Color: I Color or better. I Color with an Asscher or Emerald CutDiamond will give you the best value. Going higher in diamond color will give you an incremental benefit, but I'm not convinced it's worth the incremental price.
I don't recommend J color with Asscher or Emerald Cuts because they retain color slightly more than Round Brilliants and Princess Cuts.
Clarity: Stick to VS2 clarity for the best value. SI2 and SI1 clarity grades are generally not recommended with Step Cuts such as Asscher Cuts and Emerald Cuts. Step cuts aren't cut for their brilliance, so there's no break up of light to hide inclusions.
The table of an Emerald cut or Asscher cut is like a big clear unobstructed window into the center of the stone. Any inclusions there will be clearly visible. If you are looking for an SI1 or SI2 Asscher or Emerald Cut, then you must verify that the inclusion is not in the center of the stone.
Cut Parameters for Asscher & Emerald Cut Diamonds:
Depth: 60% to 68% (under 65% is relatively hard to find)
Table: 60% to 68%
Polish/Symmetry: Good, Very Good, or Excellent
Asscher: 1.00 to 1.05 is GIA's acceptable range for defining a diamond as "square."
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