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Article: Cabochon


Application and Purpose of Cabochon Cutting

  • Cutting cabochon is usually applied to opaque gems.
  • Faceting is usually used for transparent stones.
  • Soft gemstones with a hardness lower than 7 on the Mohs hardness scale are easily scratched.
  • Translucent gems are polished as cabochons to make the scratches less evident.
  • Domed cabochon cut can show the star or eye in asteriated and chatoyant stones.

Procedure for Cutting Cabochons

  • The procedure involves cutting a slab of the rough rock with a slab saw.
  • A shape is stenciled from a template onto the slab.
  • The slab is trimmed near the marked line using a diamond blade saw or a trim saw.
  • Rough rock is ground down using diamond-impregnated wheels or silicon carbide wheels.
  • The piece is then dopped onto a wooden dowel called a dop stick and ground to the template line.

Shapes of Cabochons

  • The usual shape for cutting cabochons is an ellipse.
  • The eye is less sensitive to small asymmetries in an ellipse compared to a uniformly round shape.
  • Cabochons on some watch crowns are circular.
  • The elliptical shape, combined with the dome, is attractive.
  • Circular cabochons on watch crowns are an exception.

Examples in a Gallery

  • Moonstone cabochons in a jeweler's window.
  • A round sapphire cabochon on the crown of a men's dress watch.
  • Amber pendants, including an oval cabochon pendant.
  • The oval cabochon pendant measures 52 × 32 mm (2 × 1.3 in).
  • Images of cabochons in various settings and jewelry pieces.

References and Historical Context

  • 'Rock and Gem' (1st Americaned.). DK. ISBN0-7566-0962-3.
  • 'Cutting and Polishing Gemstones - A Collection of Historical Articles on the Methods and Equipment Used for Working Gems'. Read Books Ltd. 2014. ISBN9781473395398. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  • The cutting and carving of gems were probably first done in ancient Babylon several thousand years before Christ.
  • Various references and sources related to gemstone cutting and cabochon making.
  • Additional information and historical context about the methods and equipment used for working gems.

Cabochon Data Sources

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