» Beading Definition: Cabochon
A gem or bead cut in convex (domed) form and highly polished but not usually faceted. Cabochons usually have a flat underside. Cabochon cutting is most popular for opaque gems, and cats eye, star or other chatoyant stones. The most common shape for cabochons is oval, as this shape is attractive, and it is harder for the eye to detect slight imperfections in this shape.
A round cabochon must be carefully cut and ground with perfect symmetry. Cabochons may also be found in squares and rectangles, as well as more modern or naturalistic asymmetrical shapes. It is their smooth domed tops and flat undersides that cause them still to be classed as cabochons.