From a Middle French word meaning “head” it refers to a gemstone that has been shaped and polished rather than faceted, usually resulting in a convex top and flat bottom. Usually applied to opaque and soft gemstones, the polishing and shaping hides scratches and in some cases can highlight the star or eye of a gem which would not be visible with a faceted cut. Glass cabochons can also be made of colored or clear glass and mounted over metallic foil to provide color.
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