What is a cabochon?

Hi Paula,

I have a simple, quick question. I see the word cabochon used when describing turquoise and other stones on Native American jewelry. What does that mean?

Jill

Hi Jill,

That is a good question.

A cabochon is a stone that has been shaped, rounded and polished rather than cut into a stone with facets like a diamond. The resulting shape is usually a convex (domed, rounded upward) top with a flat bottom.  While very small stones can be made into round cabochons, larger stones are most commonly made into elliptical (or oval) shapes.

Here are some examples of cabochons in Native American jewelry.

NP275-larimar-yazzie-1

Larimar

NP413-ABCD-whitebuffalo-nelson-A

White Buffalo

NP464-onyx-lee-1

Black Onyx

NP464-onyx-lee-2

NP421-A-E-turq-yazzie-1

Turquoise

NP376-lapis-johnson-3

Denim Lapis

In contrast to cabochons are faceted stones such as this peridot gem – faceted stones are rarely seen in Native American made jewelry.

Peridot_cut_stones_peridot_faceted_stones

Paula

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s