Across the pond, as they say, Prince William’s affianced Kate Middleton has sparked a sapphire craze with his mother’s keepsake, but there have been a couple of engagement rings sightings as well. Most notably, the inevitable dueling comparisons sparked by Jessica Simpson and her ex’s new fiancé Vanessa Minnillo.
Jessica Simpson’s romantic ruby engagement ring has almost eclipsed the news of Minnillo’s equally stunning Asscher cut diamond ring, a ring so beautiful it really shouldn’t be ignored.
The Asscher cut diamond dates back to 1902, when first invented by the Asscher brothers in Holland, Amsterdam. The brother’s also gained famed for cutting the Cullinan diamond, the largest rough diamond ever found at 3,106 carats, into three parts, one of which is now part of the British Crown Jewels.
Often called a modified cushion cut, the Asscher can be identified by its square shape, deeply trimmed corners, and ‘hall of mirrors’ effect. Redesigned and re-patented in 2001, an authentic Asscher still has the family insignia emblazoned on the diamond’s girdle.
Vanessa Minnillo, who recently received a 4 carat Asscher cut diamond engagement ring from longtime boyfriend Nick Lachey, worth around $125,000, has joined the ranks of the few Hollywood women who eschew the more popular Princess or Round cut in favor of something elegant and a little more unique.
Movie star Kate Hudson may be following in her famous mother’s footsteps as far as her career goes, but Hudson has always been a free spirit. In 2000, Hudson made both professional and personal breakthrough’s when she starred in Cameron Crowe’s “Almost Famous” and married The Black Crowe frontman, Chris Robinson. Before the two exchanged wedding rings though, Robinson presented Hudson with a 5 carat Asscher cut diamond engagement ring with Round cut diamonds set into the platinum band; classic yet different and perfect for Hudson’s style.
The Venetian 5001P-3 from Verragio’s latest line is much like Hudson’s ring, in that it features pave’ set diamonds that lead up to a solitaire Asscher cut center diamond. However, unlike Hudson’s ring, this design features the Venetian lace detail inside the band in order enhance a one-of-a-kind look that sneakily does not take any attention away from the diamond center.
Zooey Deschanel is best known for her deadpan acting as well as her modern take on retro style, making her the perfect personality for an Asscher cut diamond ring, which last enjoyed a rash of popularity in the ‘20s. When proposing, her then boyfriend, musician for the bands Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie, Ben Gibbard chose a 3 carat solitaire Asscher cut diamond center set onto a thin shank adorned with smaller Round cut diamonds that run the entire length of the band. The ring, like Deschanel herself, is elegant and a bit quirky.
The beauty of the Asscher cut is that it boasts a square shape, which some consider to be more modern than the classic Round cut, but is can also be worn unadorned or within a halo. It is a thoroughly versatile diamond style that although it has been updated, adds classic elegance to any ring.