CMCE Showcase 8 Feb:  Ethics and Consultancy
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168,000GBP - and this represented just one gold ingot!

The Goldsmiths pour the gold for their WCoMC guests...

A group of ten WCoMC Members and guests recently took up the opportunity to have a backstage tour of the Goldsmiths' Hall and the Assay Office.  We were admirably looked after by Peter Merry, an enthusiastic and extremely knowledgeable goldsmith, and the further into the building he took us, the more it felt like walking into the Tardis!  The present building is the third on the site since 1339 and survived the Blitz in spite of some war damage. From the grand Staircase Hall through the Livery Hall, Court Room, Drawing Room and the Exhibition Room, we passed through tight security into the Assay Office and were privileged to see the processes which have given us several terms which have passed into general usage such as "hallmark", "touchstone" and "up to scratch".  Peter described the history of hallmarking and we saw some of the goldsmiths and apprentices marking pieces of jewellery, some of them so small that we were amazed at the skill involved.  We also saw some of the modern computerised instruments used in checking the purity of precious metals but Peter stressed that it is still difficult to beat the expertise of the human goldsmith.  One of the highlights of the visit, specially timed to coincide with our arrival, was the pouring of the gold to make an ingot.  We were invited to hold the ingot which was extremely heavy and nearly dropped when we were told it was worth over £168,000!  

Our two-hour visit was fascinating and gave us some intriguing insights into the work of the Goldsmiths' company.  A visit to the Assay Office is informative and recommended.

The whole event was neatly concluded with a convivial lunch at a local hostelry which had changed its name since the visit was arranged but which our well-tuned antennae soon located!

Two points of interest:

The Goldsmiths' Fair is the UK's largest and most prestigious selling exhibition of fine jewellery and contemporary silver and will take place between 22 September and 5 October.

Our Company commissioned silversmith Shannon O'Neil to make the Urwick Cup and the Strategic Leadership Cup through the recommendation of the Goldsmiths' Curator.

Assistant Sally Garratt