Cabochon, Art & Craftsmanship

Within the history of the lapidary arts, the so-called “cabochon” cut is considered one of the oldest techniques of cutting gems. If faceted cuts emerged between the 14th-15th centuries, the cabochon was known over 4000 years before.

Its name comes from the French “caboche”, which means “head”, due to the specific shape it offers the stone: a flat base and a raised, rounded volume, shaped like a dome.

Appreciated since Antiquity, this technique was practiced by craftsmen from China to the Mediterranean basin, via India, because it highlighted the color of the gemstones.

Sometimes relegated to second place by the jewelers of the previous centuries, it found favor in more recent aesthetic, as with Bulgari who made the cabochon cut a signature of the Maison, from the mid-20th century onwards.

Speakers: Gislain Aucremanne (Bulgari Heritage Curator Director) and Marie Chabrol (Gemmologist & Journalist)