By Lenore Fedow
Edward Asscher, center, will retire after 50 years with the Royal Asscher Diamond Company. His daughter Lita Asscher (left) and Mike Asscher (far right) will serve as co-presidents of the family business.
Amsterdam—Edward Asscher will step down as president of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company after fifty years in the family business.

Following his departure, his daughter Lita Asscher and son Mike Asscher will serve as the company’s co-presidents, marking the sixth generation of the Asscher family to run the business.

“Everything he taught us means the world to us. Mike and I will uphold his legacy and pass it on,” said Lita Asscher in a statement announcing her father’s retirement.

“Working alongside my father has been an incredible experience. He has been a mentor, friend, and business partner for over 21 years,” said Mike Asscher.

20200303 Edward AsscherEdward Asscher joined the family business in 1970, working alongside his father, uncle, brother, and children over the years.
The new generation has focused on manufacturing fancy diamond cuts and investing in new technology, which led to the company patenting four proprietary diamond cuts.

Edward Asscher joined the business in 1970, apprenticing with his father and uncle, before stepping up as president in 1980.

He worked alongside his brother Joop, who passed away in 2006, for 36 years.

During his time holding the reins, he expanded the company’s international reach and developed strategic partnerships.

The company celebrated its 165th anniversary last June with the launch of a new website and the introduction of a pair of new diamond cuts.

Asscher described his five decades with the company as an “extraordinary journey.”

“Our industry has had its challenges in many aspects, but ethical standards, transparency, innovation, and professionalism have become the norm and will keep the industry as beautiful as the product itself,” he said.

Outside of the family business, Asscher advocated for a more ethical diamond industry and held positions on the boards of charities and industry groups.

Royal Asscher has been a member of the Responsible Jewellery Council since 2017.

He served as president of the World Diamond Council from 2014 to 2016, a role he will take up for another two-year term this June.

He previously was president of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association and the International Diamond Council.

Asscher also branched out in politics, serving as president of the Liberal Party in Amsterdam and as a senator for the Liberal Party in the Dutch parliament from 2007 to 2011.

He was knighted for his social and ethical contributions and named an Officer in the Order of Oranje-Nassau.

Founded in Amsterdam in 1854 by Isaac Joseph Asscher, the company has a storied history, known as an industry heavyweight and one of the world’s largest diamond polishing companies.

It may be best known for the creation of the original Asscher Cut diamond, the first patented cut diamond, created by Joseph Asscher in 1902.

The company also cut and polished the 997-carat Excelsior diamond and the 3,106-carat Cullinan rough diamond.

The stones are part of Great Britain’s Crown Jewels and Queen Elizabeth’s collection.

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