What Is a Cabochon? Everything You Need To Know

The world of gemstones expands far and wide. As jewelry enthusiasts, we love learning everything we can and sharing our fascinating discoveries with you! We recently released a small collection of stunning cabochon rings. The love (and questions) for these domed beauties quickly flooded our inbox. If you have wondered what exactly a cabochon is, stick with us, and you’ll soon be in the know!

What Is a Cabochon?

A cabochon, pronounced as "cab-uh-shon," refers to a gemstone that has undergone shaping and polishing rather than being cut with facets. The origin of the term can be traced back to the French word "caboche," which translates to a colloquial word for head (most similar to noggin). Now that we have the adorably-derived terminology covered, we can better understand where the stone gets its name. Much like the crown of a head, cabochon gemstones typically exhibit a smooth, rounded, and domed top surface, paired with a flat base. These stones often showcase their natural inclusions and unique markings while accentuating striking visuals, such as growth lines, color-zoning, asterism, and more.


Types of Cabochon 

While several gemstones can be cut in this manner (known as “en cabochon”), it’s quite uncommon to find a cabochon diamond, as diamonds are made more brilliant by exposing their facets. Sapphire, as well as other softer stones, such as opals and sun/moonstones, are fantastic contenders for this style of cut. 

Purpose of the Cabochon Cut

A cabochon cut can be used to highlight the depth and unique appearance of the stone. Some styles are flatter with shallow domes, while others feature rounded and high domes, showcasing a greater depth.

Though cabochons can be fashioned into various shapes, the oval shape is the most commonly favored option (although we personally love pear cabochons here at Anueva).

In most cases, these gemstones sport a flat base, making them easy to set in jewelry. This cutting style has become a favored choice for transparent, opaque, and semi-opaque gemstones, offering a unique play of light that diverges from the traditional brilliance achieved through faceting.

photos of three cabochon rings

Explore Cabochon Jewelry with Anueva

 If you love experimenting with different types of jewelry, we encourage you to browse our available cabochon rings! These perfectly smooth and rounded domes are reminiscent of the childhood joy one feels when shaking a snow globe — a perfectly beautiful portrait of color and light brought to life within the confines of its rounded home.