Hancocks is the oldest British family-owned jewellers in London, dating back to 1849. Within a year of opening, the company had been granted a Royal Warrant by Queen Victoria, and was soon counting many of the principal sovereigns of Europe as patrons.

In 1856, Queen Victoria entrusted Hancocks with the making of the newly introduced Victoria Cross, the highest military award for gallantry in the British armed forces. This is an honour that the company still continues to uphold today.

Aside from medal making, Hancocks also produces some of the finest contemporary jewellery. As Guy Burton, director of Hancocks explains: “Every ring we make is unique and made here in the UK completely by hand.”

The company specialises in old-cut diamonds and gems, which helps inform their designs. “I often try and pull in design traits and techniques from the era in which the stone would have been cut,” says Burton. “I’m a big believer in creating a ring from the centre out and designing around each stone”.

Every ring we make is unique and made here in the UK completely by hand

The stones are sourced primarily from all over the world, although London remains the primary area. “We are lucky as many of the finest old-cut diamonds will have been cut here in London and many have remained so.”

When it comes to the design of your ring, Hancocks has an impressive archive of designs from over the years that range from the very classical to the avant-garde from which you can take inspiration.

And where does Burton find his own inspiration? “Everywhere – including recently a napkin holder at a restaurant!”

Hancocks, 52/53 Burlington Arcade, W1J 0HH; hancocks-london.com