Just when you thought you knew all about the four Cs, we’re going to tell you about another one: cabochon. Of course, this C has nothing to do with diamonds, but a lot to do with other precious gems you might see when shopping for jewelry in South Florida.
The cab—that’s the cool lingo for cabochon—is a dome-shaped, polished cut. There are no facets, which is why it won’t work for diamonds and such; instead its flat base is set, and the rounded portion is what shows. Though ovals—like you see in these opal earrings—are the most popular shape, you’ll see a lot of rounds, and even triangles in your jewelry buying travels. Cabochons can actually be any shape.
It’s a little bit of a misnomer to call cabochon a “cut,” because, as noted previously, there are no facets. Instead, the softer stones are shaped and polished, which is much simpler than the cutting involved with faceted stones. Not surprisingly, before the sophisticated technology that is now available for cutting harder gems, cabochons were very popular. When new cutting tools became available in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth century, maximizing light became the primary focus in gem cutting. For opaque stones, this remained the cabochon, which is still popular for these gems: moonstone, opal, onyx, and turquoise. The cabochon style also makes scratches—which are the bane of softer stones—harder to see. It can also hide flaws in lower quality stones.
So visit pawn shops in Fort Lauderdale, and check out the cabs with your newfound confident knowledge.