Latest News & Press

Long Standing Team Member Elected to Join Guardians Body

Published: 19th October 2021

The Guardians of the Standard of Wrought Plate is a body of 30 people created by an Act of Parliament in 1773. The Guardians' original duties were primarily to choose four Wardens to oversee the daily running of the Sheffield Assay Office.

The Guardians were a diverse group of people from across religious, political and social barriers, some being business rivals and some related by blood and marriage, but all with the common uniting aim to set up an Assay Office so that the silver industry could expand in Sheffield. Many of the original Guardians were known to each other through their involvement in other concerns. For example The Town Trustees, The Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire, The Silver Platers' Trade Association and other related organisations.

Today, there are still 30 Guardians assisting the Assay Master, who meet twice a year in April and October. The Guardians advise on different areas of the business, providing valuable information relating to bullion, prices, law, trading standards, enforcement etc.

Two of the Guardians are now nominated by Sheffield Assay Office staff to represent them at the biannual meetings, and following a recent vote organised by the office, existing staff Guardian Colette Bishop will be joined by Cheryl Foster, Laboratory Technician in the Analytical Services Department. Cheryl has worked for Sheffield Assay Office for over 20 years, initially in receipts and despatch, then spent some time in the hallmarking department before working in Analytical Services.

Cheryl said ‘I felt I could confidently contribute and represent the staff having worked at the office for over 20 years, it’s always good to try something new. I’m delighted about my appointment and to represent my work colleagues’.

Click here to find out more about our Guardians

The Sheffield Assay Office was established in 1773, under an Act of Parliament and today the company assays and hallmarks the precious metals - silver, gold, platinum and palladium. Sheffield Assay Office is one of only four UK assay offices who all work to uphold the Hallmarking Act of 1973 and continue to ensure consumer protection for customers purchasing precious metals.

To find out more about the whole range of services offered by Sheffield Assay Office, such as our hallmarking and analytical services, please email us at or complete the contact form on our website at,

Sign up here to all the latest news from Sheffield Assay Office direct to your inbox

« Back to all news

Contact Us