Assay Office celebrates 240 years of trading

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The Birmingham Assay Office celebrated its 240th birthday this weekend …and it’s still looking good!

On 31st August 1773, The Birmingham Assay Office opened its doors for the very first time.

By this time, it had become clear to the silversmiths of Birmingham, especially Matthew Boulton, that their trade would never truly prosper without an Assay Office of their own. Boulton lobbied Parliament vigorously and was finally rewarded by the Hallmarking Act 1773, which founded The Birmingham Assay Office.

The Birmingham Assay Office is the only surviving enterprise that Matthew Boulton founded and the staff are proud to carry forward his legacy.

The organisation’s main statutory duty is still to assay and hallmark precious metal material but the past 240 years have seen many changes and The Birmingham Assay Office has evolved and expanded to incorporate many new services.

The Laboratory at The Birmingham Assay Office offers independent expert analysis across a range of sectors. Precious metal analysis is its traditional specialism but The Laboratory has also established expertise in testing costume jewellery, watches, fashion accessories, leather goods, textiles, toys and other consumer goods.

SafeGuard is the UK’s premier Independent Jewellery, Watch & Silverware Valuation, Authentication and Assessment Service. The service is available from over 1,000 High Street retailers or via a direct postal service. SafeGuard has a team of highly qualified, expert and independent valuers who work throughout the UK. SafeGuard also provide monthly valuation days at The Birmingham Assay Office. To book an appointment with the valuer, please call 0871 423 7922.

AnchorCert is the only UK Gemmological Laboratory that is backed by the professional expertise of The Birmingham Assay Office. AnchorCert provides independent, expert reports and certification of diamonds and precious gemstones, and bespoke laser inscriptions to the UK jewellery trade and its customers. AnchorCert is also the only UKAS accredited diamond laboratory in the UK.


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