|Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) / What Does "Cabochon" Mean?|
What are "Cabochon" Gemstones?
In the gemstone world, a "cabochon" is a stone that has been cut (or shaped) with a highly-polished rounded, domed or convex top, with no faceting of any kind. The bottoms of cabochons are described as "flat", but many will have slightly curved or undulated bases. Cbochons are often left with slightly rough or unfinished bottoms, which makes it easier for jewelers to mount them into jewelry settings. Cabochons may be cut into any shape, although oval is by far the most common.
The term "cabochon" comes from the French word, "caboche", which means "knob" or "small dome". Certain gemstone types are almost always "cut en cabochon", such as opal, turquoise, moonstones, cat's eye gems and star gemstones, including star sapphire and star ruby. In the gemstone world, you will often hear the term "cabochon" shortened to just "cab"; for example,the act of cutting a cabochon, 'cabbing' -- or when gemstone rough is unsuitable for faceting, it may be referred to as "cabbing rough".
- First Published: February-20-2006
- Last Updated: September-08-2017
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