Stephen has spent his entire working life making diamond jewellery.

He began in his teens as an apprentice to a leading diamond setter and completed a full traditional five-year apprenticeship - and then, for good measure, he added to the range of skills he had learned by working as an improver at one of London's top jewellery makers.

Nowadays, in an age when work has become increasingly de-skilled, most workers are just a cog in a system, performing one repetitive task. It is rare for anyone, even in their whole working life, to gain the kind of comprehensive in-depth knowledge of creating diamond jewellery which Stephen had accumulated by his early 20s.

But much as he enjoyed his craft, which suited his perfectionist temperament, he had higher ambitions. Ideas for his own designs, combining imagination with his enormous technical facility, were shaping themselves in his head. Once he was ready, in the late 1970s, he began to create his own rings - and they were an instant success.

Although he now sells his jewellery only through retailers, in those early days he often worked direct to clients, which gave him invaluable insight into the tastes of up-market consumers who appreciated quality and expected to pay for it.

Ever since, Stephen has created jewellery which has appealed to the top end of the market, with many famous international retailers among his clients, including most of the biggest names from Bond Street and Knightsbridge in London.

His creativity - and his sensitivity to the evolution of public taste through all the lifestyle and fashion changes of the past 30 years - has enabled him to produce popular collections again and again. He remains as technically innovative as ever. And, as you would expect, even though he may no longer fashion every one of his rings himself, his perfectionism and eye for detail mean that every Stephen Foster ring is beautifully crafted.