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									BIRMINGHAM                                 NEWS FROM THE BIRMINGHAM ASSAY OFFICE


GIVE BUYERS NIGHTMARES...                                              400
                ichael Allchin, Chief

M               Executive and Assay Master,
                gives his view on the state
                of the market

                                                            £ per oz

As we see a drop in the comparative year on year
UK Hallmarking figures for the 18th consecutive                        250
month we continue to analyse this decline and the
forces that are driving it.                                            200                                                                                    Low

We have always held up the Hallmarking figures as                      150
being the best benchmark for showing trends in the
jewellery industry. But in the difficult circumstances we              100
are facing at present, the figures need to be interpreted                         2000         2001          2002           2003        2004         2005          2006
with caution. Despite the falling Hallmarking figures                                                                                                               to May
we are hearing success stories from many of our
customers.                                                  does not look like good value for money beside its                 the pre Christmas orders will have to be placed.
                                                            silver and Costume Jewellery counterparts. Buyers and
             To try to put the figures into perspective     designers for the price sensitive mid market are                   So where will it all end? Who knows? While we need
             we need to consider the environment we         struggling to offer attractive pieces which meet their             to understand what is going on around us, and that
             are operating in. Customer spending in         customers’ price expectations.                                     there are many factors which can drastically influence
             2004 was lower than anticipated,                                                                                  our daily business and yet are not under our control,
             resulting in major de-stocking in 2005         In 2006 the gold price has continued to rise and also              it is important to keep things in perspective.
             because companies needed less stock to         fluctuated wildly, giving buyers nightmares and the
             cover their forward sales.                     impossible task of gauging when it is best to buy.                 There is still plenty of good news and success within
                                                            In the first five months of 2006, gold sold at an                  the UK jewellery and gemstone industry, some of
               Increased rents and rates are forcing many   average of £330.45 per ounce, with a high of £383.54               which is detailed in this first “new look” issue of
retailers to rethink their investment in stock levels       and low of £298.90. In this volatile and uncertain                 The Anchor. I hope you find it interesting reading.
while faster communication allows precise stock             market, the hallmarking figures would suggest that
replenishment overnight for the retailer. Distance          many have chosen to wait a bit longer before                       Full details of the second quarter Hallmarking figures
sellers on the internet and TV Shopping Channels now        committing themselves. But at some point                           are on the back page.
represent a significant market share and they have less
need to hold stock. So the gradual de-stocking
continues. Bad news for manufacturers and importers
at present, but in the long term, once the overstocks
have sold through, volumes could be expected to level
                                                                   WELCOME TO                                               …AND MANY THANKS CLIVE!!!
out again.
                                                                   THE NEW-LOOK                                              Clive Broadfield, who has
There are many factors which influence consumer
spending at a macro economic level; interest rates,
house prices, employment levels. The jewellery industry
                                                                   ANCHOR                                                    edited The Anchor since its
                                                                                                                             inception in 1996, and who
also has to contend with increasing competition from               The new format has been designed                          many readers will have had
products such as I-Pods, HD TV’s , mobile phones and               to reflect the expanding range of services                contact with over the years,
countless other new enhancements to the modern                     provided by The Birmingham Assay                          has retired from his role.
lifestyle which were not on the consumer’s “wish list”             Office. In future, there will be regular
10 years ago. In the short term there are also                     columns on, Hallmarking, AnchorCert,                      Clive actually worked with The Assay Office for a
incidental factors; the weather, the World Cup, the                SafeGuard and The Laboratory.                             total of 47 years and was originally responsible for
holiday season.                                                                                                              public relations and marketing. For the past 10
                                                                   There will also be a regular feature on our history, a    years, he has been the driving force behind the
But for the fine jewellery industry there is also one              page devoted to industry-wide news and another            production of The Anchor and has edited 41
other crucial factor; the price of precious metal.                 to the activities of our hard-working team.               editions since it was launched.
Analysis of the gold price over the last five years is
very revealing. As shown in the table opposite, the                "We hope that our newsletter will hold something          We would like to thank Clive, who has been
price has been rising steadily since 2000 and the                  of interest for everybody," said Marketing Director       married to June, his wife, for 54 years and has two
average price per ounce in 2005 was £244.95 as                     Marion Wilson. "Our aim is to make it an easy and         sons, Peter and Mark, for his dedication and
opposed to £184.34 in 2000. Gold jewellery prices are              informative read for all the people who have an           commitment over so many years. We wish him a
noticeably higher, with the inevitable result that gold            interest in our activities."                              long, happy and very healthy retirement.

 PA G E                                   ®                 PA G E                                    ®                       PA G E
              ANCHORCERT                                                      SAFEGUARD
             ..............................                                                                                                ....................

 3           Launches new marketing campaign,
             including advertising and point of
             purchase support materials.                    4                A resurgent Goldsmiths
                                                                             confirm SafeGuard® as
                                                                             its Valuation Service.                           5            News from America -
                                                                                                                                           Palladium steals the
                                                                                                                                           show at Las Vegas.

                                                                        A VISIT FROM EGYPT
                        party of representatives

               A        from the Egyptian Assay
                        Office paid a visit to their
                        Birmingham counterpart in
            March, renewing an association that goes
                                                                        RENEWS AN OLD ALLIANCE
            back some 90 years.
             The minutes of the Guardians’ Annual General
             Meeting held on 13th July, 1916 state that in the
             previous year Birmingham Assay Office had supplied
             assay materials (not for the first time) to the Egyptian
             Assay Office and ‘the Egyptian Assay Offices have
             recently been reorganised as far as possible upon
             the lines of this Assay Office. The Director of the
             Assay Office, Cairo, having spent some time in the
             office following our method of working.’

             In 1919, the minutes record that the Guardians had
             received a communication via the Foreign Office
             ‘conveying the thanks of the Egyptian Government
             for the information and assistance they have
             received from this Office in the re-organisation of
             their Assay Offices.’ The paragraph goes on to state,
             with a touch of smugness, that the new Egyptian
             law prescribes compulsory assay and hallmarking for
             imports, but that ‘at the instance of this Office, a       Our Egyptian visitors in March enjoyed a tour of our         Representatives of the Egyptian Assay Office
             clause was inserted exempting gold and silver              Hallmarking operation and the silver collection with      viewing the silver collection at Birmingham.
             articles bearing the British Hallmark.’                    Phyllis Benedikz, Curator/Librarian.


      HALLMARKING                                                       STUDENT HALLMARKING
      MANAGER                                                           PACKAGE LAUNCHED
      We are delighted to announce that June                                         he Birmingham Assay Office                The package, valued at

      Russell has been promoted to Hallmarking                                       has for many years                        over £140 includes -
      Manager to succeed Gill Billington who                                         recognised the importance                    Registration of a
      retired on 16th June after 40 years service                                    of supporting and                            Sponsor’s Mark
      with The Birmingham Assay Office.                                 encouraging the new lifeblood of the                      One Sponsor’s Mark
                                                                        jewellery and silversmithing industries and               Hallmarking Punch
                      June, pictured, has been with                                                                               Set up of software
                                                                        we are delighted to announce details of a
                      The Birmingham Assay Office for 30                                                                          for Laser Marking of
                      years, working in a number of different           new Hallmarking Package for Students.                     Sponsor’s mark
                      departments including Progress and
                      Preparation and Despatch. She held a              We are are offering all full time students, on         Proof of identification
                      supervisory role before moving to the             recognised jewellery and silversmithing courses at     will be required to take
                      Hallmarking Department where she                  any College or University in the UK, the opportunity   advantage of this offer
                      has managed the Laser Marking                     to register at The Birmingham Assay Office             and anyone wishing further details or a registration
                      department for the last five years.               completely free of charge.                             pack should contact our Registration Clerk,
                                                                                                                               Lin Moran on 0121 236 6951 or email
      “I am very much looking forward to taking on the                  The offer will give students the opportunity of
      challenge of my new role as Hallmarking Manager but,              setting up their own Sponsor’s mark at no cost.
      more importantly, to continuing to provide the very
      best level of service to all of our customers.”                   ......................................................................................
      June can be reached on 0121 262 1006 or by email:

      MARIE RETURNS                                                     ASSAY OFFICE JOINS
      TO WORK!                                                          BRITISH JEWELLERS’
      Marie Brennan has returned to her role as
      Business Relations Manager at Birmingham
      Assay Office following her maternity leave.
                                                                                     he Birmingham Assay Office                Marion Wilson, The Assay Office’s Marketing Director
                      Marie, who is responsible for ensuring
                      that regular contact is maintained with
                      our Hallmarking customers will, no
                      doubt, be in touch in the near future.
                      However should you need to contact
                                                                          T          has recently joined the
                                                                                     British Jewellers’ Association,
                                                                                     the national trade body
                                                                        which promotes and protects the growth
                                                                                                                               said; “The Birmingham Assay Office has, for many
                                                                                                                               years, maintained close links with the BJA.

                                                                                                                               Now our membership will build further on that
                                                                                                                               affiliation and enable our two organisations to work
                      her sooner, please do not hesitate to             and prosperity of UK jewellery and                     even more closely in the future”.
                      call her on 0121 262 1035 or by email:            silverware manufacturers and suppliers.
             nchorCert® has been part of                   diamonds with other enhancements such as laser                unmounted diamonds, the book has been designed

  A          The Birmingham Assay
             Office since 2000 and
             provides a unique UK-based
Diamond and Gemstone Certification,
                                                           drilling, fracture filling and colour treatments.

                                                           Since its inception six years ago, AnchorCert has
                                                           grown steadily. Now, with its expertise proven, the
                                                           Birmingham Assay Office is launching a new
                                                                                                                         to provide retailers with a stylish piece of literature
                                                                                                                         which will fit perfectly in any interior scheme and
                                                                                                                         provide potential customers with more information
                                                                                                                         and, therefore, more reassurance when considering
                                                                                                                         the purchase of their diamond.
Grading and Testing service.                               marketing campaign targeted at enhancing the
                                                           number of trade clients as well as increasing the             The second is a new AnchorCert
                                                           knowledge and understanding of diamond                        counter-top ‘A’ display, which                                                                         Buy with
                                                                                                                                                                       Choosing                                                 complete
AnchorCert aims to provide diamond and gemstone            certification amongst consumers.                              features the same message as the              a diamond                                                confidence

traders and consumers with fast, fair, efficient and                                                                     advertising – "Rock Solid                     W        hatever your reason for wanting a diamond,
                                                                                                                                                                                it will be personal and charged
                                                                                                                                                                       with emotion. When choosing your diamond follow
                                                                                                                                                                       your heart. Don’t be afraid of love at first sight but
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                M        any jewellers now sell
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         diamonds with an
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                AnchorCert® Diamond
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Certificate, produced by the
                                                                                                                                                                       do take your time and take advice from your jeweller.

totally unbiased, expert opinions of the diamonds          The new AnchorCert marketing campaign will have               Reassurance" – and the same stylish
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Birmingham Assay Office,
                                                                                                                                                                       Spend as much as you can afford and indulge yourself.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                a completely independent
                                                                                                                                                                       Your diamond will be part of your life forever.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                organisation, with no vested interest in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                the product. AnchorCert is one of the world’s leading
                                                                                                                                                                       Every diamond is unique and has a beauty all of its
                                                                                                                                                                       own. You will find a huge choice available – something   diamond certification services and an AnchorCert®

and gemstones they are buying and/or selling.              three elements. The first is a new advertisement              black and white treatment as the
                                                                                                                                                                       to suit every budget. The factors that influence the     Diamond Certificate provides you with complete
                                                                                                                                                                       value are the quality of the diamond – the clarity,      confidence in your diamond.
                                                                                                                                                                       colour and cut – and its size plus, of course, its
                                                                                                                                                                       precious metal setting. You will find a simple guide     It means that your diamond has been thoroughly
                                                                                                                                                                       to these factors on the following pages.                 scrutinised by a team of professional gemmologists and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                graded according to the international standards set by

                                                           that, initially, will appear in the trade press but, in the   new Diamond booklet.                          Your jeweller has years of experience and expertise
                                                                                                                                                                       and will be able to explain the characteristics of the
                                                                                                                                                                       diamond you choose. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
                                                                                                                                                                       and benefit from his or her specialised knowledge.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA). Using the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                latest technology they also make sure that the diamond
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                is natural and identify any treatment it may have
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                received to improve either its colour or clarity.

The AnchorCert diamond grading laboratory is the           longer term, will also be targeted at the consumer            The double-sided ‘A’ display                                                                           Two types of AnchorCert® reports are available.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Full Report provides in depth information about
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                unmounted diamonds whereas the Mini Certificate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                provides basic information about unmounted
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                diamonds or an assessment of mounted

only facility of its kind in the UK. It is staffed by a    through appropriate lifestyle media.                          features the 4 Cs and is an ideal                                                                      stones. Each certificate that accompanies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                your diamond is unique and in some
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                instances you will find that we have
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                inscribed the Certificate number on the girdle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                of the diamond – providing additional reassurance

highly qualified team of Gemmologists and Diamond                                                                        tool for retailers to use when                                                                         that the certificate belongs to that stone and proof
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                of ownership in the case of loss or theft in the future.

Graders and is equipped with state-of-the-art              The other two are new point of purchase materials             explaining to customers precisely                                                                      I NDEPENDENT D IA MOND C ERTIFICATION

equipment ranging from 10x diamond magnification           targeted specifically at the consumer. They are a             how diamonds are graded and valued.
           lenses to the sophisticated Raman               new AnchorCert "Diamonds" mini brochure which
              spectrometer. It is also the only facility   provides an insight into the history and mystery of           "Both the leaflet and the ‘A’ card have been produced
                             in the UK equipped to         diamonds while educating consumers about how                  as practical promotional material aids for retailers and
                                   ensure that diamonds    they are valued. The 8-page booklet, which is ‘DL’            they are available in the first instance free of charge
                                   are natural.            size (ie 1/3 of A4), also contains details of the "5 C’s"     to AnchorCert retailers who sell diamonds which
                                   AnchorCert’s unique     – Carat, Clarity, Cut, and Colour – plus the fifth ‘C’        carry AnchorCert certification," said Michael Allchin,
                                  facilities can detect    – certification.                                              Chief Executive and Assay Master.
                                 synthetic diamonds and
                                can identify HPHT-         Produced in a stylish black and white format                  More information about AnchorCert is available on
                               treated diamonds and        and featuring illustrations of both mounted and               Tel: 0121 262 1024 email:

                                                                                                                                                         The illustration shows an
                                                                                                                                                        exceptional 257-grain pearl
                                                                                                                                                        examined recently at our laboratory
                                                                                                                                                       (one pearl grain is a quarter of a carat).

......................................................................................                                                            ......................................
During the past 12 months the London                       concentric ring pattern to form the pearl.                                         number of natural pearls of the
AnchorCert Gemmological Office has                                                                                                          same size and, generally speaking,
                                                           A cultured pearl is one produced by the direct                                the colours of cultured pearls in a
examined and reported upon far more                        intervention of Man in the growth process and the                         string would be better matched than
natural pearls than in any previous year.                  jeweller will encounter two types. The first contains a              those in a natural pearl string.
                                                           bead as a nucleus. A spherical bead of shell is
“I cannot recall seeing as many natural pearls             implanted into a farmed bivalve mollusc (an oyster)           If you split a pearl in half, a concentric ring pattern
submitted for identification in more than twenty-five      together with a small piece of flesh from a sacrificed        of nacre (much like the ring pattern in a tree- trunk)
years of testing in London,” said Eric Emms, Director      oyster. This stimulates the animal to secrete thin            would be revealed in a natural pearl. The beaded
of the AnchorCert Gemmological Office.                     layers of nacre on to the nucleus and the eventual            cultured pearl would reveal the solid bead occupying
                                                           thickness of the nacre is determined, by the length           most of the volume whereas the non- nucleated
Although most of the natural pearls have been              of time the bead is left in the oyster.                       cultured pearl would reveal a tiny irregularly shaped
submitted for Pearl reports by international auction                                                                     cavity in its centre.
houses on behalf of the vendors, a significant             The other type of cultured pearl, one that is
number are being sent by jewellery dealers and             increasing in quality and popularity, lacks a bead            These differences are confined to the internal
independent retailers.                                     nucleus. Instead pieces of flesh from a sacrificed            structure and X-ray technology is used to reveal it.
                                                           mussel are inserted into the inner edge of a farmed           At the AnchorCert Gemmological Office an industrial
Today, the cultured varieties are so common that the       mussel. Nacre is produced by the mussel to                    X-ray machine is used to take radiographs of loose
word ‘pearl’ is used (incorrectly) to denote a cultured    surround the inserted flesh which eventually                  pearls and strings of pearls. The exposure times, X-
pearl and many readers will seldom have had the            deteriorates to form a tiny cavity within the cultured        ray energy selected, source-to-film distance and the
opportunity to handle natural pearls.                      pearl. This type is called a ‘non-nucleated cultured          film processing procedures are controlled precisely
                                                           pearl’.                                                       in order to develop a set of radiographs that will
So what is a ‘pearl’? Eric Emms explains:                                                                                resolve the fine details of the internal structure of
                                                           Cultured pearls are now produced primarily in Japan           any pearl tested.
“Natural pearls are produced purely as an accident         and China with Australia and the Pacific Islands also
by wild oysters and mussels living in seas, rivers or      producing fine, large (over 9 mm) beaded cultured             Pearl identification requires a great many years of
lakes. No human intervention in their growth is            pearls.                                                       experience in examining radiographs of different shapes
involved. The term 'pearl', used without qualification,                                                                  of natural and cultured pearls and it is not an easy task.
must be applied only to a natural pearl.                   Natural pearls will always be more valuable than
                                                           cultured pearls of the same size, colour and nacre            Asking your friendly vet or dentist to take an X- ray
They are formed when the wild oyster or mussel is          appearance and there is a continuous demand for               of your pearl is unlikely to produce an accurate
stimulated to produce layers of calcium carbonate, in      the accurate identification of single pearls and              identification. It is best to call the AnchorCert
the form of crystals of calcite and aragonite. These       strings of pearls.                                            Gemmological Office.”
layers are referred to as nacre and are bonded by an
occasional layer of a secreted protein called              A string of similarly sized pearls is more likely to be       You can contact Eric Emms on 020 7404 4202
conchiolin. The nacre is deposited in a layered and        cultured because it is extremely rare to obtain a             or email
                              . . . A N D S A F E G U A R D P R O V I D E S T H E VA L U AT I O N S E R V I C E
                          n the current climate of                  The store location list for the Mappin & Webb Group

                 I        declining sales figures and
                          with High Streets deserted
                          by football fans and
             sunseekers alike, it is particularly
                                                                    reads like a Monopoly board – four stores in Bond
                                                                    Street , two in Knightsbridge and several more in
                                                                    central London, including two with royal warrants
                                                                    that frequently supply jewellery to Buckingham
                                                                    Palace (and to ‘Beckingham Palace’).
             refreshing to hear of a specialist
             Jewellery retailer who is doing well.                  These are shops for the serious shopper and staff
                                                                    training, knowledge and service are of paramount
                                                                    importance – attributes which both brands have in
                                                                    abundance. The Directors of Goldsmiths have been
                                                                    encouraged and impressed with the level of
                                                                    expertise, experience and professionalism they have
                                                                    gained with the acquisition.

                                                                    Meanwhile the 170-strong Goldsmiths stores
                                                                    portfolio covers the provinces - with flagship stores
                                                                    in major shopping malls such as Meadowhall,               The fixed item pricing system, which was pioneered
                                                                    Sheffield and BullRing, Birmingham plus traditional       by SafeGuard, is applied to the Goldsmiths Valuation
                                                                    outlets in High Streets elsewhere.                        Service and is very straightforward for staff to sell
                                                                                                                              and attractive for customers and continues to
                                                                                                                              attract high levels of valuation business.

                                                                                                                              Goldsmiths are looking to the future very positively and
                                                                                                                              have ambitious targets for this year which they have
             Goldsmiths are back with renewed vigour after a                                                                  backed with investment in marketing, staff training,
             disappointing year in 2005. Sales are up so far this                                                             store refurbishment and innovative new projects.
             year and, following the recent acquisition of Mappin   Many of these are agencies for upmarket watch
             and Webb and Watches of Switzerland by parent          brands making the Goldsmiths Group now the                Chief Executive Jurek Piasecki said: “We are in the
             company Baugur, Goldsmiths are poised for an           largest distributor in the UK for Rolex and Breitling     process of integrating three great, high class
             exciting year.                                         and the largest in the world for Omega, Tag Heuer         jewellery and watch retail brands with a wonderful
                                                                    and Gucci. Amongst this glitterati of upmarket            pedigree and which are familiar and instantly
             Six months after the acquisition, Goldsmiths have      products, SafeGuard is proud to be the supplier of        recognisable to the UK consumer.
             had the opportunity to review the three very           Goldsmiths’ own branded Valuation Service.                We now cover all levels of the
             different brands that they now own and have now        Recently relaunched, the valuation service is             quality diamond, jewellery
             formulated a plan to integrate them into one,          packaged in a format that suits the Goldsmiths            and watch market,
             consolidated operation while retaining the             image. The service also gives the customer a larger       providing us a spread of
             distinctive strengths of each brand name.              photograph of their jewellery and more background         businesses throughout
                                                                    information on each item valued.                          the UK. It’s a solid
             With 90% of its sales turnover generated by                                                                      platform on which to
             watches, Watches of Switzerland will remain an         Adding yet further value to the package, Goldsmiths       grow our future
             upmarket destination shop for affluent watch           have included cleaning and repair vouchers in the         business.”
             connoisseurs throughout the UK.                        Valuation Pack to encourage repeat business.


             SAFEGUARD GOES
             ABOVE THE LINE
                                                                                                                                   THE INDEPENDENT JE WELLERY VALUATION SERVICE

                           or the first time in its history,        jewellery trade and highlight the advantages it offers.

             F             SafeGuard is the subject of an
                           advertising campaign.

             "SafeGuard is the UK’s premier jewellery valuation
                                                                    "Prime amongst these are the SafeGuard team of
                                                                    experienced valuers, the fixed price charging system
                                                                    which is good for the retailers and their customers,
                                                                    and the fact that SafeGuard is totally independent,
                                                                    without any hidden agendas or links to other
             service," said Marion Wilson, Marketing Director of    organisations such as insurance companies."
             The Birmingham Assay Office. "Since the inception
             of the organisation 20 years ago and its takeover by   The advert itself features unusual items of jewellery          SafeGuard means you can provide                                SafeGuard provides you with all the support
                                                                                                                                                                                                  you need to offer valuations and to organise
                                                                                                                                   an extra special service for your                              special Jewellery Valuation Event Days.
             The Birmingham Assay Office in 2000, we have           and an antique fob watch (with an unusual feature              customers & increase your profitability                        SafeGuard is totally independent, with
                                                                                                                                                                                                  valuations provided by the UK’s most
             invested continuously to build a valuation service     that, in the interests of modesty, must remain                                                                                experienced valuers who are all FGA
                                                                                                                                                                                                  qualified or NAG Registered. There are
                                                                                                                                                      SafeGuard trade prices are fixed, so both   no hidden agendas.

             that has no equal in the UK."                          covered) and the copy line "Expertly Valued".                                     you and your customers know what to
                                                                                                                                                      expect. Choose between a SafeGuard          SafeGuard is a division of the Birmingham
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Assay Office, a not-for-profit organisation
                                                                                                                                                      Valuation or the upmarket Jewellery

                                                                    The advert will appear regularly in the trade media                               Portfolio, and the margin to suit your
                                                                                                                                                                                                  that has been providing protection for traders
                                                                                                                                                                                                  and consumers for more than 230 years.

             "The new advertising campaign has been developed       over the coming months and will also be adapted                                   For details visit or call us on
             to reinforce the SafeGuard message to the retail       to appear in consumer publications.                                               0121 236 2122 or email:

              he Laboratory at the                                                                                                                                      All these capabilities are detailed in a new

                                                                                                                                                                        full-colour brochure outlining the work of
              Birmingham Assay Office                                                                                                                                   The Laboratory. A new look advertisement, with the

              enjoys a worldwide                                                                                                                                        headline “Testing your Metal”, has also been launched
              reputation for its proven
capabilities in the analysis and testing of
                                                           TESTING YOUR METAL                                                                                           and will be appearing in a range of technical and
                                                                                                                                                                        trade journals covering the jewellery, metal finishing
                                                                                                                                                                        and surface engineering industries.
precious metals, including gold, silver and
platinum group metals.                                                                                                                                                  Anyone who would like a copy of the new
                                                                                                                                                                        brochure or would like more information about
                      What may not be quite as                                                                                                                          the services provided by The Laboratory can
                      well known is that The                                                                                                                            contact them on 0121 262 1036 or email:
                      Laboratory, under the                                                                                                                   
                      guidance of Chief Assayer and
                      Technical Director, Dippal               A complete service for testing and analysing precious and
                                                                non-precious metals at the world’s largest assay office.
                      Manchanda, also offers its
                                                                              State of the art facilities and a highly qualified and experienced team enable us to
                      expertise across a wide range                           provide comprehensive metal analysis and technical services to all sectors of industry.
                                                                                Precious metals                       Packaging tests
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               the laboratory at the world’s

                                                                                                                                                                                     P R E C I O U S M E TA L S                                                                                                                        L A R G E S T A S S AY O F F I C E
                      of associated materials and                               Base metals
                                                                                Nickel testing
                                                                                                                      Plating thickness
                                                                                                                      Tarnishing, durability and
                                                                                                                      hardness testing
                                                                                                                                                                                                       analysis & testing

                                                                                White gold colour measurement                                               UKAS

Dippal Manchanda      other metals.                                           The services we provide today are under-written by over 230 years
                                                                              of consumer and trade protection.

                                                                                                                                                                                       The most appropriate methods of analysis for
                                                                                                                                                                                       each sample are assessed by the Laboratory’s
                                                                                                                                                                                       expert staff. Typical methods used will be
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Group Metals
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Laboratory has the expertise to provide
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                analysis of the full range of Platinum Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The Birmingham Assay Office is housed in a Grade II
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 listed building, originally built in 1877 and subsequently
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 expanded and improved to handle the requirements of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 modern industry.
                                                                                                                                                                                       either traditional Fire Assay with a gravimetric         Metals in metallic, powder, solution, ore and a

                                                                              For more information visit our website at or call us on 0121 262 1036                                    or spectrometric finish or Fire Assay- ICP-OES
                                                                                                                                                                                       (inductively coupled plasma optical emission
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                wide range of catalysts forms. In order to ensure
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                impartial and accurate results, different separation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Internal redevelopment of the building, which now
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 combines Victorian splendour with 21st century
                                                                                                                                                                                       spectroscopy).                                           procedures may be employed, followed by a variety
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 technology, has been undertaken to improve workflow
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                of instrumental techniques (eg ICP-OES, AAS).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 and to increase efficiency.
                                                           The Assay Office   PO Box 151 Newhall Street Birmingham B3 1SB Tel: 0121 262 1036 Fax: 0121 236 3228                        Typical methods available for silver analysis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                WHITE GOLD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The Laboratory has been the subject of major, on-going
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 investment and as a result is able to provide a wide

It is, for example, a leading authority on nickel           Birmingham        email: Web:
                                                                                                                                                                                       include Gravimetric/Potentiometric techniques,
                                                                                                                                                                                       used for high grade bullion/metallic samples,
                                                                                                                                                                                       a Fire Assay Gravimetric technique with
                                                                                                                                                                                       simultaneous analysis of proof silver and
                                                                                                                                                                                       ICP-OES, which is suitable for trace levels.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Laboratory carried out the original research
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                and formulated various testing methods including
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Colour Measuring Spectrophotometry for Gold
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Colour and White Gold Colour Measurement and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                these are now recognised as the International
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 range of both traditional and state-of-the art testing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 techniques including non-destructive X-Ray
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Fluorescence (XRF) analysis which is used to establish
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 the content of alloys and the thickness of plating.

release testing, colour testing of gold and white                                                                                                                       t h e   L A B o R A T O R Y                t h e        L A B o R A T O R Y                t h e       L A B o R A T O R Y       t h e   L A B o R A T O R Y   t h e   L A B o R A T O R Y               t h e       L A B o R A T O R Y               t h e       L A B o R A T O R Y                     t h e       L A B o R A T O R Y

gold and testing of metals for susceptibility to        of base metals such as copper, zinc, tin and lead.                                                                             PLATING THICKNESS
                                                                                                                                                                                       The Laboratory is able to verify the thickness of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Laboratory provides tests for Stone Adhesion,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               SCOPE OF SERVICES
                                                                                                                                                                                       plated layers using both destructive and non-            Reaction to Temperature/Humidity changes, and

tarnishing and durability. Whilst precious metals       The Laboratory also undertakes ground breaking
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The Birmingham Assay Office, founded by an Act of             Fully Accredited by UKAS to the ISO 17025 standard,
                                                                                                                                                                                       destructive tests (XRF). Articles of all shapes and      Impact Effect.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Parliament in 1773, is now the largest Assay Office in the    the facility has been the subject of considerable ongoing
                                                                                                                                                                                       sizes in both precious and non-precious coatings
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   world. Some 12 million items manufactured from gold,          investment in state-of-the-art equipment. This, coupled
                                                                                                                                                                                       on metallic and non-metallic substrates can be
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   silver or platinum pass through the Assay Office every        with the continuous professional development of all
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   year to be tested to ensure they contain the required legal   technical personnel, has put the Laboratory at the                         UKAS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                PACKAGING, LEATHER                                                                                                                                                                                                                           TESTING
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   amount of precious metal, prior to being hallmarked.          forefront of analytical technology.
                                                                                                                                                                                       TARNISHING                                               and TEXTILE TESTING                                                                                                                                                                                                                           0667

and jewellery are the mainstay of The Laboratory’s      research projects and offers training courses
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   In recent years the scope of services provided by the Assay   t services provided by the Laboratory were initially
                                                                                                                                                                                       A variety of in-house tests have been developed          Packaging is tested for the presence of constituents                                                                                                                    e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Office have been expanded beyond the statutory duties of                   L A
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 developed for the jewellery trade and this remains the
                                                                                                                                                                                       from the appropriate International Standards for         that may tarnish or stain precious and non-                                                                                                                                         B
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Assaying and Hallmarking.                                     biggest client sector.o R A the services are appropriate
                                                                                                                                                                                       tarnishing. The Tarnishing Test exposes the articles     precious articles. Leather and textiles are tested for                                                                                                                                         T O
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 to any potential customer requiring R Y testing and
                                                                                                                                                                                       to the most common accelerants of tarnishing             colour fastness to perspiration.                                                                   The Laboratory at the Assay Office is now widely
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 analysis and the number of clients from other industrial
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  t h
                                                                                                                                                                                       including ultraviolet light, atmospheric oxygen,                                                                                                            acknowledged for its expertise and its extensive range of                                                            e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 sectors is increasing.                                   L A
                                                                                                                                                                                       humidity, changes in moisture and temperature                                                                                                               specialist testing and analysis procedures.                                                                                B o
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  R A
                                                                                                                                                                                       and even synthetic sweat. An additional Sulphurous

work, it also undertakes testing work on of a range     and consultancy in many areas of expertise.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      T O
                                                                                                                                                                                       Agent tarnish test is available for articles that have                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             R Y

                                                                                                                                                                                       received a protective coating.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          t h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         L A
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             B o
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 R A
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     T O
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         R Y

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               t h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         L A
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             B o
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 R A
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     T O
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         R Y

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        e La
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  o  TH      b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A S S E BI R Mratory
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           AY       IN G
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         OF F                        AM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              IC E

                                                                                                                                                                                IPMI MEETS
   PALLADIUM                                                                                                                                                                    IN LAS VEGAS
   STEALS THE SHOW                                                                                                                                                                 The 30th Annual Conference of the
                                                                                                                                                                                   International Precious Metals
                                                                                                                                                                                   Institute (IPMI), the largest and best
                                                        into one – the JCK (Jewelers Circular                                                                                      known association focused on
                 he hot topic in the USA this

                                                        Keystone) Show, the AGTA (American Gem                                                                                     precious metals, took place in Las
                 year, according to Donna               Trade Association) Show and the MJSA
                 Delucia, The Birmingham                (Manufacturers and Jewelers Suppliers of
                                                                                                                                                                                   Vegas early in June and the
                 Assay Office’s Director of             America) Show.                                                                                                             Birmingham Assay Office was
     Sales in the US, is palladium.                                                                                                                                                represented at the conference by
                                                        The JCK Show takes place on two floors, with                                                                               Technical Director Dippal
     "Palladium caused a large buzz amongst all         the higher end vendors on the main floor and
     members of the jewellery community and was         the lower vendors downstairs.
     the hot topic of the recent Las Vegas Jewelry
     Show," said Donna, who represented the             Platinum and designer jewels were a prime                                                                                  The IPMI, an international association of
     Birmingham Assay Office at the show.               focus on the main floor which was divided into                                                                             producers, refiners, fabricators, scientists, users,
                                                        a number of sections – Luxury, Designers,                                                                                  financial institutions, merchants, public and
                               Palladium, introduced    Plumb Club, PGI Pavilion, Italian Pavilion, Israeli
                               as a "Gift from God"     Diamond Centre and Diamond Loose Goods.                                                                                    private sectors groups and the general
                               was the subject of a                                                                                                                                precious metals community, was formed to
                               seminar held by the      The PGI (Platinum Guild International) held an                                                                             provide a forum for the exchange of
                               Palladium Alliance       elaborate "Hollywood Event" on the Sunday                                                                                  information and technology. The 30th
                               International to         morning which rivalled the Oscar style award
                                                                                                                                                                                   Conference was marked by an outstanding
                               introduce the metal      shows – runway models, music champagne,
                               to the trade. Over       white and silver contemporary furnishings –                                                                                attendance and a strong international
                               500 people, including    an extravaganza for the eyes. The point of the                                                                             presence with a number of technical papers on
                               Tiffany, attended the    event was the announcement that the PGI is                                                                                 a range of precious metal related topics being
       Donna Delucia           seminar which            to move completely to be consumer-focused                                                                                  presented by well known experts in the field.
                               focused on all the       and is to launch a new website that will direct
     positive aspects of palladium – white, bright,     consumers to particular retailers who will
     flexible and less dense.                           always carry a specific platinum bridal product.                                                                           Next year’s IPMI conference will be held in
                                                                                                                                                                                   Miami and Dippal Manchanda is planning to
     The Las Vegas Show (3 – 7 June) takes place at     Donna met many Birmingham Assay Office                                                                                     present two technical papers to maintain the
     the Sands Convention Center, which is              clients at the Las Vegas Show. "They all sent
                                                                                                                                                                                   Birmingham Assay Office’s front line visibility
     connected to the Venetian Resort and Casino        their regards and continue to highly value the
     in Las Vegas. It is, in fact, three shows rolled   services we provide," she said.                                                                                            as it continues to roll out significant
                                                                                                                                                                                   technological developments for the industry.
         MEET THE TEAM


                                                                THE BIRMINGHAM ASSAY OFFICE ON THE MARCH
 Staff at The Birmingham Assay Office cheered                               he Birmingham Assay Office                  When they started the trek at 7.30am the sun was

 England on when they met T&T (Trinidad and                                 Sponsored Walk Challenge for                already shining and the temperature was rising. At
                                                                                                                        12.30pm, when they had completed about 11 miles,
 Tobago) in the World Cup on Thursday, June 22.                             2006 took place on Saturday
                                                                                                                        they were met by the support with refreshments. At
 The match (kick-off at 5.00pm) was shown on a big                          17th June. This year our brave              this stage the thought of another 11 miles was very
 screen in the conference room and England’s 2-0                team of walkers attempted a 22 mile                     daunting but with team work and encouragement
 win was celebrated with a few beers and a Balti.               section of the Worcestershire Way                       for each other they plodded on under the blazing
                                                                starting at Abberley and finishing in                   sun in temperatures of about 24 deg walking up and
                                                                                                                        down the undulating and very beautiful countryside.
              WEDDING                                           Great Malvern.                                          They finally reached the end point at about 5.20pm,
                                                                                                                        between them they had blisters, bruises, sunburn
              CELEBRATIONS                                      Twenty four walkers packed their bags and left the
                                                                Assay Office on Friday afternoon in a minibus driven
                                                                                                                        and some very tired and aching legs. However, it
                                                                                                                        was all worthwhile because this year’s sponsor
                       Naz Tariq, who works in the              by our support driver. They spent the night in          money will be split between The Acorns Childrens
                         AnchorCert Office, was married         Worcester sampling the local food and wine and          Hospice and The Foundation for Conductive
                          recently to Azeem Tariq.              then, at 6am on the Saturday morning, all rose          Education. Well done to everyone who took part and
                           The wedding took place at            bright and breezy for the challenging day ahead.        thank you to all who have donated to the cause.
                            Karim’s Palace in Sparkbrook,
                            Birmingham and the
                            celebrations were spread
                           over two days – with the
                                                                BREAST CANCER WALK
                          wedding on the 15th of April                     ichelle Tart has worked in the                Breakthrough Breast Cancer, she will

                         and the reception on the 16th,                                                                  walk a total of 60km. The charity
                                                                           laboratory at The Birmingham
                       The couple honeymooned in                                                                         means a lot to Michelle as a close
                    Majorca and Naz said that they had                     Assay Office for over 15 years.               friend was recently diagnosed with
                   such a brilliant time she really didn’t                 Having joined straight from                   breast cancer. The walk will take
                   want to come back to Birmingham.             school and progressing as the department                 place in Birmingham, with all
                                                                has grown. She now runs the Nickel                       proceeds going to fund research and
                                                                                                                         educational programmes relating to breast cancer.
                                                                Testing department within The Laboratory.
            BOB RETIRES                                         This year Michelle has embarked on a very personal
                                                                challenge - during the weekend of 22nd to 24th
                                                                                                                         Michelle has a long history of raising money for
                                                                                                                         charity, and even thrown herself out of an aeroplane
            Bob Harrison will soon be retiring from the Hand    September, as part of the Aviva Weekend to               for worthy causes. This time she will be walking the
                  Marking Floor, having joined the Assay                                                                 60km distance in just two days and hopes to raise
                  Office in 1965. He had a break of 7 years                                                              at least £1,500. During the coming weeks, she will be
                  but for the last 21 years he has worked         ALLAN COMPLETES                                        staging fund-raising events to help meet this goal.
                  here continuously.
                                                                  40 YEARS SERVICE                                       Anyone who would like to help can contact Michelle
                                                                                                                         at the Assay office on 0121 262 1005, or go to
                   Bob has seen lots of changes during his        Our Maintenance Manager, Allan                         her web page, where you can donate on-line.
                   time here, the building has been               Burns, has recently reached an                60km is a long
            expanded, the working methods have changed,           important milestone with The                           way to walk in just two days, so Michelle deserves
            and so have the people, although there are many       Birmingham Assay Office - 40 years service. Alan       our support. Please be generous.
            he has worked with continuously throughout his        (pictured), who is married to Julie, is responsible
            time with the Birmingham Assay Office. We all         for our building maintenance and has been a loyal
            wish Bob a long and happy retirement.                 and dedicated employee over the last 40 years.             FAREWELL TO
                                                                                                                          ‘THE TWO MARGARETS’
         LONDON CALLING...                                                                                                  In July 2006, two members of staff from
                                                                                                                            our Marking Department are retiring

                      an Bailey, our Quality                    Marathon on no less than three previous occasions.          Margaret Middleton retires following

                                                                Ian and Dianne finished together in 5 hours 32              30 years service with the Assay Office.
                      Manager, took part in the
                                                                minutes – even beating the 12 person caterpillar!           She said; "I have lots of good memories
                      London Marathon with a                                                                                and have made lots of very good friends
                      relative, Dianne who asked                Ian was overwhelmed by                                      during my time at the Assay Office."
         Ian to run the marathon with her to raise              the generosity and support                                  Margaret, who is an avid supporter of
         money for the West Midlands Lupus                      of his colleagues at the                                    Aston Villa, is looking forward to her
                                                                Assay Office, and would                                     retirement when she plans to pursue her
         Group. Sadly, Dianne lost a child to the               like to thank everyone who                                  main interest in life – holidaying!
         condition three years ago, and the charity             provided encouragement
         is close to her heart.                                 and sponsorship. Between                                    Margaret Phillips has worked for the
                                                                them, Ian and Dianne                                        Assay Office as a member of the
         Dianne only started running last September, and this   raised in excess of £2,000                                  Marking Team for 13 years. Initially
         was her first attempt at a marathon. Ian, however,     for the West Midlands                                       employed as a hallmarker, she
         is something of a veteran, having run the London       Lupus Group.                                                subsequently went on to take
                                                                                                                            responsibility for controlling punches.
                                                                                                                            She is planning to move house during
                                                                                                                            her retirement and enjoy more holidays.

 CADDY SPOONS                                                                                                    CELEBRATING BIRMINGHAM’S
                                                                                                                 COMMUNITY MUSEUMS

                                                                                                                 Included with your copy of The Anchor is information
                                                                                                                 regarding Birmingham’s fabulous Community Museums.

  ...............................................................................                                The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, the old Smith & Pepper
                                                                                                                 works and Soho House, the home of our founder, Matthew
                                                                                                                 Boulton, share a common heritage with the Birmingham Assay
                                                                                                                 Office. However, Aston Hall, Blakesley Hall and Sarehole Mill
                                                                                                                 also contribute something distinctive to Birmingham’s history.
                                                                                                                 Entrance is free to all of the Community Museums, and their
                                                                                                                 opening times and contact details are stated on the leaflet.
                                                                                                                 You will find more information about what is happening at
                                                                                                                 heritage sites around the Jewellery Quarter this summer below.
                                                                                                                 For more information contact the Museums directly.

                                                                                                                 WHAT’S ON
                                                                                                                  IN THE QUARTER
                                                                                                                 There are all sorts of things going on in the
                                                                                                                 Jewellery Quarter this summer. For Heritage
                                                                                                                 Weekend especially, Friday 8th September –
                                                                                                                 Sunday 10th September, the Quarter’s historic
    FROM THE COLLECTION                                                                                          sites will be staging events and activities for all the
                                                                                                                 family, the majority of which will be free of charge.
             n his book The Silver &                     significant number of these toys. Phyllis Benedikz,

                                                                                                                 Museum of the Jewellery Quarter
             Sheffield Plate Collector,                  our Curator/Librarian says the Society was fascinated
                                                                                                                 75 – 79 Vyse Street, Hockley, Birmingham B18 6HA.
             written in about 1920, W.A.                 by the variety of caddy spoons in our collection.       Tel: 0121 554 3598 Opening hours 11.15 – 4.15,Tue to Sun
             Young provides insight into                                                                             9th – 12th August 2006
                                                         Pictured are just three from the collection which       Around the Clock – an original promenade play written
 the appeal of the caddy spoon. ‘The cult                demonstrate the broad range of design that              especially for the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter which uses
 of the caddy-spoon is quite easily                      Birmingham makers brought to the manufacture of         theatre, music and the Smith and Pepper factory to evoke the
 understood,’ he writes, ‘Even at present                these diminutive objects. The vine-leaf design was      lives of ordinary people working in the trade. Performed by
 day prices its collection affords a man, or             popularised by Matthew Linwood, but this example        Pattern 23 Theatre Company. Maximum of 25 people each night
                                                         was manufactured by John Taylor and John Perry, and         8th – 10th September 2006
 woman, with small means an opportunity
                                                         assayed in Birmingham in 1834.                          Museum of the Jewellery Quarter – Heritage Weekend
 of indulging in a hobby which has many
                                                                                                                     All staff will be in Victorian costume for Heritage Weekend
 sides. From the little coign of advantage
                                                         So desirable is the eagle’s wing caddy spoon                Friday 8th September
 provided by caddy-spoons it is possible to              amongst collectors, that it has now been adopted as         Guided tours of the Museum running all day,
 pursue the quest of dates, makers, period               the symbol of their society. Though its rarity is now       conducted by Victorian ladies and gents!
 styles, decorative details and all at the               challenged, it remains the most prestigious type of         Saturday 9th September, 2.00 pm
                                                                                                                     Jewellery Quarter History Trail – Walking tour with
 cost of a few pounds.’                                  caddy spoon. Bearing the mark of the anchor and the         Pete Miller, Museum Assistant, starting at the Museum, ending
                                                         date letter for 1832, this spoon was manufactured           at the Pen Room. Booking essential as limited to 20 places.
 Being small, yet decorative items that require little   by the celebrated toymaker, Joseph Willmore.                Contact the Museum
 room for display, caddy spoons still appeal to                                                                      Saturday 9th September, 1.30 – 3.30 pm
 collectors as much, if not more than they did in the    The jockey cap design was also extremely popular            Sentimental jewellery workshop with Designer/Maker,
 1920s, and the Office was pleased to welcome the        with Birmingham makers, and the marks on this one           Lisa Watson. £2.50 per person, suitable for 7-12 yrs.
                                                                                                                     Booking essential as limited to 12 places
 Caddy Spoon Society on May 9th.                         indicate Joseph Taylor, Birmingham 1799. Exhibited
                                                                                                                     Saturday 9th September, 10.30 – 12.30
                                                         at the British Industrial Fair (Catalogue no. 26),
                                                                                                                     Learn about historic hallmarks and get the maker’s marks
 Birmingham silversmiths are, or course, famous for      information in our catalogue illustrates how caddy          that appear on your own pieces identified in a family
 their ‘toys’ – popular, small articles, such as         spoons of exhibition quality could indeed be bought         workshop with Dr. Sally Baggott, Curator at Birmingham
 vinaigrettes, snuff boxes and caddy spoons, and         for ‘a few pounds’; a note states ‘Bought from Wm           Assay Office. Free Drop-in family workshop
 accordingly the silver collection contains a            Bruford & Son, Exeter, Nov. 1937 £3/5/-‘.                   Sunday 10th September, 10.00 – 12.30
                                                                                                                     and again at 1.30 – 3.30 Mourning jewellery workshop
                                                                                                                     with Designer/Maker, Lisa Watson £2.50 per person,

                                                                                                                     suitable for 7-12 yrs. Booking essential as limited to12 places
                                                                                                                 The Pen Room, Unit 3, The Argent Centre, 60 Frederick
                                                                                                                 Street, Hockley, Birmingham, B1 3HS (tel: 0121 236 9834)
                                                                                                                     Saturday 9th September
 As part of the Jewellery Quarter’s                      The Jewellery Quarter has                                   Learn how to make greetings cards or small decorative boxes.
 entry in the Britain in Bloom initiative,               been very successful in                                     Small charge for materials. Booking essential as places limited
                                                         Britain in Bloom, winning                                   Sunday 10th September
 the Assay Office has sponsored a flower
                                                         several medals in 2005.                                     Writing and calligraphy. Free Drop-in family workshops
 bed in St. Paul’s Square.                               Judging of the 2006 entry                                   Key Hill Cemetery. Contact Pauline Roberts,
 In the shape of the anchor, the bed is being planted    takes place on July 13.                                     the Friends of Key Hill Cemetery or visit
 with perennial plants with names linked to precious                                                       
 metals and jewels (eg Citrus Thyme ‘Silver Queen’,      We wish all those involved                                  Saturday, 9th September, Open day
 Buddleia ‘Ruby Red’ and Chamomile ‘Dwarf Pearl’).       good luck after all their                                   The Friends will be in attendance in Victorian Dress to
 Two wicker structures in the shape of moths will        hard work and we’ll bring                                   provide information, and visitors are invited to join in the
                                                                                                                     dressing-up. There will be a display of static, Victorian
 form part of the display to highlight the fact that     the results and pictures of                                 hearses, in addition to a horse-drawn hearse, information
 the plants selected attract butterflies and moths.      the completed anchor bed                                    on the cemetery itself and local history, organised tours
 The bed is designed to last for 10 years.               in the next issue.                                          and refreshments.

         TOP OF                                                                                                CHALLENGES FOR THE
         THE CLASS!                                                                                            JEWELLERY & GIFT INDUSTRY
         From her early school days to the present,                                                                  CLARE SHORT SPEAKS AT BJGF AGM
         Anu Manchanda’s thirst for knowledge has
         not ceased. She has been at the top of the                                                                           he Rt. Hon. Clare Short MP                           able to face up to the challenges of these times and
         class for over 35 years and is still gaining
         more qualifications.

         Now Anu, Senior Gemmologist with AnchorCert, has
         passed the GIA (Gemological Institute of America)
                                                                                                                   T          for Birmingham Ladywood
                                                                                                                              said there will be many
                                                                                                                              challenges ahead for the
                                                                                                                              jewellery and giftware
                                                                                                                                                                                   the need to adapt to pressures of a globalising world.
                                                                                                                                                                                   I have been impressed with your increased focus on
                                                                                                                                                                                   training, quality and getting access to global markets.

                                                                                                                                                                                   “We are living in times of enormous uncertainty,
         Diamond Graduate examination with flying colours                                                      industry when she presented a powerful                              constant change and likely crises. There are difficulties
         and, such was her proficiency, she has been awarded                                                   speech on the challenges of the global                              ahead as global markets are demonstrating.
         the GIA’s Diploma Certificate.                                                                        economy. She spoke to a packed gathering                            The businesses that survive need to be adaptable and
                                                                                                               of industry leaders attending the 120th                             flexible and this relies on the skills of workforce, the
                              Having started work at The Birmingham                                            British Jewellery Giftware & Finishing                              ability of the management and focus on quality that is
                              Assay Office as an Administrative                                                Federation AGM (Wednesday 14th June)                                abundantly on display in your industry. When we look
                              Assistant for SafeGuard in June, 2002,                                           held in the stunning surroundings of                                at the history of the jewellery quarter in Birmingham
                              Anu, who is married to Dippal Manchanda,                                                                                                             your sector is probably better placed than many others
                                                                                                               Goldsmiths Hall, London.
                              Technical Director of The Birmingham                                                                                                                 to survive some of the turbulence that lies ahead.”
                              Assay Office, developed a deep fascination                                       The outgoing President, John Joyce opened proceedings
                              for diamonds and other stones and set                                            with an upbeat report on the Federation as it continues             Clare Short concluded her speech by indicating what
                              about gaining the qualifications she                                             to grow and strengthen. He said “The past year had                  is needed; “My conclusion is that these are times of
                              needed to work with them full-time.                                              been a challenging one for many businesses and the                  enormous opportunity given the capital, technology
                                                                                                               Federation has responded in a positive way to provide               and knowledge we have. But they are also times of
                         She joined AnchorCert as a trainee                                                    the best support and service for its members.”                      great risk.
         Diamond Grader in 2003 and the same year gained her
         Diamond Diploma from the Gemmological Association                                                     Vice President Linda Evans was unable to take up the                “To get through this era we need people with their feet
         of Great Britain and was promoted to Diamond Grader                                                   position on the day due to ill health and she will be               on the ground, anchored in the real world who are
         with AnchorCert. The following year she was awarded                                                   officially installed as President at a later date. David            pragmatic and skillful and capable of adapting to
         the Fellowship Diploma (Merit) from the Gem-A and                                                     Doyle managing director of Jewellery Brokers, and a                 change. The history of the jewellery industry in
         was the recipient of the Christie’s Prize for Gemmology                                               Guardian of Birmingham Assay Office was installed as                Birmingham certainly demonstrates those qualities and
         – awarded to the best candidate of the year. 2005 was                                                 the new Vice President and John Joyce becomes                       I think we can always be sure in good times and bad
         a fairly quiet year(!) for Anu and it wasn’t until                                                    Deputy President.                                                   that people will give each other gifts and jewellery.
         October that she received her Professional Jeweller’s                                                                                                                     But my message is that we should tighten our seat
         Diploma (with Distinction). That same month she was                                                   The AGM then turned to keynote speaker the Rt. Hon.                 belts for the turbulent times that lie ahead and hope
         promoted to Senior Gemmologist with AnchorCert. She                                                   Clare Short, who looked at some of the challenges                   that lessons will be learned from the errors of the
         also became a Fellow of the National Association of                                                   British producers face in a global economy. Clare Short             current global leadership so that we come together in
         Goldsmiths (FNAG).                                                                                    said: “The Federation represents the benefits of small              future to manage these crises in a way that will enable
                                                                                                               firmly based, pragmatic organisations with the strength             homo sapiens to continue to survive and live more
         Her success with the GIA exams this year is still not                                                 of a large organisation. By coming together you are                 happily in the centuries ahead.”
         enough for her. She is currently studying for the GIA’s                                               ......................................................................................
         Pearls examination. Having already passed the practical
         part of the exam, she now has just to complete the
         theory exam and she will add yet another line to her
                                                                                                               BALLOONS FOR BENEVOLENCE
         already impressive CV. “Anu’s academic achievements                                                   The BJGF Benevolent Society is organising a BIG                    at the Autumn Fair in September. The lucky winner –
         over the past four years have been magnificent and we                                                 BALLOON RACE event to raise money to help those                    the person whose name is on the balloon that travels
         congratulate her,” said Michael Allchin, Chief Executive                                              who worked in the jewellery industry and now need                  furthest – will receive a Virgin Balloon Flight for two.
         and Assay Master. "The standards she sets herself in her                                              help in their latter years or who can no longer work               Please support this worthy cause. If you haven’t
         academic life are reflected in her dedication to AnchorCert                                           because of ill health. Raffle tickets are available at             received your tickets or simply want to buy one,
         and the quality of the service she provides.                                                          £1.00, and each buys a biodegradeable balloon.                     call Lynn Snead at the Benevolent Society on 0121
         “The Birmingham Assay Office is very lucky to have her.”                                              All the balloons purchased will be released together               474 2034. She’ll be happy to help.

        HALLMARKING FIGURES                                                                                    On the positive side, platinum articles hallmarked
                                                                                                               during the quarter increased. The figures break down
                                                                                                                                                                                  Platinum: Articles rose by 4.5% on the previous year
                                                                                                                                                                                  to 82,244.
        REMAIN DISAPPOINTING                                                                                   as follows: Gold: Total number of articles marked was
                                                                                                               3,263,445 - 18.3% down compared to the same
                                                                                                                                                                                  The significant downturn in the number of articles
                                                                                                                                                                                  hallmarked during 2005 continues in to the second
         The second quarter of 2006 saw further reductions in the                                              period in 2005. The volume category of 9ct being                   quarter of 2006. Michael Allchin Chief Executive and
         number of articles hallmarked at the four Assay Offices in                                            particularly affected. Silver: Total number of articles            Assay Master, talks more about the Hallmarking
         Great Britain in both the gold and silver categories.                                                 hallmarked was 1,568,730 - 24.6% down.                             numbers on page 1.

         Work dealt with by the
         Assay Offices of Great                                                       GOLD                                                                   SILVER                                       PLATINUM
         Britain, for the Quarter                  999         990        916           750          585           375         TOTAL     800        925         958       999      TOTAL     850        900       950       999     TOTAL
              April - June 06                                            22 carat      18 carat     14 carat      9 carat                         Sterling    Britannia

                NUMBER    OF                       161         0         107,524       429,729      38,162 2,687,869 3,263,445            139    1,566,496     1,175       920    1,568,730    3        275      81,949     17      82,244
                   ARTICLES                      -19.5%      -100%       -40.3%         -6.7%       -33.3% -18.5%     -18.3%            -82.5%    -24.6%      -59.1%      25.9%    -24.6%   -72.7%     21.7%      4.5%    -72.1%     4.5%

         WEIGHT OF ARTICLES                      6,599    0   1,027,792 2,540,478 251,891 10,357,385 14,184,145    8                              28,403        122         80     28,613     14        1,023   736,463     163     737,663
            Gold & Platinum (g) Silver (Kg)     128.66% -100% -38.9%      -3.9%   -24.6% -23.1%        -21.8%   -48.1%                            -25.9%      -40.8%      -5.9%    -25.9%   -83.5%     -35.3%    6.2%     -97.5%     5.1%

         Percentage figures show an increase or decrease (-) compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.
                                                                                                                            Produced by The Birmingham Assay Office PO Box 151 Newhall Street Birmingham B3 1SB
        The Assay Office Birmingham                                                                                         Tel: 0121 236 6951 Fax: 0121 236 9487 E-mail:

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