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Carre vs Asscher Cut Diamonds: How are They Different?

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Carre vs Asscher Cut

Knowing your preferred diamond cut is one of the first steps in selecting the right diamond ring.

Two types of diamonds that are less popular than others, but can still serve as the center diamond in an engagement ring, are Carre and Asscher cuts.

Asscher and Carre cuts may look similar at first glance, but the difference is that Asscher cuts have beveled corners, which gives them eight sides. Carre cuts have four sharp corners.

We’ll compare Carre versus Asscher cut diamonds, including an overview of each, their pros and cons, and how you should decide which cut is best for your ring.

What is a Carre Cut Diamond?

Carre cut diamonds are square step cuts that features four sharp corners. They’re facets resemble the style of other step cuts such as baguette and emerald cuts, but its overall shape mimics a princess cut diamond.

Carre Cut Diamond

Instead of the triangle-shaped facets found in brilliant cuts, they imitate a set of stairs cascading toward its center. These open, long facets allow viewers to see farther inside the stone.

It creates a vintage-style diamond that contrasts with the popular modern styles. To continue with this theme, you can place Carre cuts in settings that feature antique designs such as milgrain beads around the shank.

Carre cuts are the least popular step-cut diamond because most buyers who want a square-shaped diamond opt for the brilliance of a princess cut.

That being said, Carre cuts can be right for someone who prefers a subdued sparkle over flashy brilliance.

Pros

There are many pros of Carre cut diamonds that could make them the right fit for you.

Carre cuts display strong fire because of their elongated facets. Fire refers to the flashes of colored light that radiate from a diamond. 

Sparkling Carre Cut Diamond

Light enters the diamond and is then reflected out at different rates, which creates red, yellow, blue, and orange lights.

If your Carre cut has excellent polish and symmetry and is placed under LED lights, it’ll display high amounts of fire.

Carre cuts also have a lower cost-per-carat than brilliant cuts and many other diamonds. There are two reasons they sell for a lower price.

The first reason is there is lower demand for Carre cuts. Diamond retailers can’t charge as high of a price for them as they can for Asscher, round, princess, and marquise cuts.

Carre Cut Diamond in Platinum

Secondly, Carre cuts don’t result in wasting as much of the original diamond. In fact, Carre cuts use between 60-65 percent of the rough diamond, while round cuts use between 45-51 percent of it.

If you’re looking for a diamond with a low cost-per-carat, Carre cuts may be right for you.

They also offer an alternative to the most popular cuts for engagement rings. The most popular styles are round, princess, and marquise cuts diamonds, but some buyers want to avoid them and instead choose one that’s unique.

It’s rare to see Carre cuts as the center diamond, so it meets that criteria.

Cons

Carre cuts also have downsides you should consider.

Because they aren’t as popular as other cuts, there are fewer options available from diamond sellers. 

Many major retailers such as James Allen and Blue Nile don’t sell them as loose diamonds. The only options available are ones already placed in other pieces of jewelry.

Instead, you’ll have to rely on other in-person and online retailers who don’t always specialize in selling diamonds.

Carre Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

Carre cuts also have less brilliance than other cuts. They’re facets aren’t designed to maximize how much light is collected and returned, so it’ll appear dull compared to many brilliant cuts.

The large, elongated facets leak light and instead produce a subtle glimmer.

Brilliance is a valued trait for an engagement ring diamond, which is why buyers often opt for those cuts over Carre cuts. 

Another disadvantage of Carre versus Asscher cuts is their sharp corners leave it vulnerable to chipping. 

If one of its four corners experiences a hard impact, or the diamond is dropped, it’s more likely to break than a rounded or straight edge.

You should protect the corners of Carre cuts with a strong setting, whether a prong on each corner or a bezel around its edges.

The lack of brilliance in a Carre cut, and its large, deep facets, mean it shows inclusions and color more than brilliant cuts. 

The flaws inside a diamond aren’t hidden by white light, so twinning wisps, feathers, and other blemishes are more noticeable.

You’ll also have to choose a higher color grade for it to appear colorless to the naked eye. Instead of an I or H color grade from the GIA, we recommend you start your search with a G color grade if you want a Carre cut that appears colorless.

What is an Asscher Cut Diamond?

Asscher cut diamonds have a square shape with 58 step-cut facets. 

Asscher Cut Diamond

A unique feature is its cropped corners, which give it eight total sides. Four of its edges are much shorter than the others.

Its stair-like facets have a layered look referred to as a “hall of mirrors.” When viewed from the top-down, it has the appearance of a windmill.

Asscher cuts were invented in the early 1900s by the Asscher brothers. It wasn’t until the 2000s that they became more popular as engagement ring diamonds, known for a vintage style and high crown.

When they’re used in engagement rings, Asscher cuts are often the center diamond, as opposed to smaller accents placed along the shank.

Asscher Cut Engagement Ring

An alternative to the traditional Asscher cut is the Royal Asscher diamond. It has 74 facets, a deep pavilion, and is considered the first patented diamond cut.

Pros

Asscher cuts have many pros you should know if you’re considering one for an engagement ring or another piece of jewelry.

Asscher Cut Engagement Ring

It’s cropped corners mean it’s more durable compared to a Carre cut. 

Sharp corners are the most vulnerable places on most diamonds, but the beveled edges on an Asscher cut provide its corners extra strength.

If the diamond is dropped or struck against a surface, it’s less likely to break, especially with a strong setting.

Asscher cuts also have a lower cost-per-carat compared to other cuts.

Blue Nile, an online diamond retailer, analyzed how price-per-carat changes based on a diamond’s shape. 

1.01 Carat Asscher Cut Diamond

It found Asscher cuts are 44 percent less expensive than round brilliant cuts and 15 percent less than step-cut emerald diamonds.

If you’re looking to save money compared to other cuts, you should explore Asscher diamonds.

Another advantage of Asscher cuts is they come in a variety of length to width ratios. The traditional ratio is 1.00, but anything between 1.00-1.05 will appear as a square to the naked eye.

You should stick within this range for an ideal cut, but if you prefer a rectangular shape, there are variations with a length to width ratio of more than 1.05.

Cons

You should also know the cons of Asscher cuts.

Its step-cut facets exhibit low brilliance because they aren’t designed to collect and reflect light.

It produces a much more subtle glow compared to brilliant cuts and is instead comparable to a Carre cut. It’s why they account for less than one percent of engagement ring diamonds.

Asscher Cut Diamond Ring

Instead, they can be used in antique settings that aren’t meant to highlight sparkle.

This lack of brilliance also means inclusions are more visible. The large facets provide a window into blemishes that are more noticeable to the naked eye.

While brilliant cuts can be eye-clean with an SI1 clarity grade, you may have to choose a VS2 clarity grade or higher for an Asscher cut to have the same effect.

The same principle applies to color. While some buyers prefer a soft yellow glow in Asscher cuts, you’ll likely have to choose a H color grade or higher for it to appear colorless.

1.01 Carat Asscher Cut

The GIA also doesn’t grade the cut quality of Asscher diamonds or other fancy shapes. 

The extensive number of shapes of these diamonds has kept the GIA from developing a consistent grading system.

You’ll have to rely on other measurements such as its depth, symmetry, polish, and length to width ratio in order to know whether it’s a quality cut.

Is a Carre or Asscher Cut Diamond Right For You?

The decision between a Carre versus Asscher cut diamond involves understanding the primary traits of each and which qualities are important to you.

Each diamond cut has unique characteristics that may make it the right fit for your style, whether it’s for an engagement ring or a different piece of jewelry.

Here are some tips to help you decide between a Carre and Asscher cut.

A Carre cut may be right for you if:

  • You’re looking for a step-cut diamond with fire
  • You want a low cost-per-carat
  • It’s important to you that your diamond is a unique cut not found on many other rings
  • You’re willing to protect its corners with a strong setting

You should consider an Asscher cut if:

  • You’re looking for a durable step-cut diamond
  • You want a diamond with a lower cost-per-carat than brilliant cuts
  • You aren’t concerned about brilliance and fire in your diamond

Explore both Asscher and Carre cuts so you can view how they fit in different types of settings. 

You may prefer a solitaire setting that focuses on the center diamond, or you could embellish the ring with pave or accents.

Whether you choose an Asscher or Carre cut, you can build the perfect ring for your style.

Devon Tyler

Devon Tyler

Devon Tyler is the founder of TeachJewelry.com.

He earned an Applied Jewelry Professional Diploma from the Gemological Institute of America and now brings you essential information about diamonds, settings, and more.

Devon has consulted with leading jewelry brands, and his work has been cited in Diamond Nexus and other industry publications.

He's also a member of the International Gem Society.

Devon enjoys discussing jewelry with readers, so contact him with any questions at tyler.devon@teachjewelry.com.

Learn More About Devon

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