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The Cabochon Cut

SIMPLE CABOCHON: It has a flat back and a simple, curved top. The stone may be round, when looked at from above; or it may be elliptical oval, rectangular, or any other shape.

LOW CABOCHON: This has a much flatter top than the simple cab. It is suited for softer stones, such as turquoise, where a high protruding top is apt to be chipped and wom dull in a comparatively short time.

HIGH CABOCHON: It has an especially high top and is thus particularly suitable for a hard stone. Translucent material such as chalcedony or rose quartz is well adapted to this style because it preserves the greatest depth of color and at the same time acquires a deep glow from within the stone in addition to a high surface polish.

HOLLOW CABOCHON: The hollow cab has a concave bottom or back. This style of cutting is used for transparent stones which are so dark in color that light is largely lost in passing through unless the gem is cut in this way. Carbuncles, or deeply colored garnets, have their beauty materially enhanced when cut this way.

DOUBLE CABOCHON: This is a style where both top and bottom are convex; the curvature on the back is less than that on the top. It is useful where the stone is translucent or where it has certain inclusions, as in a moss agate, which will add to its beauty if retained rather than cut away by flattening the bottom. Double Cabochons should always be polished on both sides.

LENTIL CABOCHONS: A lentil cab is one which has identical curves on top and back. Opals, when cut this way, often present two sides which may be equally beautiful and yet quite different. Such stones when set in a pendant can be worn with either side presenting, as the wearer's fancy dictates. Hearts, as well as other pendants, are favored by many cutters for this style of cutting. These should always be polished on both sides.

("Gem Cutting" by J. Daniel Williams—via Grindings 6/94, Owyhee Gem Delvings 10/05, Rock Rollers 1/06