In the beginning ... I bought the ring from a woman who sold interesting items through my craft shop.
Back in the nineteen seventies, I ran the shop from my home in Robe, a tiny seaside tourist town in South Australia, inhabited off peak by lobster fishermen. The shop already existed at one side of the front door behind a long, deep veranda. I loved that house.
A little bit of history: In the eighteen fifties, Chinese, working for Chinese overlords as slave labor, landed in Robe to avoid tax, and then walked across country to the Victorian goldfields. Their families were kept hostage until they handed over their unearthed gold. The first owners of the house built the shop to sell strips of dried meat, biltong, for the workers long trek.
Anyway, back to the signet-style ring with a cabochon stone set in heavy 24 carat gold. When I first saw it and gazed into the shimmering depths, I fell in love and purchased the ring. A fault, hidden deep within the stone, flashed to reveal a star if tilted a certain way. The finger shaft fascinated me. Okay, this quality of gold is soft. But that didn't explain the two, jagged cuts at one side. Didn't take much to set me wondering who or what made the cuts and why. Obvious, really. Someone, intent on theft, cut the wearer's finger off and removed the ring. This was priceless treasure. Mine.
And so my imagination worked on a story over two centuries. The story expanded to three more and warped into four other novels about the future of the ring.
Scene: Robe tourist bureau