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Cabochons

A cabochon, from the Middle French word caboche (meaning "head"), is a gemstone which has been shaped and polished as opposed to faceted. The resulting form is usually a convex (rounded) obverse with a flat reverse. Cutting en cabochon (French: "in the manner of a cabochon") is usually applied to opaque gems, while faceting is usually applied to transparent stones. Hardness is also taken into account as softer gemstones with a hardness lower than 7 on the Mohs hardness scale are easily scratched, mainly by silicon dioxide in dust and grit. This would quickly make translucent gems unattractive—instead they are polished as cabochons, making the scratches less evident.

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