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Five minutes with Royal Asscher

Master of diamonds Mike Asscher talks exquisite proportions, upholding a famous family business, and diamond-filled snow globes

March 19, 2020 By Sarah Stockley


 

Diamonds are always the star of the show at Dutch diamantaire Royal Asscher.

 

The Asscher family has been in the diamond business for six generations, having patented their own diamond cuts – including the Asscher, of course. They are also celebrated for having cut some of the biggest, most famous diamonds in the world, including the Cullinan I, which is now mounted on the head of the Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross, part of the Royal jewels.

 

Royal Asscher managing director Mike Asscher, who recently spoke at The Jewellery Cut Live, tells us all about the family business and what we can expect to see from the diamond jewellery brand this year.

 

Tell us about your brand.

“We’re a sixth-generation family-owned Dutch diamantaire and jeweller, with an authentic royal pedigree, and are best known for cutting some of history’s most important diamonds. Today, we’re renowned for our four patented, best in class, diamond shapes, which we’ve launched as the pinnacle of diamond beauty. The Royal Asscher Cut, which we introduced in 2001 as a refined and beautified interpretation of our original Asscher Cut diamond. In 2015, we introduced the Royal Asscher Round Brilliant Cut, followed in 2018 by the Royal Asscher Oval Cut and the Royal Asscher Cushion Cut, respectively. For the last 20 years, we have been on a quest to find new ways to express diamond beauty through redesigning and improving classic shapes, and also developing house jewellery collections.”

 

What inspires your designs?

“Our jewellery designs are both classic and modern. We’re inspired by the natural world and the built environment. For example, a Tulipesque bridal design plays a gentle homage to our own Dutch heritage, whereas the Tiara ring of our DNA collection is an expression of our regal roots in everyday jewellery. When it comes to designing diamonds and releasing to the world a diamond you can vouch for being truly best in class, we take a combination of knowledge, experience and experimentation. It’s a long process.”

 

Did you always want to follow in your family’s footsteps?

“I have always enjoyed seeing my father and his brother having so much fun working together. I even had the pleasure seeing my grandfather coming into the office once in a while. But the true joy of the family business, and working with diamond jewellery, is that we are always working on something that will represent a happy moment in someone’s life. We work with diamond, the earth’s rarest and most enigmatic treasure, which mark moments and is a symbol of everlasting love. No matter how old or what generation you show a diamond to, the emotional value it has for that person is very individual. People know diamonds are special. It’s our mission to always take them to the next level.”

 

Tell us about the craftsmanship behind your diamonds.

“With a lot of love and discussion. The four house signature cuts each individually took a significant amount of time in research and development. We wanted to create diamonds representing the most beautiful interpretation of diamond shapes in the world. Diamonds that we could give the house name to, and present knowing they were best in class. We’ve a huge heritage of pioneering diamond shapes. Even a seemingly minute detail, such as altering a proportion by a tiny percentage, can alter the appearance of the whole diamond. It’s a fun process, one where we test ideas that draw on all of our experience and intuition about diamond performance.”

 

If jewellery lovers only check out one Royal Asscher jewel, which would it be?

“Our iconic Stars collection of pavé floating diamond snow globes never fails to wow.”

 

Are you launching any new designs?

“We’re introducing our DNA collection to the UK market. It’s previously only been available in our home market of the Netherlands. It’s a collection that has some celebratory undertones and a huge amount of versatility in how it can be worn. We’ve also recently launched a gorgeous new bridal collection for Beaverbrooks.”