After 50 years heading the family business, Edward Asscher (pictured) has retired from the Royal Asscher Diamond Co.
With his departure, his daughter Lita Asscher and son Mike Asscher will serve as the firm’s copresidents. They are the sixth generation of their family to work at the firm, which was founded in 1854.
Edward Asscher joined the family business in 1970, working alongside his father and uncle. Ten years later, he became the company president, working with brother Joop, who died in 2006. He is given credit for expanding the company’s international presence, including in the United States and Amsterdam.
Asscher plans to stay involved in the industry. In June, he will begin a two-year term as president of the World Diamond Council, which represents the diamond industry in front of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. He currently serves as the group’s vice president. He also served as president of the WDC from 2014 to 2016.
He was president of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association, president of the International Diamond Council, and past president of the Liberal Party in Amsterdam. He served as a senator for the Liberal Party in the Dutch parliament from 2007 to 2011.
In 1999, he received a knighthood for his social and ethical work and was consequently named an officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau.
Based in Amsterdam, the Asscher company is considered one of the industry’s most prestigious companies and is best known for developing its namesake cut in 1902. The Asscher cut is considered the world’s first patented cut diamond.
The company also cut and polished the 997 ct. Excelsior diamond and the 3,106 ct. Cullinan rough diamond, which is considered the largest rough diamond ever found. The diamonds that were cut from the Cullinan are now part of the United Kingdom’s Crown Jewels and Queen Elizabeth’s collection.
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