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Are you a professional or hobby jeweler who has been trying for days to  find and buy  a stunning center-piece cabochon for your next dream jewelry project by hunting for it in the halls of crystal fame at the Tucson Gem show, but all you saw were endless rows of boxes carelessly filled to overflowing with ugly 5 dollar cabs?

What if you would know the  5 secret criteria, Danielle Levi would  use, to buy  for her most famous client Kim?


Because I´m about to reveal to you the

5 secret ways

how to identify exceptional high-quality cabochons,

even if  

you are NOT

Kim Kardashians Stylist

Learn more about the Author:

As you start reading the beginning of this article, imagine yourself walking down a hot and dusty road in Jaipur. You meet Amir. He is one of the many thousands of stone and cabochon cutters in India who works tirelessly for 60 to 90 USD per month (about three times the hourly rate of a US gem cutter) to calm the unsatisfied hunger of the monstrous gemstone tradeshows as well as the global Etsy-shop retail army with a never-ending flood of cheap cabochons.

In comparison, Jose, a Peruvian artisan cabochon cutter, whom you met on your latest vacation trip to Machu Pichu, might be considered lucky. He is being paid nearly a Dollar per piece and is able to earn the legal minimum salary if he works fast. However, you should bare in mind, that Jose is part of the Peruvian shadow business crystal industry. He is paid in cash per piece and works without a labor contract, health insurance, retirement fund, or vacation. His dream: to finance his son’s studies so he may have a better life.


By the time you read this, you will feel a certain unease, while uncovering a dirty secret of the global crystal industry: “Cheap” is only possible because thousands of gem cutters all around the world live and work in unfair and unethical labor conditions.  

At the same time the old-school master cabochon cutters in the USA, men and women who proudly look back on decades of top-quality designer cab production, find themselves walking down the dinosaur path to history books. Finding their cabs in Tucson and other gem shows compares to the famous Needle in the Haystack. And even IF people stumble upon their booth or internet website, being so used to Etsy wholesale offers, they might feel bothered by realizing that a piece from those masters of stone may cost them 50, 100, or 150 USD. 

As a matter of fact, the sheer flood of mass production cabs has blinded our attention to detail and most people nowadays don’t understand anymore what might be the reason for this abysmal difference in price in order to  buy a top quality cabochon

Buy Wholesale

Cabs NOW

Top-quality cabochons

for crystal shops:


Now imagine you can change everything!

Let me ask you a personal question: I think you would like to find a way to  buy a top-quality cabochon  while at the same time  feeling good  about  paying a fair price  and changing the world for the better, wouldn’t you?

The following easy 5-step quality checklist will enable you to meet all those goals:

  • Buy a top-quality cabochon for your jewelry project.
  • Pay a fair price to the gem cutter.
  • Send a clear message of customer preference to abusive gemstone producers.
  • Help change the tide towards a better world.

“Not all of us can do great things.

But we can do small things with great love.”

Mother Teresa


My easy 5-step checklist

to make sure you  buy a top-quality cabochon:

Step 1

to buy a top-quality cabochon

Check for a sharp lower bezel edge

Low quality cab

Edge chipped/rounded 

When there is no edge at all and the border is rounded then those cabs have been most likely mass-produced in tumblers. This is the lowest quality production on the market. But also in cheap hand-cut cabs, you will find uneven, rounded, or chipped edges between the back and bezel of the cab as a clear indication of low quality.

Top-quality cab

Sharp edge

In order to  buy top-quality cabochons  check for a very sharp, clean, straight, and unchipped edge between the back and the bezel of the cab.


Step 2

to buy a top-quality cabochon

Check for a perfectly even bezel

Low quality cab

Uneven bezel (side)

Cheap cabs have an uneven bezel (side) with varying height. Mostly towards points and tips of the cabs those sides reduce heights. In the worst cases the sides are badly polished, scratched or chipped.

Top-quality cab

Perfectly even bezel

Red aragonite tumbled stones

In order to  buy a top-quality cabochon  check for a perfectly straight and even bezel, being highly polished without scratches and unchipped.

Step 3

to buy a top-quality cabochon

Check for a sharp upper bezel edge

Low quality cab

Edge chipped/rounded 

Low quality cabs have rounded off, uneven and sometimes even chipped edges between the side (girdle) and the dome (top part of the cab).

Top-quality cab

Sharp edge

In order to  buy a top-quality cabuchon  check for a perfectly straight, even, sharp, and unchipped edge between the bezel and the dome.

Step 4

to buy a top-quality cabochon

Check for a perfectly shaped dome

Low quality cab

Uneven, bumpy (often high) dome

Low quality cabs have often rather high and round domes. Nevertheless those domes are often uneven. One can feel (and sometimes even see) bumps, holes and or ridges. Especially close to the edge they ofthe show small flat facetlike surface parts.

Top-quality cab

Mostly nearly flat and perfectly shaped dome

In order to  buy top-quality cabochons  check for perfectly shaped domes, often very flat domes, without any ridges or bumps.

Step 5

to buy a top-quality cabochon

Check for a perfectly polish

Low quality cab

Bad polish

Low-quality cabs have nearly always a bad polish. Bad polish can be identified by looking at the light reflections on the cabs surface. If the borders of light reflections are diffuse and not clear-cut, the polish is bad. Good polish is mirrorlike or glasslike. In the worst cases, the surface is scratched or has holes.

Top-quality cab

Perfect polish

In order to  buy a top-quality cabuchon  check for the perfect glass-like or mirror-like polish. Perfectly polished cabs show sharp-edged light reflections on their surface. Often the surface is mirrorlike and you can see reflections of the surrounding environment. No scratches allowed.

Buy top-quality

Cabs NOW

Retail Online

Gemrock Shop:

Top-quality cabochons

for your personal 

jewelry project


Step 6

to buy a top-quality cabochon

Bonus Info: polished Back

Unpolished versus polished back 

An unpolished back is NOT an indication of bad quality as the back normally disappears in the silver or gold setting and can’t be seen.

While an unpolished back is NOT an indication of low quality, a polished back is definitely an additional indication of a very high-quality designer cab. In those cases, it is possible to set the cab into a silver or gold setting that leaves the back visible.

Our wholesale cab-cutting services:

All services can be provided using our rock or using the rough rock that you send us.

If you send us your rock, ofcourse we only charge you the cutting service.

If we use our rock we are charging the cutting service plus the material cost.

1.) Bulk cutting:

You determine the shapes and sizes of your cabochons and the quality level you wish, as well as the number of cabs per design and we cut your order.

An alternative way of bulk cutting (in case you send  us your rock) is that you leave us free hand to decide how many cabs of each type we are cutting out of your rock. This way we can optimise the number of cabs being cut from your rock by using more of the material.

2.) Designer cabs

2.a) Cutting from slabs:

Send us your slabs with painted on shapes of your cabs and we cut them for you.

2.b) Custom development cutting

We cut the rough rock (yours or ours) in slabs and suggest the position of the designer cabs by painting them on the slabs. After reviewing our suggestions with you by picture or video we cut your cabs.

Gemrocks´ Startup Support

Starting a crystalshop (online or physical) is not easy – we know. But we believe in you and we have your back, because your success is ours.

We support startup companies with lower shipping prices. You can order without minimum amounts. We offer “Buy now, Pay later” agreements, as well as intensive business coaching. 

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