|Mixed Gemstone Cabochon Assortment|
Technically, cabochons are not really "cut." Rather they are shaped and then polished. Before the art of faceting was developed, all gemstones were produced as rounded smooth topped cabochons, though some were intricately carved as well. It was a much simpler task to produce a cabochon, than it was to cut a faceted gem with many faces.
Faceted gemstones made their appearance in European jewelry during the late 13th and early 14th centuries. Once the technology and skill was available to facet gemstones, why were cabochons still produced? Different gems are cut as cabs for different reasons. In many cases it is because the gem has special properties that are displayed only when it is cut as a cabochon. Examples are gems that display the star effect (asterism) or the cat's eye effect (chatoyancy) or iridescence (e.g., opal) or adularescence (e.g., moonstone).
|Azurite Malachite, Smooth Round Cabs|
(Information shared from GemSelect.com)