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Sheffield Assay Office Celebrates 12 Years in State of the Art Premises

Published: 29th July 2020

Sheffield Assay Office Celebrates 12 Years in State of the Art Premises

This month, the team at Sheffield Assay Office celebrates 12 years since moving to it's new, state of the art home in Beulah Road, Hillsborough. The Assay Office left Portobello Street, in the heart of the City, to occupy a 40,000 sq ft purpose built building here in Hillsborough.

The Assay Office closed its doors in Sheffield 1 on Thursday 17th July and thanks to a massive, well planned operation they re-opened in Hillsborough just four days later on Monday 21st July, 2008. 

With over 10,000 sq ft of Hallmarking production area all on one single level, the new building was built and designed for maximum efficiency. Additionally, the Assay Office team formed a collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University and used their expertise to ensure that everything was located in the right place to help maximise the production flow.


The brand new premises also allowed Sheffield Assay Office to install the latest, state of the art laboratory equipment, enabling them to develop an outstanding Analytical Services Division, which has now become a worldwide recognised independent testing laboratory. Its superbly equipped laboratories and highly qualified personnel are widely acknowledged for both the extensive range of specialist testing and analysis procedures and the impressive expertise - which resulted in Sheffield Assay Office being one of the first laboratories in the UK to be awarded UKAS accreditation.

The Sheffield Assay Office has been an important part of Sheffield's history since 1773, when local silversmiths successfully petitioned Parliament for the right to assay silver in Sheffield. Almost two and a half centuries later, jewellery and items of precious metal are still assayed in their millions each year and bear the distinctive Sheffield 'Town' mark, but Sheffield Assay Office now has a world-wide reputation in other arenas too, particularly in cutting-edge analytical services.

The 1773 Act of Parliament also appointed 30 local men as 'Guardians of the Standard of Wrought Plate in the Town of Sheffield' to supervise the work of the Assay Office. To this day, there are still 30 Guardians assisting the Assay Master, who meet twice a year in April and October, to advise on different areas of the business, providing valuable information relating to bullion, prices, law, trading standards, enforcement etc. 

Speaking of the 12th year anniversary of the move, Assay Master Ashley Carson said; "It was sad to leave the City Centre which had been our home since 1773, across 3 sites, Fargate, Leopold Street and Portobello Street, but we had outgrown the site and were no longer efficient. The £4m move was absolutely essential to ensure we could remain competitive with the other Assay Offices and over the past 12 years we have certainly ensured that is the case."

Assay Master Ashley Carson getting hands-on with the move

The completed premises in Beulah Road, Hillsborough

Photos copyright - Steve Ellis

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,

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