About us

We supervise the hallmarking activities of the 4 assay offices in the UK to ensure there is adequate provision of hallmarking within the UK.

Responsibilities

We are responsible for:

  • working with the Assay Offices and Trading Standards to ensure that hallmarking law is enforced
  • creating regulations to help the assay offices (the official UK bodies who test the purity of precious metals) in their work and to help the UK jewellery trade grow
  • proposing legal changes and advising the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • maintaining the high standards of the UK’s hallmarking facilities
  • monitoring the work of the UK assay offices and their established sub-offices (including any sub-offices offshore)

Priorities

For 2018, our priorities will be:

  • operational integrity and technical consistency
  • education and enforcement; raising the profile of hallmarking
  • work relating to Brexit
  • implementation of the agreed way forward on offshore hallmarking
  • work on changes to the Hallmarking Act
  • governance, and our sponsor relationship with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

Read our corporate statement to find out how we are performing against our priorities.

Who we are

The assay offices appoint 6 members to the council, 2 from Assay Office London, 2 from Birmingham Assay Office and 1 each from the Sheffield and Edinburgh assay offices. We may co-opt (elect people from outside the Assay Offices) up to 2 further members. The members hold office for terms of 3 years. The assay masters (assay office chief executives) can’t be council members, but they have a right to attend and speak at meetings.

We are funded entirely by the 4 UK assay offices who split the costs between them.

We normally meet twice a year where we receive a report from each assay office on its activities, and are supplied with statistical information which includes the number of articles assayed.