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Asschers and Emerald Cuts - how small is too small?

OoohShiny

Ideal_Rock
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So, as my lottery win has still to occur :rolleyes: :lol: and seeing as @Dancing Fire didn't gift me his Octavia ;-) I am constantly eyeing up 'budget options', so that I might be able to get a bit of bling in my life until I can afford that 2ct+ colourless Octavia or Yoram Vintage Asscher that I neeeeeed, er, I mean I would like... (please, Santa, I've been a good boy!! :lol: )

I love stepcuts and I love wide rings (7mm seems to be my sweet spot) so it seems that my only options are either a fairly high ratio Emerald Cut (to get the full 7mm edge-to-edge length but with whatever width it came in within my meagre budget) or something like a <5mm Asscher (to then be set in a tension setting ring with a gap to the edges of the ring).

But 5mm is really not that large for a stepcut, in terms of actually being able to see those long facets working - is it too small to have as a standalone stone that performs well within a ring?

I know that @Matthews1127 has her 3.5mm(ish) Yoram asschers going into her 7-stone band, and there have been some lovely pics of similar rings within her thread :) but that is a different look to a traditional/stereotypical "gent's" ring, which don't usually have that much bling in them! (Not saying that is right and shouldn't change, of course ;)) )

I have considered perhaps using two Yoram asschers in that size to create a look not dissimilar to a high-ratio EC in a tension setting, having them side-by-side, but would they be 'enough'? I vacillate between thinking 3.5mm is not actually that small and thinking that they will be teeny-tiny, lol, and I don't think I'd be able to really know for sure unless I saw that size asscher in real life (which is basically impossible here in the UK - it's hard enough finding asschers, nevermind small ones :rolleyes: ).

So... I don't know where I'm really going with this thread... lol

If I'm trying to Fantasy Window Shop with an imaginary US$1-1.5k budget, there are quite a few different options, some of which really do look good and should look quite substantial in terms of their measurements, despite being perhaps only 0.45 - 0.6ct. A 5mm stone might just be do-able in that budget, and that's not that far off the missus' 0.67ct 5.6mm(ish) CBI stone, which didn't cost $1.5k!! :lol:


I guess the TL;DR version of all this rambling is just the title of this thread, really, but I welcome all viewpoints! :))

(I am not really sure if I'm seeking enablement or not, though - I have plenty(!) of bills to pay but I have just spotted a stone that really is calling to me and making me want to wave the plastic about, despite being somewhat contrary to the stones I usually recommend to others... lol)
 

lissyflo

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I think maybe it depends on whether you’re looking to see the specific facet pattern at a reasonable viewing distance, or whether you are just keen to see the overall light return of a stepcut.

I tried on a 2mm carre cut band in an antique shop - from arm’s length I couldn’t see specific facets but you could definitely see that it was a stepcut shimmer, rather than the sparkle of a round brilliant band of similar size. At about half arm’s length, I could see the carre pattern specifically. And 2mm square is a lot smaller than you’re considering.

I think if it’s in budget and would give you enjoyment, then go for it! And personally I think I’d prefer 2 stacked smaller, fatter stones than one very long and leggy stone, but that's just me. I also think one 5mm stone with a gap each north/south end could look good in a tension setting.
 

princessandthepear

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I have a 0.5ct emerald cut diamond Tiffany ring that I purchased used off LT several years ago. I also have a 0.51 ct Ashoka diamond and a 0.50ct MRB. The elongated cuts measure approximately 5.5-6.0 x 4.4mm. I can see the facet play on the ashoka diamond but the emerald cut is usually center all on or all off.
I have been looking at 0.7ct asschers on James Allen. It appears to me, that the detail at 5mm is difficult to see in real life unless the facets are on the chunky side.
Could you use diamd.com or gemsize.org to gauge how the asschers would look on you? The stacked asschers idea sounds intriguing to me.
 

tyty333

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Matthews1127

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princessandthepear

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@tyty333 could you please tell me what you would look for when choosing an asscher cut? The reason I suggested the chunky steps at a 5mm size was because I found them easier to see. This doesn't mean OP would have the same issue.
@Matthews1127, the first asscher you posted was one of the asschers I was looking at. I am learning so it's really great to know that I am on the right track.
@OoohShiny they picked some lovely gems. I am excited for you.
 

OoohShiny

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Thanks for the replies, all! :))

Thank you also for taking the time to find some candidates - I know it takes some time to find decent ones! (Although JA does seem to have a remarkably high percentage of nicely cut stepcuts at the moment - I don't know what's going on! lol) Some of those are really nice! :)

When/If I ever do actually get one, I know I will struggle due to my colour and clarity sensitivity :rolleyes: lol

I would LOVE a 7mm asscher, but it seems that 6mm > 7mm > 8mm jumps in size actually mean 1ct > 2ct > 3ct jumps in weight, which is somewhat prohibitive cost-wise... :lol:

Perhaps I should just stop window-shopping and actually concentrate on clearing my debts, so I can buy shiny things without worrying about it!! lol That way I can avoid 'wasting' money on stepping-stone stones and go straight for what I reeeeally want - that's worked well for me in other areas so I should probably apply it to shiny things as well! I think I'd be happy with a 5mm stone as an 'interim', though.

More money really would solve a lot of issues... lol :D
 

Matthews1127

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Thanks for the replies, all! :))

Thank you also for taking the time to find some candidates - I know it takes some time to find decent ones! (Although JA does seem to have a remarkably high percentage of nicely cut stepcuts at the moment - I don't know what's going on! lol) Some of those are really nice! :)

When/If I ever do actually get one, I know I will struggle due to my colour and clarity sensitivity :rolleyes: lol

I would LOVE a 7mm asscher, but it seems that 6mm > 7mm > 8mm jumps in size actually mean 1ct > 2ct > 3ct jumps in weight, which is somewhat prohibitive cost-wise... :lol:

Perhaps I should just stop window-shopping and actually concentrate on clearing my debts, so I can buy shiny things without worrying about it!! lol That way I can avoid 'wasting' money on stepping-stone stones and go straight for what I reeeeally want - that's worked well for me in other areas so I should probably apply it to shiny things as well! I think I'd be happy with a 5mm stone as an 'interim', though.

More money really would solve a lot of issues... lol :D
I agree with this method. As anxious as I am to build my Anniversary Band, Si know I have to wait until I can get all my ducks in a row, first. ;)2
I know you’ll get there; patience will pay off. In the meantime, no harm in window shopping; you may discover something you like that you never would have considered, otherwise!
Keep us posted, @OoohShiny!! Your dream Asscher is out there!!! :mrgreen2:
 

Matthews1127

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@tyty333 could you please tell me what you would look for when choosing an asscher cut? The reason I suggested the chunky steps at a 5mm size was because I found them easier to see. This doesn't mean OP would have the same issue.
@Matthews1127, the first asscher you posted was one of the asschers I was looking at. I am learning so it's really great to know that I am on the right track.
@OoohShiny they picked some lovely gems. I am excited for you.
Step cuts are tricky, and really are not cut to perfection, but rather to preference. There are so many unique & fun characteristics in step cuts, and not everyone likes or looks for the same dimensions, or facet patterns in all of them! That’s what makes shopping for them so fun!
Welcome to the step cut club! If you ever need help searching, let us know!! :mrgreen2:
 

Matthews1127

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I agree with this method. As anxious as I am to build my Anniversary Band, Si know I have to wait until I can get all my ducks in a row, first. ;)2
I know you’ll get there; patience will pay off. In the meantime, no harm in window shopping; you may discover something you like that you never would have considered, otherwise!
Keep us posted, @OoohShiny!! Your dream Asscher is out there!!! :mrgreen2:
Worth mentioning:
I know you have a sweet taste in your mouth for an Octavia. Two years ago, I had a lengthy email exchange with Jonathan at GOG, before he started AV, Inc. re: 2-3mm sq cut Octavia Diamonds. At that time, Octavias had not yet been able to be cut to those tiny dimensions. They were actively searching for cutters who were willing to take on the task of cutting the Octavia under 1ct, and create a line of Octavia Cut sized between 0.70ct and under (not certain how small they will be able to go).
I have not followed up with this, as my project took a different turn. However, this is worth a conversation, down the line. If you can find a 4-7mm Octavia for your tension setting, perhaps, an upgrade would be in your future. ;)2
 

OoohShiny

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That's cool! I would love an Octavia :love:

And a vintage asscher, and a modern asscher, and a fat EC, and an OEC... :lol:

I'm sure things will turn out how they are supposed to turn out, hopefully that will include some shiny things! :D
 

Matthews1127

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That's cool! I would love an Octavia :love:

And a vintage asscher, and a modern asscher, and a fat EC, and an OEC... :lol:

I'm sure things will turn out how they are supposed to turn out, hopefully that will include some shiny things! :D
I have no doubt, my friend. When it’s your turn, I’d love to help you in your search! :mrgreen2:
 

tyty333

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@tyty333 could you please tell me what you would look for when choosing an asscher cut? The reason I suggested the chunky steps at a 5mm size was because I found them easier to see. This doesn't mean OP would have the same issue.
@Matthews1127, the first asscher you posted was one of the asschers I was looking at. I am learning so it's really great to know that I am on the right track.
@OoohShiny they picked some lovely gems. I am excited for you.
What I look for (and there may be other good ones that other people use)
- look for even sized steps
- look for nice size/shaped windmills (subjective)
- look for the flashes (on/off of facets) to go all the way down into the center. This does not happen with a lot of stones. It stops and the center
never flashes on/off.
- look for not too many steps on (all white) or off (all black) at the same time.
- And the nicest ones I've seen (IMO) sort of step you down into the center then step you out of the center. When one facet lights up the previous
facet goes dark...they step like that all the way into the center and back out again. Its really cool to see when you find one that works that way.

So normally I would not pick chunky facets with thin ones tossed in but in this case, with a smaller size, it made sense(in my mind) to have chunkier
facets so they would be easier to see. If someone has really good eye-sight it may not be necessary....for me, definitely necessary!:lol:
 

Matthews1127

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What I look for (and there may be other good ones that other people use)
- look for even sized steps
- look for nice size/shaped windmills (subjective)
- look for the flashes (on/off of facets) to go all the way down into the center. This does not happen with a lot of stones. It stops and the center
never flashes on/off.
- look for not too many steps on (all white) or off (all black) at the same time.
- And the nicest ones I've seen (IMO) sort of step you down into the center then step you out of the center. When one facet lights up the previous
facet goes dark...they step like that all the way into the center and back out again. Its really cool to see when you find one that works that way.

So normally I would not pick chunky facets with thin ones tossed in but in this case, with a smaller size, it made sense(in my mind) to have chunkier
facets so they would be easier to see. If someone has really good eye-sight it may not be necessary....for me, definitely necessary!:lol:
I agree with this: step cuts should light up & dim in just the right pattern to ensure ultimate brightness, and fire.
In addition to these basic characteristics, each has their own personality, and add a bit of fun. Step cuts are very much like people, and need to be considered in quite the same manner as choosing a mate.
Broad facets vs. finer facets vs. a combo, fat windmills vs. thinner windmills, contrast vs leakage (ack! :eek2:). All of these are subjective and completely preference-driven.
It’s so necessary to be open-minded, while shopping for step cuts. I believe this really helped @-Asscher- find her “unicorn”, as I know she never expected to fall in love with the Sq EC she found, just recently. It’s also so important to really listen to your heart, when you search; the head tends to get in the way, a lot. ;)2 Eliminating a step cut based upon its certification, alone, could very well eliminate an amazing diamond, IRL. This is why having as much visual aid assistance, and even IRL evaluation is essential, while shopping for step cuts.
All of these components matter, and make fancy cut diamond searching all the more exciting (and frustrating). Patience must be a virtue...as difficult as it may be. PS help is almost a necessity to find “the one”, as the process can be exhausting, and lead to feelings of defeat.
I know without @OoohShiny’s suggestion to reach out to @diagem in my search for a suite of 7 beautifully cut Vintage Asschers, I’d still be searching for something that just isn’t found, frequently, or just anywhere.
PS is definitely the BEST place to come, when looking for something special, unique, and simply the finest quality...not just in diamonds, and gemstones, but in friends, and comrades. Expert advise, here, is immeasurable, and extremely invaluable. Having real discussions with experts like @Karl_K, @Rhino, @TreeScientist, @Texas Leaguer, @diagem, @Wink, @Winks_Elf, and so many other qualified vendors/experts has not only confirmed what I learned on my own, and from jewelers whom I trust, but I have increased my knowledge, exponentially, here. Learning from others who have experience working with vendors over the years, and reading about their ventures in custom projects has given me confidence in my journey to create my own bespoke piece.
This community has been a life-sustaining entity for me, because of my love of all things that sparkle; it’s my second home, so to speak.
You’ll find a multitude of differing opinions, here...but somewhere among them, you’ll find common ground, and that is why being here is so rewarding.
I know when @OoohShiny begins the exciting journey for the perfect step cut, there will be so many, here, ready to help! I know he was more than anxious to help me, even when I didn’t ask, and I will be forever grateful for the recommendation!! :kiss2:
 

princessandthepear

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@tyty333 and @Matthews1127, thank you for you for sharing your guidelinesothers and advice. I really appreciate it so very much. Didn't mean to threadjack just being enthusiastic for OP. I have always loved asschers and pear cuts for their individuality. Yet that variation makes it more difficult to learn what to look for and eventually find the one. This really is an incredibly diverse and helpful community and I am so grateful that people are willing to share their knowledge and time in helping others find their special gems.
 

marcy

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As others have said it is personal preference. I started my EC ring with a 1/2 carat diamond then upgraded it 3 more times. While I never minded the smaller size I wasn't sad to get a larger EC. I would recommend buying from someone with a good and full upgrade policy; that way if you find what you have isn't appealing to you anymore you can get something larger.
 

OoohShiny

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Thank you for the awesome replies, all! :))

I think the individuality and different 'flavours' of different stepcuts is what makes them so difficult to assess but also so attractive - who doesn't like 'the thrill of the hunt' for something elusive?! :)

I shall continue to window-shop, I think, as it's a lot of fun and does inspire one to work towards getting something shiny on the finger in the end :) All of your help is and will be much appreciated! And if we can all learn along the way, that's even better :) lol

I don't think I'll have anywhere near enough for a 6mm+ asscher for the foreseeable future but I think a 5mm would tide me over in the meantime! ;-) lol
 

dk168

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My first EC diamond ring was my ER, about 0.75cttw, with the centre stone about 0.5ct, can't remember the exact spec, sorry! I chose it as it provided good finger coverage and liked the look of ECs for their big flashes.

I then bought a 1.19ct E VS1 for myself as my 40th birthday present as I wanted a bigger EC over 1ct.

Being in UK, even in its original simple solitaire bezel setting, it was too blingy to wear for work and casual outings. So I bought myself a smaller EC about 0.47ct and have it set East-West in a band for daily casual wear.

Although I am very content with the large EC's current setting which is an air gap diamond halo, if I have a moderate win on the lottery, then I may have it reset in a different setting, either with a pair of step cut traps, or an Art Deco design with carré and round cuts diamonds.

If I win big on the lottery, then I would get a 4ct+ EC and have it set in a 3-stone with step cut traps at a heart beat! :bigsmile:

IMHO, there is no such thing as too big an EC as a ring, where as there is such as thing as too big a diamond in other cuts for me, including Asschers.

DK :))
 

stepcutnut

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I love to window shop jewelry! I hope you find a stepcut stone that fits your liking and your budget :)

One question-have you considered a light champagne colored step cut as to optimize your finger coverage within your budget? I have seen some really lovely ones!
 

avalonrose

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When I got engaged 20 years ago, my husband gave me a 1.32 ct emerald cut. I only have a size 5 finger but it's never given me the finger coverage that I wanted, never looked like a big chunk of ice like I wanted it to. I think to get that look you need at least a 3 carat, maybe even 4 or 5.
 
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