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The cabochon is one of the smooth cuts (i.e. without facets) of gemstones in which the bottom is flat and the top is evenly curved outwards ( convex ). A double cabochon, on the other hand, is also cut convex on the underside (see also lens ).


Fibula with garnet and glass cabochons from the Merovingian period (6th to 8th centuries)

The origin of the word comes from the French caboche and stands for "(shoe) nail" or "head".

Cabochons are among the oldest types of cut that can be made with simple means.

Description and application

The cabochon cut (also: mugeliger cut ) emphasizes and intensifies the shimmer inherent in the stone through its structure, such as adularescence , asterism , chatoyance and iridescence . It is therefore mainly used for cat's eye quartz , hawk and tiger eye , moonstone and opals . The cut is also an advantage for stones that have a special pattern or color shade.

Cabochons predominantly have a round or oval shape, but can also be based on the natural shape of the raw stone if this suits the look of the gemstone. Examples of this are rutile needles embedded in a star shape in quartz or animal inclusions in amber . Also fashionable aspects determine the shape of cabochons. Such free forms are also referred to as fantasy shapes or cuts.

High-quality gemstone cabochons are built into valuable clockworks as axle bearings to reduce friction between the parts.


  • Walter Schumann: Precious stones and gemstones. All kinds and varieties. 1900 unique pieces . 16th, revised edition. BLV Verlag, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-8354-1171-5 , pp. 71-72, 80 .

Web links

Commons : Cabochons  - collection of images, videos, and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Cabochon. In: Duden , accessed on January 4, 2020 .
  2. ^ Translation from French to German: Caboche. , accessed January 4, 2020 .