What is a Cabochon?

This is a question that comes up from time to time when I’m jewelry shopping with clients. For many, “cabochon” is a jewelry vocabulary word which may not be part of your daily vernacular. Pronounced “kab-uh-shawn,” it refers to a rounded, highly polished cut of stone with no faceting. Typically, this cut is an oval shape (though you’ll find it in other shapes as well) with a flat bottom. Alexis Kletjian recently posted this stunning photo of a group of phrenite cabochons. Beautiful, right?

phrenite cabochons via alexis kletjian
The word cabochon comes from the French word “caboche” which translates to “small dome.” Opaque gems such as turquoise, opal,¬†moonstone, and onyx are most commonly found in this cut, as opposed to transparent gems, which are typically faceted. Personally, I adore cabochon gems — they elicit a very mystical vision¬†in my mind.

So that you can get a clear handle on what cabochon jewelry looks like, I thought I’d share a few lovely examples.

Gabriella Kiss aquamarine ring

gabriella kiss aquamarine cabochon ring
Sundance rainbow moonstone ring

sundance rainbow moonstone cabochon ring
Irene Neuwirth turquoise cabochon band

irene neuwirth cabochon turuoise band
Jamie Joseph triple oval grey star sapphire and diamond ring

jamie joseph triple oval grey star sapphire ring with diamond
Nava Zahavi blue kyanite ring

nava zahavi blue kyanite cabochon ring
Tamara Comolli bouton rainbow moonstone ring

tamara comolli bouton rainbow moonstone cabochon ring
Irene Neuwirth tanzanite cabochon bracelet

irene neuwirth cabochon tanzanite bracelet in rose gold
Do you have any jewelry with cabochon gems in your jewelry box? Does this cut appeal to your sense of personal style? Please let me know in the comment section below — I’d love to hear from you.

August Birthstone: Peridot

Since August began, my Instagram feed has been full of sparkling peridot jewlery, honoring the birthstone for the month of August. Around August third I had one of those “Doh!” moments. Here I’ve been blogging about jewelry for over four years, and never have I written a series of articles about the birthstones for each month. (Sometimes my blondness amazes me.) So I’m very excited to explore the gems for each month, and we start with the peridot, which I learned is one of the few gems that comes in only one color. Ranging from a lighter yellow-green to a dark olive, the depth of the green is determined by how much iron is in the stone.

Known as “the gem of the sun” and “the emerald of the evening,” the peridot apparently has many benefits to its wearer, including the following:

-Happiness
-Prosperity
-Peace
-Enhances harmony in relationships
-Strengthens intuition
-Slows aging
-Attracts love into your life

What’s not to love about this list?! With that in mind, I started my search to see what fabulous peridot designs I could find. In no particular order, here’s eleven pieces that I would wear in a heartbeat.

Mayson peridot and diamond earrings via Zaver and Mor

mayson peridot and diamond earrings from zaver & mor
Ippolita five-stone peridot bangle

ippolita five-stone skinny bangle
Amrit birthstone necklace via Broken English

amrit birthstone necklace from broken english
Anne Sportun peridot wrap bracelet via Quadrum

anne sportun peridot wrap bracelet from quadrum
Carved peridot cameo with diamonds via Lang Antiques

lang antiques carved peridot cameo and diamond brooch pendant
Judy Geib peridot and emerald drop earrings

judy geib emerald, peridot and gold drop earrings
Jennifer Dawes square peridot stacking ring

jennifer dawes stacking square peridot band
Sydney Lynch Strata cuff with peridot, andalusite, tourmaline, and Umba sapphire

sydney lynch moss green strata cuff
Gabriella Kiss oval peridot ring via Quadrum

gabriella kiss oval peridot ring from quadrum gallery
Vintage peridot Jannecke ring via Brilliant Earth

vintage jannecke ring from brilliant earth
Melissa Joy Manning peridot earrings

melissa joy manning gold and peridot earrings
So what do you think? Is peridot a stone you can see yourself wearing? Happy birthday to my August birthday readers! I hope all your birthday wishes come true.