British Assay Office Information

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British Assay Office Information

Postby dognose » Sun Jul 31, 2016 3:16 pm

British Assay Office Information

A topic for recording any details regarding the British assay offices.

If you have some information to share, here's the place to post it.

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Re: British Assay Office Information

Postby dognose » Sun Jul 31, 2016 3:26 pm

Some details from the Birmingham Assay Office:


Report of the Birmingham Assay

The report of the Assay Masters (H. and A. Westwood) to the Guardians of the Standard of Wrought Plate in Birmingham, Eng., with reference to the work of the Assay Office during the year ended June 30, is of a very interesting character. For the purposes of comparison the returns for the 19 years during which the work has been carried on at the present office are included in the report, the figures for the present and three previous years being as follows:

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The statistics show that the work of the office has enormously increased in every department and that the progress made has been very satisfactory from every point of view. The number of gold and silver wares entered for assaying has increased of late years at the rate of about one million a year. The number this year, 11,889,093, compares with 3,347,974 10 years ago, and with 859,061 in 1879, the first year in which the work was carried on at the present office. The number of assays made has been equally progressive. The total is 30,000 more than last year, two and a half times more than 10 years ago, and six times more than it was in 1879. This year 333,741 oz. of gold wares have been assayed and marked, an increase of 22,000 compared with the previous year, and nearly three times the total of 10 years ago, the number of ounces then being 122,743. The number of ounces assayed and broken has been small in comparison—1,772 this year, as compared with 2,269 in the previous year and 1,024 in 1888.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - 31st August 1898

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Re: British Assay Office Information

Postby dognose » Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:26 pm

A circular addressed to the trade by the London Assay Office in 1835:

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Re: British Assay Office Information

Postby dognose » Thu Aug 04, 2016 4:18 am

A little fuzzy, but some information regarding the years 1898 - 1899:

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Source: Knowledge - July 1901

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Re: British Assay Office Information

Postby dognose » Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:09 am

An account from the London Assay Office 1800 - 1810:

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Source: Report, together with Minutes of Evidence and Accounts, from the Select Committee appointed to inquire into the Cause of the High Price of Gold Bullion - House of Commons - 1810

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Re: British Assay Office Information

Postby dognose » Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:58 am

An account for the period 1800 - 1810:

Image

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Source: Report, together with Minutes of Evidence and Accounts, from the Select Committee appointed to inquire into the Cause of the High Price of Gold Bullion - House of Commons - 1810

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Re: British Assay Office Information

Postby dognose » Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:31 am

An account from the Dublin Assay Office 1808 - 1810:

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Source: Report, together with Minutes of Evidence and Accounts, from the Select Committee appointed to inquire into the Cause of the High Price of Gold Bullion - House of Commons - 1810

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Re: British Assay Office Information

Postby dognose » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:24 am

A report from the Birmingham Assay Office regarding the year 1882:

Image

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Re: British Assay Office Information

Postby dognose » Wed Sep 14, 2016 4:59 am

STATISTICS PROM THE BIRMINGHAM ASSAY OFFICE

The number of gold and silver watch chains assayed and marked is about three hundred each office day.

During the past seven years the silver work has increased year by year until it has nearly doubled. The number of gold and silver wares entered has for some years past exceeded a million annually.

During the past seven years 18,722 ounces of gold and 4,846 ounces of silver have been assayed and broken, being found to be worse than standard.


Source: The Watchmaker, Jeweller and Silversmith - 5th November 1880

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Re: British Assay Office Information

Postby dognose » Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:04 am

ASSAY ANNOUNCEMENT
NEW REGULATION INTENDED TO RAISE GOLD-WARE STANDARD


Consul Albert Halstead reports that the following new regulation has been issued by the assay masters of the Birmingham assay office, after a conference with the other assay offices of the United Kingdom:

Gold wares of the two lower standards, viz, 9 carats and 12 carats, needing solder in the making, shall as a whole, as well as in every part thereof, assay at not less than the standard declared by the sender.

The consul comments:

Under the assay act, regulations made by the assay masters are effective without reference to any government department. This new regulation applies to all British assay offices and all gold ware manufactured or sold in the United Kingdom. It is intended to stop the practice of using silver solder in the manufacture of gold ware of the two lower standards; that is, of 9 and 12 carats, respectively. This practice is of comparatively recent date, and it is said was due to the fact that in Australia there was no requirement for any particular standard for gold or silver ware. In order to compete with the ware of Australia, or foreign makes sold there, manufacturers found it necessary to load their gold ware of 9 and 12 carats excessively with silver solder.

As the Australian customs law requires that gold ware marked as 9 carats must at least assay 8¾ carats and that marked at 12 carats must at least assay at 11¾ carats, it has become necessary to raise the standard of these lower grades of gold ware. It is also thought that the name of British gold ware must be protected from the charge of being below the standard which it is marked.

As to gold ware of 15, 18, and 22 carats, respectively, there has been no question of using other than gold solder, and, as I understand, existing regulations have require that assays of the higher grades must come up to these standards in order to secure the hall-mark or be salable in the United Kingdom. Hall-marked silverware has always been up to the standard of .9255 fine. It is expected that the new regulation will cause British gold ware, of these two standards, to be preferred to the same standards of foreign or colonial make, thus increasing the demand for it.


Source: Monthly Consular and Trade Reports - October 1909

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Re: British Assay Office Information

Postby dognose » Sun Jan 29, 2017 6:33 am

An account of the silver marked by the Sheffield Assay Office, 1870 - 1885:

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Source: Report of the Royal Commission Appointed to Inquire Into the Depression of Trade and Industry - 1886

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Re: British Assay Office Information

Postby dognose » Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:10 am

The total number of silver articles sent for hallmarking at all UK offices in 2016:

Silver......................Total items hallmarked

Fine silver (999)..........21,969
Britannia silver (958)....15,491
Sterling silver (925)......4,479,514
800 parts silver............825

TOTAL 4,517,799

Source: The Goldsmiths' Company

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Re: British Assay Office Information

Postby dognose » Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:10 pm

It has been estimated that not more than one-half of the silver jewellery manufactured in Birmingham in 1883, passed through the Assay Office, but the total received there in the twelve months ending June 24th, 1883, amounted to no less than 856,180 ounces, or 31 tons 17 cwt. 4 lbs. 4 oz., the gold wares received during same period weighing 92,195 ounces, or 3 tons 7 cwt. 12 lbs. 3 oz., the total number of articles sent in for assaying being 2,649,379.

Source: Dictionary of Birmingham - Walter Showell - 1885

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Re: British Assay Office Information

Postby dognose » Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:49 am

An account of the silver marked by the London Assay Office, 29th May 1869 to 29th May 1885:

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Source: Report of the Royal Commission Appointed to Inquire Into the Depression of Trade and Industry - 1886

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Re: British Assay Office Information

Postby dognose » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:04 am

The total number of gold articles sent for hallmarking at all UK offices in 2016:

Gold...............Total items hallmarked

24ct (999).........821
24ct (990).........117
18ct (750).........862,509
14ct (585).........106,272
9ct (375)...........3,425,213

TOTAL 4,842,762

Source: The Goldsmiths' Company

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Re: British Assay Office Information

Postby dognose » Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:18 am

BIRMINGHAM ASSAY OFFICE


During the year ending June 30, 1874, the number of gold and silver wares entered at the Birmingham Assay Office exceeded 1,000,000.

Source: The Art Journal - Vol. XIV - 1875

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Re: British Assay Office Information

Postby dognose » Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:23 am

LONDON ASSAY OFFICE

The number of watch-cases marked at the Assay offices, Goldsmiths' Hall, for the year ending May 1874, were 31,924 gold and 109,814 silver ones.

Source: The Watchmaker, Jeweller and Silversmith - 5th January 1876

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Re: British Assay Office Information

Postby dognose » Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:53 am

An account of the gold watchcases assayed by the London and Chester assay offices, 1855 - 1863:

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Source: The Horological Journal - 1st June 1864

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Re: British Assay Office Information

Postby dognose » Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:58 am

BIRMINGHAM ASSAY OFFICE

A Statement of the Quantities of Silver and Gold Assayed and Marked, or Cut as below the Standard, at the Birmingham Assay Office, in each Year, from its Establishment in 1773 to 1839:

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The duty upon silver plate, when first charged, was 6d. per oz.; it was afterwards raised to 1s., and ls. 3d., and lastly in 1816, to its present rate, 1s. 6d. The manufacturer is allowed one-sixth from the gross weight, the articles being sent to the office in an unfinished state; therefore only 1s. 3d. is paid on the gross weight. No duty is charged upon either silver or gold watch cases. The watch cases sent from Coventry to the Birmingham assay office are included in the above statement, and may amount to rather more than one-third of the whole weight.

The duty upon gold plate is 17s. per oz. The same allowance is made as upon silver plate. Gold watch cases bear a very small proportion to the other gold articles stamped, which consist principally of wedding rings. Of these 25,000 were assayed in the year 1838-9, at this office.


Source: Journal of the Statistical Society of London - 1839

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Re: British Assay Office Information

Postby dognose » Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:15 pm

MISSING GOLD

Considerable leakage of gold has lately occurred at the Birmingham Assay Office. In seven weeks gold to the value of over £200 has been missed. Detectives were engaged and two men have been arrested.


Source: South Wales Echo - 27th November 1899

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