these unique shapes could be for you? Keep reading to learn what makes each of these step cut diamonds unique!

The Shape

The main difference between an asscher and emerald cut diamond is the shape of the stone. Emerald cuts are known for their elongated, rectangular shape. This shape works beautifully to create a long, slender look for your finger. The vast majority of emerald cuts have length to width ratios between 1:1.3 and 1:1.5, with 1:1.4 being the most popular. Asscher cuts are known as the square cousin of the emerald cut. While asscher diamonds are cut to be a perfect square, they often look more like an octagon with their cropped corners. Asscher cut diamonds originally became popular in the 1920's and are a great choice for someone wanting a vintage, Art Deco look.

The Cut 

Both asscher and emerald shaped diamonds are step cut, a cut that only works on a square or rectangular shape. Again, for a diamond to be step cut, the facets must be made up of straight lines that run parallel to the diamond’s sides. From there, however, the cuts differ. The asscher has larger step facets, a higher crown, and a smaller table than the emerald, which makes it the more brilliant cut of the two. The wider, more open table of the emerald gives it an elegant, classic look, however it also means any type of blemish or inclusion is very noticeable. When purchasing an emerald cut diamond it is important to make sure it has a high clarity grade. Asscher cut diamonds are known for the X pattern that you see when you view the diamond from top to bottom. The X pattern creates a point on the bottom of the diamond, which is also known as the culet. On  an emerald cut stone you will notice an elongated, troughed culet that follows the length of the stone. A well cut asscher will appear to have concentric squares as you look down through the table which is the result of proper positioning of the pavilion facets underneath.

Falling for these fancy diamonds? Make an appointment today or visit any of our 5 New England locations where a specialist can show you fancy cut diamonds in person!

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