Royals meet apprentices at Goldsmiths’ Hall

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Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall introduced to Jubilee mark.

The Prince of Wales, accompanied by The Duchess of Cornwall, visited Goldsmiths’ Hall on Wednesday 23 February to meet apprentices, young silversmiths and jewellers, as well as Members of the Goldsmiths’ Company.

The Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company, Mr Michael Galsworthy introduced Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles to members of the Goldsmiths’ Company’s Assay Office including David Merry, head of assay office training, and two young assay office apprentices, Robert Grant and Robert Hinson, who explained and demonstrated the hallmarking process through a demonstration.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were also shown the new Diamond Jubilee mark which is to be officially launched in July in celebration of HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, next year. This special commemorative hallmark depicts a young Queen Elizabeth wearing an oversized crown in a diamond shaped surround. This optional mark will be available from all four UK Assay Offices in combination with a statutory hallmark from 1 July.

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Prince Charles was invited to strike the Leopard’s Head, the mark of the Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office onto a small sterling silver plate bearing a laser version of the Diamond Jubilee mark, in addition to the three other marks which comprise the hallmark.  Hinson assisted him by holding the silver plate steady while Prince Charles, observed by The Duchess of Cornwall, struck the Leopard’s head mark. The silver plate was then presented to The Prince of Wales as a souvenir of his visit to Goldsmiths’ Hall.

Dr Robert Organ, deputy warden and head of the Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office said:  "The application of a hallmark is a skill that has been passed down through the centuries with apprentices learning their craft from their masters. It is as important today as ever to ensure that the highest possible quality of marking is maintained. We were delighted that the Prince chose to try his hand at hallmarking to appreciate for himself the high level of skills involved. His Royal Highness hallmarked a silver plate bearing the image that will be used for the forthcoming Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Hallmark. In effect, he has hallmarked the first piece of silver bearing this mark."

Before leaving Goldsmiths’ Hall, Prince Charles thanked the Goldsmiths’ Company and expressed his admiration for the work and many initiatives that the company undertakes. The Prince is an honorary member of the Court of Assistants of the Goldsmiths’ Company and has been a liveryman since 1981. His last visit to the hall was in in February 2005.

 

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