Handcrafted Cabochons Made in the USA

Why gemstones and lapidary materials become rare?

If you know what you’re doing, investing in lapidary material and gemstones can be exciting and rewarding. Many lapidary materials are only actively found on the market for a short time. Sometimes these materials may only be available for a matter of months. As lapidary material and the gemstones made from them become more popular, prices can increase rapidly. If a the supply of the material diminishes or is gone completely, the price of the material can skyrocket!

Most people don’t realize how rare any gemstone material is in the first place. It takes special combinations of minerals and circumstances to form most gemstones and these occurrences just don’t happen all that often in nature.



Indian Blanket Jasper
Indian Blanket Jasper from Enterprise, Utah

What is a Cabochon?

Cabochon in Bezel Example



A cabochon sometimes referred to as a “cab” is a stone (or other material) cut to a convex or dome. There are two basic styles of cabochons; calibrated and freeform.

Calibrated cabochons are commonly mass produced and cut by machines.  Calibrated cabochons are cut to a specific size and shape and are designed to be set in mass produced settings or bezels.

A lapidary or cabochon designer may choose to create a designer calibrated cabochon to fit a mass produced setting.  The designer will usually cut the cabochon to maximise the beauty of the stone.

Freeform cabochons can be any size or shape the designer can dream of within the limits of the equipment the lapidary is working with. Freeform cabochon designs are ideal for one-of-a-kind art jewelry.

Freeform cabochons are often called designer cabochons due to their unique shapes and sizes.


Freeform Designer Cabochons VS Calibrated Cabs


Small cabochons made of gemstones such as sapphire, ruby, emeralds and so forth are usually cut as calibrated cabochons.

These calibrated cabochons fit easily into pre-made settings commonly used in production jewelry.

Larger cabochons can also be calibrated. These calibrated cabs fit into pre-made bezel cups, mass produced belt buckles or other mass produced settings.

Freeform cabochons may be designed into any shape the designer wishes.  These shapes are usually designed to show off a specific pattern or maximize beauty.

Freeform cabochons are usually more costly than calibrated cabochons due to the amount of material that is lost during the cabochon creation process.


Why Use Designer Cabochons?

Indian Blanket Jasper Cabochon
A great example of the beauty of high quality Indian Blanket Jasper from Enterprise, Utah.

Mass produced cabochons are usually cut out of materials that have lots of unspecific patterns or no patterns at all.

This makes it much easier to create a product that looks consistent in mass produced jewelry.

Designer cabochons are cut in a manner that simply cannot be duplicated by machine cut cabochons.

Designer cabochons are often designed out of rare and unique materials that are not found in mass produced cabochons.

The unique shapes and rare minerals gemstone materials help to create a one of a kind finished product making them perfect for Silversmiths and Wirewrappers.


Where do we get our material?

Many of our cabochons are made from some of the rarest and unique gemstone material available.

Much of our material is rare old stock gemstone material that is considered “extinct” and can no longer be purchased except from old collections. We are always looking for old collections to add to our already huge inventory as well as looking for the next hot new designer cabochon gemstone material. By using rare old stock material, we can offer some of the most exciting freeform designer cabochons available.

An example of one of those freeform designer cabochons is the designer cabochon to the left. That freeform designer cabochon is made from Indian Blanket Jasper from Enterprise, Utah. Indian Blanket Jasper in the quality found in the designer cabochon shown on the right simply doesn’t exist anymore.

A nice example of extremely rare oregonite from Josephine Co., Oregon, USA

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