Cabochons and Gem Stones are quite important in jewelry design, they are often the center and focal point in many designs. These are hand picked and carefully selected pieces based on their special characteristics, such as their brightness, color, patterns, size or transparency.
A cabochon is a smooth stone, often domed and not faceted. Cabochons may have a flat back or domed. A cabochon shape may vary, though the most common one is oval.
The cabochon polishing is used for stones with little or no transparency, such is the case of Rubies and Emeralds who are relatively opaque. Polishing allows some gem stones to be better appreciated by their specific qualities, for example: the vein and lines of stones like Malachite, Agates and Jaspers; the color in Turquoise and Lapis Lazuli; the inclusions in the case of Amber; the inner reflects of the Ruby and Star Sapphire and the iridescence of the Opals; and some other stones such as Labradorite.
There are two categories of faceted stones, the first one includes al round shapes, while the other one encompasses all the linear cuts.
• Round shape faceted cuts:
The Brilliant Cut, originally designed for diamonds, maximizes light dispersion on gems, bringing the light beams towards the inside of the stone, to then reflect them, producing a “fire” and brightness effect.
The Briolette Cut is an elongated pear-shaped cut with triangular facets and flat back.
The Mixed Cut is generally used for Rubies and Sapphires, since it enhances their opacity. It is the combination of a brilliant and stepped cut.
• Linear shape cuts:
The Step Cut (or trap cut) is used mainly for colored gem stones. This cut in rectangular shape is generally used to protect fragile gems from any damage.
The Scissor Cut (or cross cut) is a modification of the step cut, in which the steps are divided in triangular facets that provide more light to the gem.
The French Cut is generally used in small gems with rectangular, square or triangular shapes. This cut is used for channel settings.