Asscher History

The King’s Sceptre with the Cross of the British Royal Crown Jewels. Redesigned in 1910 to incorporate the Cullinan I diamond of 530 carats.

Joseph Asscher cleaves the Cullinan

The Asscher family have been passionate artisans and 
experts of the diamond industry since 1854. A diamond family of 
incredible history.

In 1903 the Asscher’s cleaved, cut and polished the 995 
carats Excelsior diamond, which at the time was the largest rough 
diamond ever discovered. It was found on June 30th in 1893 at the Jagersfontein mine in the Orange Free State, one of the South African Republics. It was finally manufactured by the 
I. J. Asscher Diamond Company into 11 exceptional polished 
diamonds weighing from 9 to 69 carats.

The Excelsior still remains the second largest rough diamond of gem quality ever found. The Excelsior diamond was then 
surpassed in 1908 when Joseph Asscher (Jan Maarten’s Great 
Uncle) and his brothers cleaved, cut and polished the Cullinan 
diamond, which was discovered on the 26th January in 1905, at the Premier No. 2 mine, near Pretoria, South Africa. It was the largest 
rough diamond ever found in the world and weighed an amazing 
3,106 carats.

It was expertly cut and polished into 9 important diamonds, ranging in size from 4 to 530 carats. The largest of these 
diamonds became known as the Great Star of Africa or 
Cullinan I and adorns the King’s Sceptre with the Cross of the 
British Crown Jewels. The second largest of these diamonds, at 
317 carats, was fashioned into a rectangular cushion cut and 
became known as the Second Star of Africa and adorns the Royal 
Imperial State Crown of Great Britain.

Royal Imperial State Crown of Great Britain, manufactured in 1937 features the Cullinan II of 317 carats.
A visit to the Asscher diamond factory in 1911 by President Falliéres of France and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.

The Asscher brothers discussing a polishing strategy for the Cullinan diamond circa 1907.
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