I.J. Asscher was named after the father and founder of the company, which had a good reputation for the manufacture of diamonds. In this story there were four principal Asschers and me, namely.
Joseph, the cleaver who started his apprenticeship at the age of 12.
Lodewijk, who was still alive and present at the visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, and was a phenomenal hand cutter, and one of the very first machine cutters.
Elie, was probably unsurpassed by any of his brothers as a polishing expert.
Abraham, from the age of twelve to seventeen, learned and worked under the supervision of Elie and Henri Koe. Henri was later to be the polisher of the Cullinan Diamond. After this five years of polishing, experience and in those days it was a twelve hour working day, it had made the man an artist.
Jacob, the youngest of the brothers. I had only been cleaving for about, three years, but in those days there was such an abundance of rough diamonds that I had seen and handled more rough in that short period than the average diamond dealer will see in twenty years nowadays. I learned the trade from my uncle, A Asscher, and of course my brother Joseph. The skill of ‘marking’ for sawing and cleaving I taught myself.