Last week I was very honoured to attend a reception welcoming us to the new home of the Birmingham Assay Office. The Assay Office was founded in 1773 following a successful campaign by Matthew Boulton for an Act of Parliament to allow Birmingham to hallmark precious metals. Up until that point, goods were sent to Chester as the nearest Assay Office, leaving Birmingham businesses at a disadvantage.
Initially, the Assay Office was only allowed to test and hallmark precious metals, however over the years they worked hard to develop their services and have transformed themselves into the ANCHORCERT Group, offering not only their expertise through the work of the Assay Office, but also establishing courses through their AnchorCert Academy and providing accommodation for Birmingham City University’s School of Jewellery and Gemmology Department.
In a brand new building, the Assay Office can continue to grow and provide access to its experts, along with looking after their private collections of printed and manuscript material, and wonderful examples of the goods that have passed through their doors since its opening.
For more details, and a history of the Assay Office, we recommend visiting their website.