By: Nancy LT Hamilton
Last updated: 4/10/20, 2/8/18
Also see Split Card Setting for an easy, elegant setting.
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Stones – Cabochons
The parts of a cabochon are: the Crown or Dome, the Girdle and the Base. Cabochons can have beveled or parallel walls at the base.
Cabochons are usually polished. They generally are domed and have smooth, rounded tops. The bottom of a cabochon is either flat or beveled, slightly. But, they can be flat (Buff top) topped too. They come in many shapes and sizes. The type of stone varies but, they are usually opaque or transparent. Transparent stones aren’t often used as they are reserved for faceting. The reason is that the transparent stones reflect and refract light and are therefore well suited for faceting.
Common cab shapes:
- Buff-top – see image above of labradorite
- Bullet – Shorter Bullet Elongated Bullet
- Double – Domed on both sides
- High Dome – High dome onyx from Rio Grande Jewelry
- Low Dome
Stones – Faceted
There are two basic types of faceting: Trap or Step Cuts and Triangular or Kite-shaped Cuts. A round brilliant diamond (58 facets) employs triangular facets and an emerald cut stone is usually Trap/Step faceted. Some stones have a combination of triangular and step faceting.
Round Brilliant from Rio Grande uses Triangular/Kite-Shaped cuts.
Emerald Cut Stones in a beautiful ring by Diamonds by Lauren. Trap or Step cuts are used.
Close up, you can really see the differences.
There are even stones that are cabbed and faceted. A Rose Cut stone has a faceted top and a flat bottom.
Any stone that is not round, is considered a fancy cut stone.
There is a zillion (well, maybe not that many) shapes out there in gemland. I’m not going to list them all but, will show you pretty pictures of some of the more common shapes.
- Baguette – The baguette has stepped-cuts similar to an emerald cut stone. They usually have 24 facets and are cheaper than round or emerald cut diamonds. Usually used as side stones. They are not as brilliant as round cut stones.
- Baguette, Tapered – Essentially, a tapered baguette.
- Cushion Cut – Square or rectangular stones with subtly curving sides.
- Emerald Cut – A rectangular stone with the corners cut off. AKA: Octagon. Usually step-cut.
- Heart – Well, a heart shaped stone!
- Marquise – Pointed on both ends with curved sides.
- Oval – Considered a Fancy gemstone because it is more difficult to cut than a round stone.
- Pear – Teardrop or pear shaped.
- Princess – A deeper, relatively new cut. See additional information below. Princess cuts tend to be cheaper because the cut allows for more efficient use of the material. The quality of the material is usually of a higher quality for this type of cut.
- Square – 4 equal sides. Similar to a Princess cut square.
- Triangular – Many different shapes.
- Trillion – Triangular with (usually) gently bowing sides. Trillions are usually Brilliant cut.
More to come:
Setting types and/or names.
Some settings have several names.
- Applied prongs
- Backset/Reverse Bezels
- Basket (or Wire Setting)
- Bearing/Shoulder Bezels
- Bullet and Tongue Settings
- Conical Settings/Mounts
- Crown (or Coronet)
- Cup Bezels
- Cup: for beads, pearls, split peg
- Double Bezels
- Emerald Cut Bezels
- Fancy Settings
- Grain Settings
- Graver: Pavé, Bead, Raised stitches, etc.
- Marquise Bezels
- Marquise Wire Settings
- Mitered Prongs
- Modified Bezels/Irregular Bezels
- Octagonal Wire Settings
- Pear-Shaped Bezels
- Pearl Settings
- Picture Tab Settings (may aka as a frame setting)
- Pin Point
- Prong Settings for Irregular Objects and Stones
- Rectangular and Square Bezels
- Rectangular Wire Setting
- Slotted/Modular Setting
- Snap Settings
- Square grain
- Square Wire Setting
- Straight-Sided Bezels/Mounts
- Tap Settings
- Tapered bezel
- Triangular Wire Setting
- Tube Settings
Setting Tools – Making and Buying
not done yet
For Further Research
- AGTA (the American Gem Trade Association) – Gemstone information.
- Bryan Johnson – Gemstone information, blog, etc.
- Beyond 4Cs that has 23 links to free gemology courses and information.
- Diamonds Pro – well, information on diamonds.
- Gemstone Cuts and Shapes. E-Jewel by Livini Designs. No author. No date. Web.
- Gemology Online
- GIA’s Gem Encyclopedia
- Hoover and Strong – Hoover Azure Anniversary Bands – discusses what an azure is.
- The International Gem Society
- Jewelry Secrets.com – Lots of information on diamonds. This link is to information on the Princess Cut.
- Minerals.Net – Gemstone Directory on rocks, minerals, and gemstones.
- Royal Asscher – Information on the patented Royal Asscher Cut.
- White Flash – Information on AGSL Diamond Cut Grading – The Princess Cut
- 3 Ways to Tube Set a Stone: Parts One and Two
- Beginning Jewelry Projects: Making and Soldering a Pearl Ring
- Creating A Frame Setting For Cabochons: Part 1 and Part 2
- Flush Setting Faceted Stones
- How to Make a Bezel and Set a Cabochon: Parts One and Two
- How to Make a Domed Ring: Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3
- How to Make a Metal Cuff Bracelet: Part One and Two
- How to Resize a Ring
- How to Solder Settings, Bails and Wire
- How to Use: GRS Quick Change Sharpening Fixture
- How to Use Snap-On Settings
- The Flex Shaft And Its Many Uses
- Prong Settings for Unusual, Irregular or Oddly Shaped Stones