RAPAPORT... The Birmingham Assay Office will invite the public inside its hallmarking operations for the very first time in the coming weeks. The Assay Office announced a series of new ''Understanding Hallmarking'' events, the first of which is planned for September 12, with a second slated for October 31.
This event will provide an opportunity for the public to learn the history of hallmarking, including an overview of the U.K.'s Hallmarking Act and current legislation, and how to understand a hallmark and identify different testing and application methods.
The Assay Office plans to offer a special guided tour of the hallmarking floor along with an opportunity to stamp a hallmark.
Michael Allchin, the chief executive and assay master, said, ''We have been welcoming visitors to our historic silver collection and library for some time; however, we felt that we wanted to offer our visitors a little bit more and take them on a behind the scenes tour of the hallmarking floor. Many people will look at the marks on their precious metals and jewelry and wonder how and why they were applied – all will be revealed during these new visits.''
Understanding Hallmarking will be hosted by Sally Hoban, who is the heritage and training officer at the Birmingham Assay Office. The event costs GPB 90 ($141), including VAT, and reservations are required.