Wintersong Ring

Cabochons: from Traditional to Cutting Edge

A life-long admirer and collector of gem specimens, Adam graduated to cutting and polishing cabochons at age 10. This early experience with lapidary proved formative and lead him to jewelry making in the years that followed. Cabochons, especially examples from lapidary innovators like Munsteiner, continue to inspire and serve as an integral part of Adam’s work.
Calling a gem cabochon refers to the way that the stone has been cut and finished. Namely, cabochons feature smooth and highly polished surfaces, usually with a convex or domed top and a flat base. The subtle beauty of a cabochon cut is timeless and helps to display different, sometimes hidden, aspects of a gemstone’s character and allure.
https://www.adamneeley.com/wintersong/

Cabochons: from Traditional to Cutting Edge

A life-long admirer and collector of gem specimens, Adam graduated to cutting and polishing cabochons at age 10. This early experience with lapidary proved formative and lead him to jewelry making in the years that followed. Cabochons, especially examples from lapidary innovators like Munsteiner, continue to inspire and serve as an integral part of Adam’s work.
Calling a gem cabochon refers to the way that the stone has been cut and finished. Namely, cabochons feature smooth and highly polished surfaces, usually with a convex or domed top and a flat base. The subtle beauty of a cabochon cut is timeless and helps to display different, sometimes hidden, aspects of a gemstone’s character and allure.
Night Star Pin Pendant

Pictured above is Night Star Pin/Pendant, displaying a rare star rutilated quartz cabochon cut by lapidary Steve Walters

History indicates that cultures around the world celebrated gemstones by cutting and polishing them into cabochons. Bronze Age archeological finds from Mesopotamia include intricate serpentine amulets, early dynasty Egyptians donned turquoise, and polished jade was significant in pre-Christian Germanic, Chinese, and Moari cultures.
This decidedly ancient lapidary tradition has flourished and developed over time. In the early 1400s, gemstone faceting became the favored method for cutting translucent gems, while cabochon cutting remained the preferred style for opaque and transparent specimens. By the end of that century, the little town of Idar-Oberstein, Germany emerged as the gemstone cutting capital of the world. Innovators there began using mills, which could harness the power of flowing water to grind, cut and polish agate and amethyst from nearby mines. Today Idar-Oberstein remains an important city for gemstone cutting, as home to many stone cutters including the multi-generational Munsteiner lapidary house. The Munsteiners rose to fame for pioneering the Fantasy-cut and remain at the forefront of lapidary innovation.
History indicates that cultures around the world celebrated gemstones by cutting and polishing them into cabochons. Bronze Age archeological finds from Mesopotamia include intricate serpentine amulets, early dynasty Egyptians donned turquoise, and polished jade was significant in pre-Christian Germanic, Chinese, and Moari cultures.
This decidedly ancient lapidary tradition has flourished and developed over time. In the early 1400s, gemstone faceting became the favored method for cutting translucent gems, while cabochon cutting remained the preferred style for opaque and transparent specimens. By the end of that century, the little town of Idar-Oberstein, Germany emerged as the gemstone cutting capital of the world. Innovators there began using mills, which could harness the power of flowing water to grind, cut and polish agate and amethyst from nearby mines. Today Idar-Oberstein remains an important city for gemstone cutting, as home to many stone cutters including the multi-generational Munsteiner lapidary house. The Munsteiners rose to fame for pioneering the Fantasy-cut and remain at the forefront of lapidary innovation.
Cabochon gems truly are timeless. As you can see, this classical lapidary has a rich history and continues to captivate modern designers and jewelry-lovers alike.
Are you ready to make jewelry featuring cabochons a part of your jewelry collection? We invite you to explore our one-of-a-kind Couture Collection & most popular and versatile Designer Collection or contact us for a style consultation today.
Shop Couture Jewelry
Shop Designer Jewelry
Cabochon gems truly are timeless. As you can see, this classical lapidary has a rich history and continues to captivate modern designers and jewelry-lovers alike.
Are you ready to make jewelry featuring cabochons a part of your jewelry collection? We invite you to explore our one-of-a-kind Couture Collection & most popular and versatile Designer Collection or contact us for a style consultation today.
Shop Couture Jewelry
Shop Designer Jewelry
From his Laguna Beach studio, designer and goldsmith Adam Neeley pushes the boundaries of modern jewelry design. Born a gem-lover and educated at the prestigious Gemological Institute of America and Le Art Orafe, Adam has spent his life mastering the craft and art form of jewelry making and design. As a member of the American Jewelry Design Council, Adam is honored to share his expertise and passion with the world. His award-winning jewelry is celebrated by jewelry collectors, industry authorities, including MJSA and AGTA, and the Smithsonian Institution. We invite you to learn more by visiting our About Adam and Welcome pages.