BAO silver plaque stolen from building facade

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Silver Jubilee Assay Office signage taken in early hours of Saturday.

The Birmingham Assay Office (BAO) has launched an appeal to help find its silver Assay Office plaque, which was stolen from the facade of its headquarters by a group of people in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The plaque was reported missing by a cleaner who went to polish it ahead of a visit from the Mayor of Birmingham earlier this week.

It dates from 1977 and is hallmarked with the ‘C’ hallmark, representative of that year. It is believed to have been made to celebrate the Silver Jubilee that year and is made from sterling silver with 18ct gold lettering.

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Penny Parkes of the BAO described the plaque as “irreplaceable”, and says that the Assay Office is devastated by the robbery.

The Assay Office’s chief executive and assay master Michael Allchin has viewed CCTV footage from Saturday morning. It is said that a group of people were present when the plaque was stolen, with one of the group jumping the locked gates at the entrance to the Assay Office and there used an implement to prize the plaque from the wall, before leaping back over.

Parkes commented that the plaque itself was fixed to the wall away from the path and road, and can only be accessed by steps which although open to the public during the day, are gated and locked at night. She said it would be hard to notice the details of the plaque from street level. 

Parkes said the response to the robbery on Facebook and Twitter has been excellent, with people spreading the word about missing plaque. The NAG’s SaferGems campaign has also offered to post the news to its members.

The Bullion Room, a dealers in precious metals with headquarters in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter and a branch in Manchester, has offered to replace the plaque if it is not recovered.

A release from the BAO described the plaque as hallmarked in 1977 and has the Silver Jubilee hallmark from that year, and the date letter ‘C’. The plaque is sterling silver with 18ct gold lettering and the lettering is flush with the surface. The plaque has a raised border.

Anyone with any information is encourage to get in touch via 0871 871 6020, gem@theassayoffice.co.uk.
 

 

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