Cabochon Cut Gemstones

07/12/2017 968 0 0


In countries such as Great Britain and
America,faceted stones are seen as
the most desirable type of gem, and
less value is attached to cabochons. In
Germany however, a strong tradition
of producing well-cut cabochons mean
that buyers really appreciate the qualities
of light, colour and texture. 

Left to Right, Labradorite, Blue John, and Amethyst and Peridot Gemstone
 from Modern Vintage Style

The choice of material in the form of cabochons is much wider and cheaper, and it
lendsitself to greater flexibility in design. It is not surprising therefore that modern
jewellery designers opt to use cabochons more than faceted stones.


The majority of gemstone types from ruby and emerald to agate and quartz can be
found in cabochon form, including material that is too soft to be faceted such as
fluorite, amber, apatite,and rhodochrosite. Low grade material has traditionally
been used for cabochons, with the best gem material being kept for facted stones,
however quality is now improving.

Stars and cats eyes are always cabochon cut, as are the majority of stones with
interesting optical effects such as moonstones and opals.The gem material has
to be oriented correctly and the cut itself will affect the quality. A low dome will
display better schiller and iridescence than a high domed cut.


The most common problems wih cabochons are cracks and surface abrasions.
Flaws that are too close to the surface(which are unsightly and might cause
the stone to break), poor finish and polish,lack of symmetry , and dark or
muddy colour. Check that the slope from the base of the cabochon is enough
to allow it to be bezel set or mounted. If the slope is too sharp there is risk
of the girdle chipping while it is being set, and the stone may not be gripped
strongly enough by the setting. High domed cabochons need to be set
with care as the top of the stone can snap under presssure. Cabochons are
sometimes backed with a foil backing to increase brilliance.


Cabochon cuts can vary in both the outer girdle of the shape, and also the
convex curve of the surface.The shapes, such as the pear, marquise, and
cushion , are the same as those of faceted stones and they are cut in the
same callibrated sizes, but the weights are different. The base can be flat
or rounded as a double cabochon to increase colour density in lightly
coloured transparent stones. Cushion cuts are always popular. They can
have either  plain, smooth domes or be cross vaulted with ridges that
intersect on the diagonal.

Cabochon cuts     - Low dome, dome, cone, and bullet.
                              - Double bevelled, hollow (carbuncle), double, flat
                                cut(slab),buff top and buff top cross vaulted

Cabochon Shapes - Round, Oval, Pear, Square, Rectangle (cushion),
                                  Oblong, Octangon (Square) Octagon (rectangle)
                                  and Cushion antique