Definitions for cabochonˈkæb əˌʃɒn, -ˌʃɔ̃
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word cabochon
a highly polished gem that is cut convexly but without facets
A convex-cut, polished stone.
A cabochon, from the Middle French caboche, is a gemstone which has been shaped and polished as opposed to faceted. The resulting form is usually a convex top with a flat bottom. Cutting en cabochon is usually applied to opaque gems, while faceting is usually applied to transparent stones. Hardness is also taken into account as softer gemstones with a hardness lower than 7 on the Mohs hardness scale are easily scratched, mainly by silicon dioxide in dust and grit. This would quickly make translucent gems unattractive—instead they are polished as cabochons, making the scratches less evident. In the case of asteriated stones such as star sapphires and chatoyant stones such as cat's eye chrysoberyl, a domed cabochon cut is used to show the star or eye, which would not be visible in a faceted cut. The usual shape for cutting cabochons is an ellipse. This is because the eye is less sensitive to small asymmetries in an ellipse, as opposed to a uniformly round shape, such as a circle, and because the elliptical shape, combined with the dome, is attractive. An exception is cabochons on some watches' crowns, which are round. The procedure is to cut a slab of the rough rock with a slab saw, and next to stencil a shape from a template. The slab is then trimmed to near the marked line using a diamond blade saw—called a trim saw. Diamond impregnated wheels or silicon carbide wheels can be used to grind the rough rock down. Most lapidary workshops and production facilities have moved away from silicon carbide to diamond grinding wheels or flat lap disks.
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