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Everything You didn't Know about Asscher-Cut Diamond Rings
To receive an Asscher ring as a gift is something incredibly special. The name Asscher describes the design of the cut of the diamond - which is an exquisite antique-style square or rectangle with multi-cut bevelled edges and a deep base.
When you look into an Asscher diamond the depth and sparkle is phenomenal. A precursor to the more modern emerald (multi-faceted) cut, the Asscher cut diamond has found renewed popularity, thanks to the movie, Sex and The City, when it was featured.
One in three brides in the US now prefer an Asscher cut engagement ring. Classical and timeless, the Asscher ring now has an extremely modern and up-to-date reputation.
An Asscher ring is what Liz Hurley wears, as do many modern day celebrities. Having an Asscher ring is a fashion statement, and no woman would ever turn one down.
Why is the Asscher Cut so called?
The Asscher cut was first developed in 1902 by the famous Asscher Brothers of Holland who gained fame through being the diamond cutters who cut the world-famous Cullinan Diamond, which to date remains the largest rough cut diamond ever found.
Weighing a massive 3106 carats, it measured 10cm x 6cm x 5cm. (5" x 2.5" x 2").
Joseph Asscher and his brother Abraham had founded the Royal Asscher Diamond Company in 1854, and it was they who cut the Cullinan Diamond into firstly three large stones, then later into 9 perfectly cut diamonds some of which are still part of the British Crown Jewels.
Beautiful Asscher Ring
What is an Asscher Cut Diamond?
Imagine a stepped pyramid with its top cut off, and the corners too, and you are pretty near guessing what an Asscher cut looks like.
The top of the stone is called a table because it is flat. Light refracts through its cut bottom edges (where it is set in precious metal) and also through the stepped edges around the sides of the table-top.
The effect on the diamond is to enhance its natural sparkle through light refraction and its shapes gives that sparkle an unusual depth.
Almost all diamonds have faults or blemishes, but a good diamond cutter can cut the diamond in such a way that these blemishes enhance the natural brilliance of the crystal instead of detracting from it.
Diamond is the hardest crystal in the world, and is closely associated with love and romance. In16th century England young lovers used to scratch messages to each other on glass windows with their diamond rings. (young vandals!)
An Asscher ring is nearly always set in either white gold or platinum, because the silver colored metals show the clear crystal stone of white diamond off to its maximum advantage.
An Asscher ring should also come with certification to prove its authenticity. There are certain minimum requirements laid down to adhere to an industry standard.
Make sure you are offered one should you want to buy one.
An Asscher Cut Diamond
Engagement Diamond Ring History
An engagement ring is always worn on the third finger of the left hand, and this is because the vein in this finger is called the "vena amoris" and was believed to run directly to the heart.
The giving of an engagement ringsignified a pledge to marry, but the earliest known diamond engagement ring stems right back to 13th century when Mary of Burgundy received a diamond engagement ring from her fiancé, Archduke Maximilian of Austria (later Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I) in 1477.
Diamonds signify inner strength, energy and passion and provide the wearer with clarity, abundance and balance, which in the case of poor Mary of Burgundy seemed to fail miserably, as just 5 years after her wedding, aged only 25, she fell from her horse to her death.
Tiffany introduced the first solitaire diamond ring about 100 years ago, and this has gone on to become the most popular type of engagement ring ever. The Asscher ring is eminently suitable as a solitaire because of the brilliance of it's shine.
Sparkling Asscher Cut Diamond Ring
Asscher Cubic Zirconia Rings
Affordable Asscher Rings
Asscher cut diamond rings are incredibly beautiful, but I cannot think of anything more unromantic than ordering an engagement ring online, unless Amazon sell them a lot cheaper than a jewellers.
However they are worth linking here if you are thinking of getting engaged, or if you are considering buying an engagement ring and want to learn more about Asscher rings.
You can click through to Amazon and look around at the wonderful collection they have. It may give you an idea of what you would like to buy or be given in future.
As Asscher diamond rings are incredibly expensive, I am featuring a few other Asscher rings here, made from cut cubic zirconia.
Cubic zirconia is a type of man-made diamond imitation, but which shares many of the beautiful qualities of the diamond.
Asscher Cubic Zirconia Ring
Zirconia Dioxide (Top) and Zirconia Oxide
How Cubic Zirconia is made
The technique for forcing zirconia to crystallise was perfected the by Russian scientists at the Lebedev Physical Institute in 1973.
Zirconia needs extremely high temperatures to melt (27500C) and until then man had not found a receptacle capable of withstanding the heat in which to melt zirconia.
Crystals form by melting natural elements and allowing to cool.
In the case of cubic zirconia, scientists had been tyring to find ways to artificially produce it since its discovery in 1892 when it was found in its natural state, zirconia oxide, in Sri Lanka.
It was then named Baddeleyite after its finder, Joseph Baddeley.
After many studies, it was deemed to act like diamond and the search was underway to reproduce its qualities, primarily for industrial use.
Three years after the Russians published their findings, mass production of cubic zirconia began in earnest, and by 1980, just 4 years later, annual global production had reached 50 million carats (10 tonnes).
The chemical name of cubic zirconia is zirconium dioxide (ZRO2), and it is strange to think that in its naturally occurring form it is actually much rarer than diamonds, yet seemingly has next to no value.
Cubic zirconia is a beautiful crystal regardless of being man-made, as you can see from the photograph on the right.
It has been reckoned that there are enough diamonds in the world to give every man, woman and child a cupful each, but prices have been kept artificially high by greedy mining companies who keep the vast majority of their diamonds in reserve.
Perhaps we should remember that next time we think of buying diamonds.