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?
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.
9 thoughts on “What is a Cabochon?”
I learned a new word today and the examples are lovely!!
Gotta love adding to your jewelry vocabulary! xo
i have many cabochon pieces in my jewelry arsenal…it is by far one of my favorites…especially if it is in a vintage piece…
That’s great, Elena. I’ve seen some very lovely vintage cabochon pieces!
I have loved cabochon gems for a long time. The pieces you posted are beautiful!!
Glad you liked the eye candy. 😉
That aquamarine! That kyanite!
Right?! It really is one of my favorite cuts of stones. Somewhat mystical.
I agree. Definitely a cut for good witches to work magic with. I have quite a collection of cabs and even prefer certain stones in that cut – like, for example, aquamarine!!!