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Carved cabochons

Hi Gaylen,

There are probably a few different ways to answer your question(s);
I’ll do my best to cover the gamut for you. First off, there are
several different kinds of carved cabs, with or without floral
motifs. The most basic (and pervasive) are those produced in India
and sometimes referred to as “Mogul style” carvings. These are
standard to high dome cabochons which are cut and polished, then
incised with either crosshatched or more figurative lines/grooves,
which are, in turn, polished. Since each piece is done freehand, and
since the goal is to turn out vast quantities, the quality varies
considerably, on these. (If you’re familiar with those cheesey agate
and jasper scarab beads found in show dealers’ “paper plate
specials”…) Many of the lower-end wholesalers I’ve seen at the
shows have these on hand, or can direct you to someone who does.

At the other end of the spectrum are a type of carvings done in
Germany and Hong Kong (among other places) which rely on a
computerized, multi-axis, ultrasonic milling setup similar to a
modern machine shop’s CNC machine. These are capable of producing
unlimited numbers of identical copies of any given piece of 3-D
work, each carved by what amounts to a nanopixel at a time. I think
you’ll be able to find some of what you’re seeking (at least, the
Carnelian ones), at Phoenix Jewelry & Parts, in NYC. Try them at
either (212) 278-8688 or <>.

And, finally, there are the gemstone carvings that Michael Dyber,
Dieter Lorenz, Sherris Cottier Shank and I have been doing for
twenty or so years, which can either be figurative or freeform,
flat-backed or carved in the round, highly polished or textured and
in any shape or material, but which tend to be both one of a kind
(or individually cut into pairs, or suites) and, necessarily,
somewhat more expensive than those mass-produced pieces you’ll find

If either of the previous two types I’ve described will suit your
needs, fantastic; I’m glad I was able to help. If, on the other
hand, you’re looking for something more personalized, for either
yourself or your clients, by all means, drop a line or give me a
call. I’ll look forward to hearing from and working with you.

Best Regards,

Douglas Turet, GJ
Lapidary Artist, Designer & Goldsmith
Turet Design
P.O. Box 162
Arlington, MA 02476
Tel. (617) 325-5328
eFax (928) 222-0815

I am responding to Douglas’ response Re: carved cabs, which I find
to be somewhat prejudiced.

I have used “Moghul style” cabs in my jewels for over twenty years
and only recently have not done so, because my stone suppliers for
these cabs is no longer stocking them. The cabs I used are carved
with floral patterns, relatively symmetrical. The carving is not
deep, the perimeters of the cabs is smooth (as opposed to deeply
grooved and the cabs have been quite beautiful. I have used
amethysts, tourmalines, aquamarines, citrines, topaz, iolites, etc.
in clear quality material.

I am interested in finding a reliable supplier, so that I can
continue to use this style stone in my work. So. . .all you
Orchidites, Orchidians, Orchiders (you get the idea), if one or more
of you are aware of a source for this type of stone, please, post
the on this site or you can email me directly at:

Yours, searchingly,
Linda Kaye-Moses