Birmingham Assay Office news

LAST CHANCE THIS YEAR TO IMPROVE YOUR JEWELLERY KNOWLEDGE BEFORE THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS

Christmas time is fast approaching and 2015 is almost upon us, but before you think about what gifts you are going to buy for your loved one's, why not take up a one day training course at Assay Office Birmingham?! As you may know, the jewellery industry has a wide variety of different areas, and when it comes to selling to customers, it can't be easy to remember every single little detail, so to help improve your knowledge and confidence with this, we have a range of one day courses on offer, which will help to ensure that your customers get the best possible information they need. To see the list of courses we have running for the remainder of the year and the prices for each one, pl....     More >

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THE PLATINUM STORY

platinumsymbol2 Assay Office Birmingham - not just here for you for Christmas - Send us your hallmarking all year round -   While gold is making a comeback, the most precious of the white metals, platinum, is still a firm bridal favourite, with hallmarking volumes holding steady, as Marion Wilson, sales and marketing director, Assay Office Birmingham(BAO) explains here: Platinum is still a newcomer to the centuries old UK hallmarking system, having required an independent hallmark only since 1975. The new metal option made a very slow entry into the market, taking until 1985 to exceed just 20 hallmarked units per year and remaining at between 8,000 to 10,000 for another decade until 19....     More >

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WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT OPALS, THE OCTOBER BIRTHSTONE?

opal ring It can be found throughout the world but most commonly in Australia and most opals are of very little value. But the best opals can command prices per carat that rival the most expensive diamonds, rubies and emeralds. Quality factors of Opal Individual opals can vary widely in appearance and quality. There are three main aspects of an opal’s quality: • Colour - Background colour and play-of-colour An opal might display a single colour, two or three colours, or all the colours of the rainbow. Black background, bright play-of-colour as well as a wide colour range is prized characteristics by opal lovers. Red is considered the best prominent colour. • Pattern - Arrangement ....     More >

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JEWELLERY RECALLED FROM END USERS IN THE UK

New Picture (6) RAPEX, the EU Rapid alert system for dangerous non-food consumer products, has recently revealed that a style of hairclip imported from overseas has been recalled from end users in the UK. This particular hairclip was recalled due to the fact it contained excessive amounts of Cadmium. (40.3% by weight), well over the limit set by the REACH regulations of 0.01%. Cadmium Cadmium has long been recognised as a toxin and a known carcinogen, harmful when it is ingested or inhaled.  As a result of its harmful qualities, The EU extended the restrictions on Cadmium in the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Directive in December 2011.  ....     More >

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WESTMINSTER ABBEY SERVICE AND MEMORIAL FOR BIRMINGHAM INDUSTRIALIST MATTHEW BOULTON – FOUNDER OF ASSAY OFFICE BIRMINGHAM

Matthew Boulton 2 (Feature Image) Birmingham’s past and present as a world leader in design and engineering has been celebrated in a service dedicating a memorial to industrial revolution pioneer Matthew Boulton  - founder of Assay Office Birmingham - at Westminster Abbey. Hundreds of people including Birmingham’s Lord Mayor, Staff, Wardens and Guardians from Assay Office Birmingham attended the service to dedicate a plaque to immortalise Matthew Boulton’s achievements. Matthew Boulton was born in Birmingham in September 1728, the son of a buckle and button maker. In 1760 he began building the Soho Manufactory in Handsworth. Jewellery, silverware and coins from his workshops were exported across the world. H....     More >

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GREAT EVENING OF NETWORKING AT QUARTER LIFESTYLE EVENT

Assay Office Birmingham Stand - Quarter Lifestyle Event 2014 (Feature Image) Members of staff from Assay Office Birmingham recently attended the Quarter Lifestyle Event, which took place at University College Birmingham. Marion Wilson (Sales and Marketing Director), Marie Brennan (Business Development Manager), Kathy McMillen (Hallmarking Operations Director) and Carla Goodfellow (AnchorCert and SafeGuard Director) met a wide range of established and upcoming businesses who are based within the Jewellery Quarter. The event proved to be a good opportunity for all to network with each other and exchange positive dialogue. ....     More >

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POSITIVE PAWNBROKING CONFERENCE 2014

NPA Logo (Feature Image) Once again, this year's NPA Conference proved to be another great event for staff at Assay Office Birmingham and for all pawnbrokers who attended. The conference took place  at Hotel Russell in London. Chief Executive and Assay Master of Assay Office Birmingham,Stella Layton also gave a very well received presentation at the Conference.  Stella gave an update on gold and other precious metals and an overview of the current jewellery market. Assay Office Birmingham also supported the NPA awards and sponsored the Employer of the Year award which was won this year by The Money Shop. Many Congratulations to all the winners. ....     More >

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WINNER OF THIS WEEK’S SAFEGUARD COMPETITION ANNOUNCED!

We Have a Winner (Feature Image) Congratulations to Andrew Clayton of Clayton Fine Jewellery, who is the winner of this week's competition! Andrew has successfully bagged himself a 10x Magnification Loupe and a Friction Ball! Many Thanks go to Cooksongold for supplying us with the prizes. If you took part in the competition and you were unfortunate not to win on this occasion, don't be too disapointed as you will have another chance of winning some great prizes again soon! ....     More >

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“A PLACE FOR ART” – ASSAY OFFICE BIRMINGHAM CONTRIBUTE TO RBSA EXHIBITION

rbsa-logo Assay Office Birmingham are pleased to be contributing to the current exhibition at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists  gallery in Brook Street, just off St Paul’s Square in the Jewellery Quarter.  The Society is celebrating 200 years this year and its current exhibition, “A Place for Art”  chronicles not only its own history but also reflects the changing society in which it has developed. Assay Office Birmingham have loaned a collection of medallions and the dies that were used to create them. These mark  significant events such as the death of  Matthew Boulton in 1809, commemorated in a large copper gilt cast, and three items which celebrate peace in Europe in 1814. The....     More >

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IDENTIFYING CRYSTAL GLASS

reachforglass-main crop      Awareness of and compliance with the Lead Regulations has grown and so there is need to identify exempted items.   Lead, Crystal Glass & the Law Legislation has been enforceable since October 2013 which states that the lead content in an item of jewellery or a hair accessory must be less than or equal to 0.05 per cent (500 parts per million) by weight of the individual part. However, it is recognised that there are not any suitable alternatives for some materials with a higher lead content, and vitreous enamels and crystal glass are therefore exempt from the regulation. Inevitably, manufacturers and importers are now keen to identify the components that can be classified ....     More >

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ASSAY OFFICE BIRMINGHAM LOOKS AHEAD TO THE NPA CONFERENCE 2014

NPA Logo (Feature Image) Representatives from Assay Office Birmingham will be attending this year's NPA Conference, which is taking place at Hotel Russell in London on Friday 10th October to promote the AnchorCert Gemmological Laboratory, SafeGuard Jewellery Valuation Service, The Analytical Laboratory and Hallmarking. Many pawnbrokers use several divisions of Assay Office Birmingham to test, verify or authenticate precious metal content, diamonds, pearls and other gemstones prior to re-sale in order to add independent re-assurance to the article. Stella Layton will be in attendance as a guest speaker at the event for the first time as Chief Executive and Assay Master of Assay Office Birmingham. Stella wi....     More >

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COMPETITION TIME! YOUR CHANCE TO WIN……..‏

Competition WIN (Feature Image) SAFEGUARD JEWELLERY VALUATIONS ARE OFFERING YOU THE CHANCE TO WIN TWO HANDY JEWELLERY TOOLS! In order to win two great prizes, all you need to do is tell us the answer to the following question…….. A SafeGuard Valuation may contain the following 3 abbreviations, what do they stand for? FGA NRV SHRV WHAT CAN YOU WIN? One lucky winner will receive a 10x Magnification Loupe with Case and a handy Friction Ball both useful tools for a retailer. These prizes were very kindly surprised to us by Cooksongold. HOW TO ENTER To enter this competition, please send in your answer plus your full name, e-mail address and contact number to safeguard@theassayoffice.co.uk by ....     More >

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WHEN IS A HALLMARK NOT A HALLMARK?

Gold Ring 2014 (Feature Image) Do you know what marks you should be looking for when studying a hallmark on a piece of jewellery or silverware? Over the years Assay Office Birmingham has seen many articles brought to us by members of the public and also the trade who have asked us to identify what they believe is a hallmark when in fact it is a fraudulent mark. Here are some tips on what should be hallmarked by law and what is required in order to make it a genuine hallmark. WHAT NEEDS TO BE HALLMARKED? Any article that is being described as wholly or partly made of gold, silver, platinum or palladium by law requires a hallmark unless if falls under the exemption weight. The exemption weight is based on the pre....     More >

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NEW EDITABLE ASSAY NOTE AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD NOW!

P Assay Office Birmingham has now produced an electronic version of the Assay Note document which is available to download from the website. An Assay Note should be completed for each single alloy standard submitted for hallmarking. A correctly completed Assay Note helps us to process your parcels as quickly and efficiently as possible. To complete your Assay Note electronically, please follow the link below to our Download Centre where you will find the template displayed below. http://www.theassayoffice.co.uk/images/pdfs/assay_note_2014_form.pdf If you need assistance with completing your Assay Note, there is also ‘A Guide to Completing an Assay Note’ document, which you c....     More >

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URGENT NOTICE FOR ALL ANALYTICAL LABORATORY CUSTOMERS

Anchor silver circle logo (small) feat img IMPORTANT MESSAGE   One of our customers has this morning queried a test report for Nickel Release which purports to have come from The Laboratory at the CHINA Assay Office.  The report carries our old rectangular logo with the Anchor and follows the exact format of our genuine reports, including the UKAS logo and our accreditation number. Please note Assay Office Birmingham does not have any association or partnership with any Assay Offices overseas. The only genuine certificates from Assay Office Birmingham are generated by our Laboratory here in Birmingham and since July 2014 have carried our new round logo; If you have any queries with regard to any certificates which pu....     More >

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