The story of the creation of a unique ‘Cousins jewel’, such as a ring, often has its beginning in the purchase of a remarkable individual gem; this might be an antique, or old stone, some of which might be improved by the lapidary, who will recut and repolish the worn or chipped facet edges. Restoring the true beauty of a gem that has lost its original vibrancy is very rewarding, a sense of seeing the gem looking again as the first craftsman intended perhaps 150 years before.
With the stone’s full potential revealed, we can proceed to contemplate the design of what will be a unique ring. This process frequently involves discussions with the customer leisurely over a cup of tea. The design proposals are discussed, and the most promising individually painted in gouache (water-colour) paints.