Posted by: alenegeed | August 13, 2013

I am Crazy About Cabochons!

Fellow jewelers know what cabochons are already.. right? However, for those of you out there that have NO idea what I am talking about; here is the formal definition from the Free Online Dictionary

cabachon full imagecab·o·chon (k b-sh n) n. 1. A highly polished, convex-cut, unfaceted gem. 2. A convex style of cutting gems. adv. In a highly polished, convex-cut, unfaceted style …

What is so great about cabochons?

First –  they are gemstones. Enough said.

Second – these gemstones have flat backings so they can easily be set into a bezel. That being said, there is an art to setting cabochons.  See more below.

Third – they are addictive!

The photo of my cabochons shown here. approximately 60 pieces) comprises no more than 20% of my entire stash. A few years ago I had the opportunity to purchase a large quantity of stones from a jeweler who could no longer work (due to his failing eyesight). Over the years he had not only accumulated many cabochons for his own business… but he had done much of the lapidary work as well. I am so privileged to have this collection to use in my own designs.

And then of course there is the GEM SHOW in Tucson twice a year.

Now I KNOW I really have no need of more quantity, but when something catches my eye my mind starts spinning with ideas on how to use this in my designs. Then I am hooked and happily purchasing more and more.

Someday, I am sure the remnants of my collection will be passed on to another emerging artist. He or she can experience the same joy and passion I feel every time I look at my cabochons and decide which ones will be incorporated into my next masterpiece.

Tips on Setting Cabochonsgemstone settings

A round cabochon is the easiest to set. If you have not done this before, start with a round stone.

Be sure the top of the bezel comes only to the point where the gemstones starts to arch or become convex. If the bezel is higher it will overpower the stone. If the bezel is too low the stone will not be secure.  (you can always file down the bezel if it is too high… BEFORE you add the stone, please!)

The image shows the proper height. This excerpt from Gemstone Settings by Anastasia Young. (an EXCELLENT book)

Push in the bezel from opposite sides  (12PM then 6PM, then 3PM, then 9PM)

I like to use scalloped bezels or gallery wire. It adds interest to the stone. You can find selections at most jewelry supply store.

Here are a few of my latest settings and raw stones . All are Red Creek Jasper – my new love!


check out my new designs at Alene’s Adornments!cabachon red creek jasper


  1. While the company I represent, Columbia Gem House, is known primarily as a mine to market source of exceptionally well cut faceted gems, we also cut cabs, including jadeite from Russia, ruby and sapphire from Malawi, blue chalcedony and sunstone from Mexico, and dozens of gem materials from around the USA. All are precisely cut, to make setting a breeze, all are absolutely natural (free of the usual enhancements), and all are cut under protocols to protect vulnerable workers from silicosis (a common and horrible, but avoidable, death among cutters in India and China). Contact me for more info, or see us in Tucson, at the AGTA Gemfair in the convention center.

    • thanks Eric. Good to have the connection

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: