To love jewelry one has to appreciate the effort involved in making a piece. Some old-world techniques have been lost to mass-production, but here are three reasons to appreciate the art of cabochon jewelry.
The 1980s was transitional period as American Costume Jewelry Manufacturers began to move production aboard. The Napier “Cabochon Collection”
was introduced in 1982. Rich tones of amethyst and ruby cabochons were the featured stones of this collection. The cabochon stones set the collection apart from many other jewelry lines yielding an unsurpassed quality and color. According to former vice president of design for The Napier Co., Napier was still purchasing stones from Germany during the early 1980s. The stones featured in this collection were produced in Kaufbeuren, Germany using old school techniques. Unlike other stones used at the time, these German-made cabochons featured smooth surface texture and brilliant color and nearly 30 years later they appear the same as the day they were made
The Cabochon Collection
Kaufbeuren, Germany is home to the state vocational school for Glass and Jewelry, located in Neugablonz a district of Kaufbeuren. The cabochon stones were made one at a time. As explained by former VP Mike Ruggiero, these pieces were formed by pliers with the shapes carved into them (like a jewelry mold), which the craftsman pressed into the hot glass resulting in the desired shape. As simple as that may sound, the technique involved a mastery of understanding temperature, hand pressure and color of the molten glass to ensure each stone was perfectly form. In an era when the “me” generation called for instant gratification, old-world-techniques, quality, and beauty still prevailed.