What We’re About
A modern edit of jewellery for cherishing, signifying and commemorating milestones of all kind. You define the story - we design and handcraft the ring to celebrate it.
We’re based in London, England where each piece is thoughtfully designed, sourced responsibly and custom-crafted by seasoned artisans uniquely for you. Finally, our long established relationships with universities ensures that a percentage of each sales goes back to your institution - providing vital extra funds.
Our designs are inspired by the power of jewellery to share a language of spiritual and mystical symbols that span cultures and centuries.
We believe our rings honour the significance of your time at university and illuminate the threads that make up the story of your life. We see each piece as timelessly and openly communicating how each of us got here, in a way that envisions our next chapter, inspires us and is a reminder of our capacity for change and growth.
Design & Quality
Our pieces are the ones that are supposed to be passed down through the generations. They are heirlooms and have been made with the highest attention to quality and craftsmanship. We only make them in solid silver and gold and use highest-quality precious stones - though we also offer synthetic stones as a sustainable alternative. An Annotated ring will last many lifetimes - becoming a modern heirloom.
We choose to do things differently. Buying a custom-made piece of jewellery is a considered purchase. We believe in being honest with you and sharing and educating along every step of the way.
We choose to price differently - we minimise the markup by selling directly to you and keep our prices as accessible as possible, while ensuring each piece is handmade from start to finish by seasoned artisans.
We choose to only work in partnership with your institution. This allows us to ensure that the rings are designed in collaboration with the university.
We choose to take a different approach to materials - going beyond the Kimberly Act and other now institutionalised regulations that have been designed to placate rather than remedy. We only source materials we can trace and trust and refined ethical as making individual lives better.
To find out more - we invite you to read on…
How we started
Annotated’s Graduation ring collection was created while the founder, Anna, was at the University of Oxford. Moved by the pieces of jewellery that her Mother and Grandfather had passed between them and cherished for more than half a century, she designed a collection to give the signet ring new life. The final collection was officially embraced by Oxford as a mark and celebration of its students’ achievement and success.
From this beginning, we worked to perfect our designs and our latest collection is now the result of passionate research in libraries and private jewellery collections in over 15 countries and a development process focused on age-old hand-made techniques and traditions. Every Annotated ring is now a successor to the great signet rings worn through history, reinterpreted to evoke a modern symbolism and mark – with discretion and understatement – an individual’s and a family’s celebrations.
Choosing to do things well
From day one, we decided to take concrete action to do things well. This meant that from the very first we only worked officially in partnership with universities and schools. In the years that have followed, we have never deviated from this and everyone of our rings and pieces of jewellery is official and each one raises money for the university.
Each of the decisions that has followed has evolved from a conscious desire to be the opposite of indifferent about our impact. We choose to make tomorrow better than today - to respect the choice to do things well, the choice to do things humanely and, ultimately, to act to realise ideals.
Creating pieces that last
We choose to last.
A graduation ring will be relevant in a decade as it is today, probably even more so. We handcraft our graduation rings from beginning to end in a process involving more than 62 steps and taking more than six weeks.
This process preserves the age-old know-how and experience of the artisan’s who craft the piece and ensures it will have the potential to last a lifetime or more.
actions rather than words
We choose to act differently.
We use sustainable gold and silver: Our choice for the raw materials to make custom-made pieces is always reclaimed or recycled precious metal. Excess metal is melted down and reused creating practically zero precious metal waste from metal casting, which is done using the ancient lost-wax method.
No base metal: We do not use base metals in our custom made jewellery because they are less long lasting, more difficult to repair and are typically chemically treated to mimic the colour of sterling silver or gold.
No silver plating or chemical treatments: By controlling our own metal alloys we reduce the amount of plating we do. We don’t silver plate and we only use rhodium-plating on our white gold jewellery. We also do not use anti-tarnish or other post-production chemical treatments. This reduces significantly the water and energy we use.
Lab-grown stones: We have introduced lab-grown stones for our Imperial collection. We do offer natural stones - because we understand the emotional connection they inspire - but where we do they are fully traced and sourced to the highest ethical standards.
Traceability: We have full traceability from metal alloy to final piece.
10 years of care: Our 10 years of care scheme means that we will help customers care for their products during ten years. When a customer brings back a custom made product with some kind of problem we repair the item according to the need.
Recycled boxes: Custom made pieces are present in a box made from 100% recycled paper.