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Where Have All The Years Gone? Assay Master's 47th Anniversary

Published: 18th April 2024

Every 4th April our Assay Master and CEO, Ashley Carson, wonders where all the years have gone when he celebrates yet another anniversary in service at Sheffield Assay Office.

This year Ashley marks his 47th year here at the Office, retaining his title of being the longest serving Assay Master in UK history, having originally joined the Office in 1977. Initially earning just £21 per week, Ashley joined a team of 24 staff during Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee year when the office was producing thousands of silver and gold ingots, the latest fashion accessory.

On 13th November 1980 Ashley was appointed as a probationary Platinum Marking Superintendent by the then Assay Master D G Johnson, before finally taking up the role of Assay Master in 1993.

Here is a young Ashley, back in 1994 with the then Chairman and Master Cutler, Christopher Jewitt.

Sheffield Assay Office - Ashley Carson & Christopher Jewitt

"There are truly too many highlights to mention, but meeting Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, at the opening of the Guardian's Hall in Sheffield was an outstanding moment. I've seen many expansions over the years, and moving to our brand new Assay Office premises in Hillsborough in 2008 was a great day. I remember that opening the doors for trading on that very first day was a very emotional moment" said Ashley.

The Assay Master have certainly been very busy over the past year, with the Office's 250th anniversary celebrations, spending time with his two sons, Joshua and Jordan,

Sheffield Assay Office - Assay Master Ashley Carson with sons Joshua and Jordan

and the Assay Master is now enjoying some well-earned down time with his lovely new wife, Kate.

Sheffield Assay Office - Ashley and Kate Carson


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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