Birmingham’s Assay Office on Newhall Street was founded in 1773 and is, to date, the largest Assay Office in the world!
First of all, many of you may be wondering: what is an Assay Office?
An Assay Office is an institution that is set up to test the purity of, or assay, precious metals, in means of protecting consumers.
If the assay is successful, a hallmark will typically be stamped onto an item to certify its metallurgical content.
Did you know? The first Assay Office to be founded in the UK was Goldsmith’s Hall, in roughly the 1300s.
Since then, ten Assay Offices have popped up around the UK, however there are only four remaining in the UK at the present time.
Birmingham’s Assay Office takes pride in its high standard of service and use of the latest technology. It has been and remains to be the centre of expert opinion and independent assessment of jewellery and precious metals for nearly two hundred and fifty years.
During its recent years, its services have expanded beyond its statutory assaying and hallmarking duties to include Diamond, Gemstone & Pearl Certification, Jewellery, Watch and Silverware Valuations, non-precious metal testing, product safety and quality assurance testing.