A Lineage of Innovation: Asscher Legacy Meets Princess Style for Exclusive Brilliance and Increased Margin

Culminating a Journey of over 110 Years…

In a remarkable centennial journey, the Asscher cut diamond has recently been transformed for contemporary relevance with the evolution of the new, patented Asscher cut Princess™ diamond and sapphire line from Israel Itzkowitz of Quadamas. Itzkowitz, a well-known innovator in the stone cutting field, played an integral role in the development of highly distinctive and exclusive cuts for diamonds in the modern world, but he has always drawn inspiration and wisdom from the success of his predecessors. At the Turn of the 20th Century, Amsterdam jeweler, Joseph Asscher. developed the Asscher cut diamond in 1902, which now serves as a modern day classic and a world renowned cut in the diamond jewelry industry.  Just

over 30 years ago, Israel Itzkowitz, better known as Izzy, developed, with his partners Ygal Perlman and Bezalel Ambar, the Princess cut diamond, which has surpassed the Asscher to become the second most popular cut of diamonds in the world.  Second in popularity only to the round cut diamond, the Princess diamond essentially combines the high degree of light return of a round brilliant cut with a distinctive square or rectangular shape.

“We created the Princess cut with zero recognition resulting in our bank accounts,” Izzy comments wryly.  Chalking it up to youthful naiveté, Izzy has long since recovered from the financial disappointment with good humor and a hearty dose of philosophical hindsight.  “It’s better that no one owns the Princess cut,” he reflects. “Its popularity has been more widespread because it has been accessible to so many.”

Izzy next focused his career on developing the “invisible set,” which is a delicately-crafted continuous setting with no spaces or prongs.  In 2008, he turned his attention to perfecting a new cut – one that would capture all the parameters of brilliancy, dispersion and scintillation while offering today’s retailers an exclusive cut for their most distinctive consumers.  Izzy bravely combined the classically beautiful Asscher cut with the brilliance of the Princess cut. The result, his patented Asscher cut Princess (AcP) diamond, combines Asscher facets on the crown with Princess facets on the pavilion to effectively double the number of facets in one stone, thus creating a unique style with tremendous brilliance and sparkle.  The new cut has been described by the Editor in Chief of Rapaport Magazine as “a mix of the best two classics with positive brilliance”.

“The Asscher cut Princess is a truly a beautiful diamond,” says David Fairclough, owner of David Fairclough Fine Jewelers in Toledo, Ohio.  “There is far less light loss, which equates to a more brilliant diamond. Also, it is a cut corner square which eliminates the risk of chipped points so often seen in the standard Princess cut.”

The AcP diamond offers retailers an innovative blend of old world style with modern emphasis on brilliance, quality and distinctiveness.  Given the exclusivity of distribution, high end retailers can now evoke a bespoke sense of style for their best customers with the quality, sparkle and romance that consumers equate with the world’s hardest gemstone. The enhanced perception of value and singularity drives higher margins for the retailer.

“As a luxury retailer, I like to have something that no one else has, that is new and cutting edge,” says Rick Beaulieu, owner of Springer’s Jewelers, with three locations in the North East (NH & ME). Beaulieu believes that the Royal Asccher cut history and heritage behind the AcP collection is an important part of the product’s appeal. “It is connected to a tradition of excellence,” he explains.  “When my customers compare the Asscher cut Princess to other types of cuts, they really love it because the brilliance of the stone is spectacular. People want something that is beautiful but that not everyone else has.”

According to Fairclough, “The Asscher cut Princess allows me to offer another alternative to the discriminating consumer who prefers a ‘fancy shape’ diamond or colored gemstone.”

In the new age of color…

In 2012, Izzy also brought his highly regarded creativity to colored gemstones, offering an exciting look to the colored gemstone category, as well. His all-new, patented line of Asscher cut Princess (AcP) sapphires offers various colors and sizes of the precious gemstones, both loose and in finished jewelry designs by Izzy himself.  Well-known wholesaler Stuller. Inc. will hold the exclusive distribution of the AcP sapphires in the US market, offering overnight delivery for these contemporary sapphires in a variety of carat weights and colors, including pink, blue, yellow and white. Izzy’s company Quadamas uses only top quality sapphires, sourced from Ceylon (Sri Lanka) for this collection.

“In the sapphires, the results are also outstanding,” says Fairclough. “Very little light extinction and an abundance of brilliance bringing the best out of the gemstone! Customers are amazed at the amount of brilliance achieved in both the diamonds and the sapphires.”

Beaulieu agrees, “This is a new and completely different cut which shows off the sapphire really well. The workmanship and quality of the pieces is superb.”

This innovative new cut for precious sapphires holds six U.S. patents and offers enhanced brilliance and contemporary styling to the classic gemstone category. Like the AcP diamond, the patented AcP sapphire combines Asscher facets on the crown of the sapphire with Princess facets on the pavilion. The higher quantity of facets produces greater scintillation and dispersion for additional sparkle, along with decreased fragility due to the cut corners, creating a more durable stone resistant to daily wear fractures.  Retailers can now offer something new and unique to their colored gemstone collectors with the added value of exclusivity and durability. That perception of added value helps to justify higher price points and increased margins.

“Izzy is also part of the package,” jokes Beaulieu.  “You get him with the collection!  My customers and my staff just love him and his personality.  We all love to listen to his sales pitches and his funny stories.”

An innovator in marketing, as well as design, Itzkowitz has also produced a series of high definition jewelry-in-motion videos which are posted on YouTube for retailers to use on their own websites or for digital marketing/promotions and for educating consumers.

“We are delighted to infuse some excitement into the precious gemstone category,” says Izzy. “Lovers of colored stones now have a beautiful new look to add to their fine jewelry wardrobe.”

Izzy is also in development of both AcP Aquamarine and Tanzanite lines to further expand the Quadamas product offering. Committed to maximum brilliance and maximum yield, Izzy shares his formula for success, “I’ve learned, as a student on Campus Earth, that quality always adds value.”  JBA

Lemons to Lemonade… A Jeweler’s Success Story

Izzy, a self-proclaimed gemstone junkie, was “bitten by the diamond bug” at an early age.  Personal tragedy turned Izzy towards the bench and the alluring world of gemstones when he lost his mother at a young age.  Adopted by a friend’s father who owned a diamond-cutting business in Israel, Izzy spent his weekends and school holidays returning to the factory to perfect his craft.  His dedicated passion and his long-term work with these precious stones has created the narrative of his life.  He fondly recalls spending personal leave time from the Israeli Army working at the bench and experimenting with innovative new cuts for diamonds. Izzy confesses, “To this day, I still cannot explain the power these remarkable stones and this incredible craft have over me. I am a lucky man to have the privilege of creating success doing something I love so dearly.

Author:Jewelry Business Advisor

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