Tips to choose the right Cabochon stones to create antique jewellery

If you were to look back at 18th and 19th century authentic Indian traditional jewellery pieces that were exclusively handcrafted, cut and polished for Indian royalty, you would notice that the set stones are not just faceted gems or diamonds, but simple uncut, polished stones and cabochons gemstones in a bezel setting. Henceforth Cabochons have been greatly associated with antique jewelry.

What jewelry classifies as antique jewellery?

Resale of jewelry classifies pieces into three categories- estate, vintage and antique jewelry . Estate jewelry is any custom jewelry crafted only recently, anything more than hundred is considered antique, and less than, meaning crafted in the 70's or 80's, vintage. Antique jewelry because of its age and uniqueness is more expensive and is sometimes just offered up for viewing in a case in public museums and galleries.

However the technique and design is widely replicated, either by large luxury fashion brands or independent designers using new diamonds or gems as the antique jewelry style is still the rage.

If you spot Cabochons for sale, you must think-if you were to duplicate the antique style or design your own original piece, what kind of Cabochon  stones should you pick?


It's a Cabochon, it should have a perfectly flat base. No flat base? Wrigley stone that doesn't sit perfectly on the bezel or prongs and will ultimately fall out. To avoid this risk, it would need to be glued down, but why go through the trouble when you can just arrange for a perfectly shaped Cabochon. So eyes on the base.

Is it the shape you require? Round square, cylindrical, oval? Oval Cabochons were popular in antique Roman and Renaissance jewelry. From the base up, make sure the stone has a smooth transition to the top, that any bumpy imperfections or cracks are absent. If ignored, something like a bezel setting, which lines the rim of the stone will easily reveal the improper shape or mistake and you would have to start all over again.


While a more rough, raw Cabochon will give off a rustic, antique-y  look however it is crucial for you to inspect the quality of the stone. If it has cracks, it is sure to crumble sooner or later, either while setting it or even worse, when you sell it the buyer, which would negatively impact your reputation.


Large cabochons usually appeared to dominate the center or serve as the star attraction of the jewelry set. This stone hung in the center with either pearls or uncut diamonds on either side. If you are tight on budget, and wish to experiment further, you will find a large variety of loose Cabochon gemstones wholesale online at reasonable prices. A word of advice though, ensure you purchase from a site that offers certified gemstones.


The preferred setting for a Cabochon is a bezel, since it lines the stones evenly along the rim. If the stone is too loose , or of a peculiar size, it may need to be glued down. The alternative but less popular setting for a Cabochon is the prongs.

It is less preferred, considered that the stone is not faceted, and may shift under little pressure.

Wire wrapping in antique jewelry is common, so you can experiment with this setting using different precious metals. They make for delicate designs and illuminate the craftsmanship around the wire wrapped design against the Cabochon stone.

Connectors and links are crucial in this style, with some gemstone connectors already embedded with your required Cabochon to make things easier.

Popularly paired with

Uncut diamonds

Found primarily in Royal Indian jewelry, uncut rough stones highlight the center or main jewel, and is set using bezel in precious metals. Indian antique jewelry of this style also has influence from the Mughal period.


Found in many European jewelry sets and tiaras, as well as Royal Russian jewelry pieces, pearls are paired with old European cuts and Cabochons and push a certain feminine aesthetic to the antique piece. Pearls are also prominent in antique Roman bracelets, which were later replicated by Fashion house Chanel.

Rose cut diamonds

Rose cut diamonds were prominent during the Victorian era. They have come back into fashion because of the intense romantic vibe they give off.

Fancy cut diamond

Any diamond not in a round shape, is considered fancy cut. This gives you an endless list of shapes to play around with.

Are you ready to get started on that antique piece? Hop across to our website GemsDiamondsbyShikha and browse through our long list of certified Cabochon gemstones online just for you!

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