What is an Ashoka-Cut Diamond? | The Diamond Reserve

What is an Ashoka-Cut Diamond?

When it comes to rare and exclusive stones, it’s hard to find one more impressive than an Ashoka-cut diamond. A modified cushion-cut, an Ashoka diamond is expensive, extravagant and nearly flawless, and likely only found on fingers of the elite. Known for its distinctive, trademarked cut and dazzling facets, this is a stunning choice for a diamond, ruby, sapphire or emerald engagement ring that is sure to catch everyone’s eye.

Where Did the Ashoka Diamond Come From? 

The Ashoka cut is a modified cushion cut with a rectangular shape and rounded corners. This cut is extremely rare because it requires a large rough diamond, at least three carats in size that’s essentially flawless, which accounts for less than 1 percent of all rough diamonds mined each year. The Ashoka has 62 facets compared to the 57 found in a regular round brilliant cut, which makes the stone appear larger than it really is.

The story of the original Ashoka diamond dates back to 3rd century B.C. when a legendary 41.37 carat, D flawless color diamond was named after one of India’s greatest emperors, Indian warrior-turned-pacifist, Ashoka Maurya. Having spilt a lot of blood, the ruler came to believe the true path to enlightenment could only be achieved through tranquility, and encouraged his subjects to practice Buddhism. His namesake stone cut is said to banish sorrow, and over the centuries, this remarkable diamond has passed through the hands of connoisseurs, collectors, royalty and celebrities.

In 1947 the Ashoka fell into the hands of famed American jeweler, Harry Winston, and was later bought by the jewel-adoring Mexican actress, Maria Felix. She sold it to art dealer Roberto Polo in 1984, who presented it as a gift to his wife, Rosa. The diamond was last seen in public in 1988 at Sotheby’s precious gems auction in St. Moritz. William Goldberg’s son, Saul and his wife Dale were there hoping to bring home the treasured stone, but it sold to an anonymous buyer for a record price of $3.85 million, and then disappeared from sight.

Ashoka Cut Diamonds Today 

Pulled from a long forgotten mine in India’s Golconda region, and cut by an unknown artist of remarkable skill, legendary diamantaire William Goldberg, who had a unique talent for transforming rough stones into legendary gems, laid eyes on the original Ashoka and was mesmerized. He spent years studying and perfecting the cut, and in 1999 secured a patent to produce the ASHOKA®. In 2015, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recognized the ASHOKA® diamond’s distinctiveness by issuing a federal trademark. 

The modern Ashoka cut requires highly skilled craftsmanship, is exclusive, cannot be duplicated, and can only be purchased through William Goldberg and its partners. What sets the Ashoka apart is the unique arrangement of facets, which includes alternating wide and narrow facets that create a captivating pattern of light and reflections. William Goldberg, who was fond of saying, “you shouldn’t cheat a diamond of its right to be beautiful” engineered a cut designed to maximize a diamond’s brilliance, fire and scintillation that enhances the gems’s natural beauty by emphasizing its unique optical properties. 

In 2010, Jim Toth proposed to Reese Witherspoon with a custom Ashoka cut diamond, which caught a lot of attention because most of the world had never seen this rare cut. Her ring features a 4-carat diamond in a platinum solitaire setting, and a pavé diamond band. Because an Ashoka is made to shine on its own, one of the best settings to choose is a solitaire. Ashoka-cut diamonds are a perfect choice for a bride who’s looking for a distinctive and exclusive ring. 

The Diamond Reserve has a magnificent selection of magical diamonds in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and can help you pair it up with a one of a kind setting. Give us a call at 303-385-8449 or click here to schedule your appointment to begin your exciting diamond journey.