Assay office to showcase hallmarking process to the public.

The Birmingham Assay Office (BAO) is set to host a behind-the-scenes tour of its hallmarking operations, opening its doors to the public give the industry a better insight into the assay process.

The BAO’s new Understanding Hallmarking event will launch on September 12 and promises “a unique opportunity to find out more about hallmarking, including the history of hallmarking in the UK, an overview of the Hallmarking Act and current legislation, how to understand a Hallmark, the different testing methods used in the assaying and Hallmarking process”.


Those attending the Understanding Hallmarking days participants will take part in a special guided tour of the Hallmarking floor and will also be given the chance to have a go at striking a hallmark themselves.

Michael Allchin, chief executive and assay master, said: “We have been welcoming visitors to our historic silver collection and library for some time, however we felt that we wanted to offer our visitors a little bit more and take them on a behind the scenes tour of the hallmarking floor.

“Many people will look at the marks on their precious metals and jewellery and wonder how and why they were applied – all will be revealed during these new visits.”

After the September 12 inaugural day a second event will take place on October 31.

Understanding Hallmarking will be hosted by Sally Hoban, who is the heritage and training officer at The Birmingham Assay Office.