Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Not So Wordless Wednesday: Champagne and Diamonds Event in NYC - Royal Asscher Diamonds, Where Luxury Meets HEART!

Last week I was invited to a Champagne and Diamonds Event, and I have to admit, being born in the month of April (which makes Diamonds my birthright ahem I mean birthstone) I was quite a bit intrigued about what the night would bring! As a girl who of course loves Diamonds, I already knew that the Asscher Cut Diamonds are considered to be among the Worlds Finest. And now the 21st Century brings The Royal Asscher Cut, a signature diamond cut for Royal Asscher.

It is very rare for a brand to open their doors and allow you in for a full behind the scenes no holds barred sneak peek. And bloggers, editors and socialites alike enjoyed an evening in New York City's infamous Diamond District sipping Champagne and learning all about the history of the Asscher Diamond Company run by Fifth and Sixth Generation Asschers upholding a 160 year old tradition of Diamond excellence and innovation. Over 90% of Royal Asscher Diamonds are above VS2 clarity!

An Amazing History:

Both the Excelsior and Cullinan Diamond's were cleaved by the Asscher Family, specifically by Abraham Asscher (Excelsior - 997 carats) and Joseph Asscher (Cullinan - 3,105 carats) respectively. The two largest stones cut from the Cullinan Diamond, called Cullinan 1 and Cullinan 2 can be found in Great Britain's Crown Jewels.

Edward Asscher stands in front of a photo of his Grandfather, Joseph Asscher as he cleaves the Cullinan Diamond

Getting the chance to learn of the company's history and charitable works directly from Edward Asscher was certainly un-forgettable, and team Asscher couldn't have been more personable or more welcoming.

Replica of the Imperial State Crown which contains the Cullinan 1 and 2 Diamonds

The replica for Kate Middleton's Diamond Tiara was also on display and while this isn’t Kate’s official tiara, nor is it the tiara she wore on her wedding day, the tiara was inspired by Kate and is an absolute stunner! (See Photo Below):

Kate Middleton Tiara designed by Royal Asscher’s Reena Ahluwalia

Where Luxury Meets Heart

The Asscher Family has made a commitment to Social Good that extends way beyond just avoiding 'blood diamonds', they don't source from Sierra Leone so all of their Diamonds are considered 'conflict free' but despite the fact they don't use Diamonds from Sierra Leone, they still give back to Africa. They have three main iniatives that I wanted to share with Ascending Butterfly readers because I love when brands find ways to give back!

Stars of Africa:

The Stars of Africa Collection (named after the largest Diamond ever found, The Star of Africa (aka Cullinan Diamond), is a fundraising initiative launched in 2009,  to improve the infrastructure in Africa by creating funding for healthcare, education and self-sufficiency programs with a portion of the proceeds from each piece in the Stars of Africa Collection. The collection is incredibly fashion forward (it includes rings, pendants, cufflinks, colliers and earrings) and have been fondly nicknamed by many 'The Diamond Snow Globes' as the Diamonds are suspended in a silicone fluid that allows them to appear to float.

Stars of Africa Diamond Rings

The floating diamond part came from my love affair with snow globes. It’s always so mesmerizing, I can't stop staring at them, and I have noticed many agree with me. It is such a beautiful concept; it keeps you looking at it all day.” – Lita Asscher

I have to admit to being a bit obsessed with this collection, as it combines two joys of mine, Diamonds (which are certainly this April Baby's best friend) and GIVING. I got to meet Lita Asccher, Royal Asscher's President, during the Champagne and Diamond's event and her passion for helping the people of Sierra Leone is very much infectious!

The Diamond Empowerment Fund - A non-profit international organization


Founded in 2007, The Diamond Empowerment Fund™ (D.E.F.) is a non-profit international organization with the mission to raise money to support education initiatives that develop and empower economically disadvantaged people in African nations where diamonds are a natural resource.

Seven Bar

Royal Asscher Special Collection in support of Seven Bar Foundation. A Foundation which empowers women via microfinance by helping them out of poverty and into business. Available on CoutureLab. Every sale results in a 25% retail profit to benefit the Foundation and women around the world.

Edward Asscher hinted that another philanthropic effort is in the works and once I have more details I'll be sure to share it with you my butterflies!

More behind the scenes photos:

Left: Lita Asscher Right: Edward Asscher, Father and Daughter face behind the Royal Asscher Brand

Had my camera had burst mode, I would have caught a very sweet kiss on the cheek that Edward gave Lita!

Left: Lita Asscher, Center: Ascending Butterfly, Right: Edward Asscher

Left: Ascending Butterfly, Center: Edward Asscher, Right: Mama Butterfly

I love that Royal Asscher is where Luxury meets Heart. The Asscher Family is incredibly down-to-earth, Socially Conscious, Innovative and Fun. I have to say living in the City that Never Sleeps has its perks, but this evening of Champagne and Diamonds, wasn't just another night in New York City, it was an honor and a pleasure! You can stay updated with Royal Asscher on both Facebook and Twitter or sign up for their newsletter.
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FTC Disclosure: Gift Bags were provided to event attendees. All opinions are 100% my own. No additional compensation has been received.

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