Professional Jeweler Archive: Calling All Cabs

October 2000

Gemstones & Pearls/New Products


Calling All Cabs

This clean, tailored cut showcases exceptional color


The Cabochon cut has made a glorious return to the gem world. After nearly vanishing with the introduction of faceting in the 15th century, this cut with an unfaceted dome top and flat back was first revived in Art Nouveau jewelry and has gained new stature as an effective way to highlight the richly colored gemstones popular today.

“When done well, this cut offers a rich, dense color saturation attractive to so many people,” says Ken Stracuzzi, owner/goldsmith of KRS Goldsmithing, Southampton, PA. When showing a cabochon cut to customers, rotate it so light reflection brings out the different tones in the gem.

Among the most popular gems for this cut are deep amethyst, citrine, rhodolite garnet and rich pink tourmaline. Opals are also cut this way to highlight their play of color. “Because these gems are reasonably priced, a 6mm-by-6mm gem cabochon may cost only $300-$600 – affordable for almost all budgets,” says Kristy Gordon, sales and marketing manager of Idaho Opal & Gem Corp., Pocatello, ID.

The cabochon cut is not recommended for gems with inclusions or fractures that reach the surface because they could split in two. If your customer has her heart set on an emerald cabochon, for example, make sure the inclusions or fractures are restricted to the center of the stone and use a setting that protects the gem.

To display cabochon gems, group pieces to create a suite. Proper lighting within showcases is important to bring out the rich color, and use neutral backgrounds in displays. And as always, talk about the gem and the cut. The customer should buy a story as well as the piece of jewelry.

– by Lorraine M. Suermann, A.J. P

Assorted cabochon gemstone rings.

Bellini & Co., New York, City; (800) 265-2250 or (212) 355-6062, fax (212) 355-3963, www.belliniandco.com.

Rings (from left) feature oval cabochon citrine, frosted aquamarine, chalcedony, rubellite and blue topaz. The rings are available in 18k white or yellow gold. Suggested retail, $2,200 to $5,000.

Haggai Collections, a division of Gold Arama Inc.,
New York City, (212) 7830-7299,fax (212) 7830 0288.

14k gold earrings are set with garnet, opal, amethyst and blue topaz. The posts and lever backs are backed by Carla Corp.’s lifetime guarantee. Suggested retail, $60-$115.

Carla Corp.,
East Providence, RI; (401) 438-7070, fax (4501) 438-0455, www.carlacorp.com.

18k gold earrings from the “Sloppy” collection feature tear-shaped blue topaz.

Tamara Comolli Fine Jewelry/KWM Exclusive,
New York City; (212) 570-6065, fax (212) 570-6720.

A selection of 18k rings with cabochon gemstones, some with diamond accents. Suggested retail, $1,600-$5,200.

La Nouvelle Bague/Howard L. Grant,
New York City, (212) 750-0033.

18k gold bracelet is set with a 13-54-ct. buff-top amethyst, 1.29 carats of diamonds and mother of pearl. Suggested retail, $11,239.

Kabana,
Albuquerque, NM; (800) 521-5986 or (505) 843-9330, fax (5050) 843-9624, kabana@kabana.net.

14k gold ring with a 13.68-ct. watermelon tourmaline retails for $1,500.

Becky Thatcher Designs,
Glen Arbor, MI; (231) 334-3535.

14k gold pendant and earrings feature square garnet cabochons. Triple keystone for the set, $866.

Idaho Opal & Gem Corp.,
Pocatello, ID; (800) 635-9800, fax (208)233-0120.

14k gold pendant is bezel-set with gem silica chrysocolla and aquamarines and hangs from carved aquamarine beads. Suggested retail, $1,050.

Pearce Design,
Lebanon, NH; (605) 298-8833, fax (605) 298-0377.

From the Renaissance Series, these handmade 14k yellow, green and white gold earrings have green tourmaline cabochons, freshwater pearls and diamond accents. Hand-engraved by John Wade.

Sosa Designs Inc.,
Wilmington, NC; (888) 233-1444 or (910) 256-23243, fax (910) 2565-2243, spectrumgallery@bigplanet.com.

18k gold granulated brooch features blue chalcedony and blue sapphire. Suggested retail, $2,875.

Krespi & White,
Oakland, CA; (510) 420-0815, fax (510)420-0863.

18k gold pendant holds a 23-ct gem silica chrysocolla, 0.5-ct red spinel and 0.2-ct. diamond. Suggested retail, $3,450.

Michael David Sturlin,
Scottsdale, AZ; (480) 941-4105, msturlin@uswest.net.

Alternating circles and squares form these 18k bracelets enhanced with cabochon gemstones and diamonds. Your choice of 12 6mm cabochons and 12 3mm round diamonds totalling 0.76 carat. Suggested retail, $3,600.

MD Jewels,
Rochester, NY; (877) 635-3935, mdjewels@rochester.rr.com.

Hand-formed 14k Ribbon™ bracelet is set with a pear-shaped cabochon amethyst. Suggested retail, $850.

KRS Goldsmithing,
Southampton, PA; (215) 322-5077, fax (215) 396-9898.

18k gold rings feature blue topaz, amethyst, peridot or citrine. Suggested retail, $685.

Greta Garbo Designs Inc.,
San Francisco, CA; (425) 392-5676, fax (4515) 392-5677.

Star rings in the Promise 2000 Wishes for the Millennium Collection symbolize the aspirations and promise of the new millennium. Each ring is crafted in 14k gold and set with a 10mm-by-10mm square sugarloaf or 7mm-by-5mm oval amethyst, blue topaz or citrine cabochon. Suggested retail, $1,494-$2,016.

Circles of Wishes Inc.,
Aventura, FL: (305) 466-3006, fax (305)-466-2248.

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