It’s Asscher’s 165th birthday this year, and I can think of no better way to celebrate than for someone to give me a gift. Please?
I wrote recently about the Royal Asscher diamond company. Founded in Amsterdam back when the city was still the center of the diamond cutting world, the company has managed to stay in the same family — and the same location — while cutting some of the world’s largest diamonds and developing the market’s most sought-after designs.
Not only that, but the company — and the family — has endured a history that would end most enterprises. During World War II, the nazis extracted all the wealth they could from the Asscher family and its employees before murdering them. By the end of the war, only 10 family members and 15 of the previous 500 employees survived.
To add insult to injury, while the family was imprisoned in the death camps, their patent on the Asscher Cut expired, leaving them unable to renew it. Because of that, the cut lapsed into the public domain, meaning any company could make use of it and call it their own. Even after the war, the rights weren’t restored to them, which seems to me like just one more bit of nazi-era looting.
But not only did the survivors return to rebuild the company despite that setback, but they chose to stay in Amsterdam. They stayed in their hometown even when the diamond industry largely decided to move on to Antwerp and Israel instead.
And now, as the company reaches its 165th birthday, it’s time to celebrate.
The Royal Asscher company recently announced it has acquired patents on two new diamond cuts: the Royal Asscher Oval Cut and the Royal Asscher Cushion Cut. The company also unveiled a new website and detailed an online strategy that will include “give-aways of jewelry and limited print editions of famous photos and images from our company’s archives.”
Which sounds good to me. So in case you need my mailing address, my inbox is always open.
Oh! In case anyone is wondering, I’m partial to the Royal Assher Cut (sentimental reasons!), and of the new ones, the Royal Asscher Cushion Cut.