Articles About Assay Office


Every year more than 10 million articles of precious metal are brought from all over the world to the Birmingham Assay Office, to be tested and hallmarked. It is the largest Assay office in Europe and one of only four remaining the UK.

The Grade II listed Victorian building on Newhall Street is a living, breathing link to Birmingham’s jewellery making heritage. Housed within its walls are many rare skills, expertise and secrets about the jewellery making trade.

The spiritual foundations of the building were first laid down by Matthew Boulton in 1759, when he moved his inherited toy making business into the purpose built Soho Manufactory in Handsworth.

His toys weren’t tin soldiers and hobby horses, but finely crafted pieces of silverware. As his business grew, Boulton became frustrated with having to send his items to the Assay Office in Chester for hallmarking.

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