About the Company
The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, more commonly known as the Goldsmiths' Company, is one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of the City of London and received its first royal charter in 1327.
Founded to regulate the craft or trade of the goldsmith, the Goldsmiths' Company has been responsible since 1300 for testing the quality of gold, silver and, from 1975, platinum articles. In 2010 Palladium was brought into this regime. The word hallmark originates from the fifteenth century when London craftsmen were first required to bring their artefacts to Goldsmiths' Hall for assaying and marking. This requirement continues unchanged today and the Company still carries out its statutory function through the operations of The Goldsmiths' Company Assay Office.
Other responsibilities of Assay Office London include the annual examination of coins manufactured by the Royal Mint, known as the Trial of the Pyx and, with the assistance of the Antique Plate Committee, the checking of items of antique silver plate suspected of having contravened the Hallmarking Act.
The Company Today
The Company continues to play an important role in support of the craft and industry, funding apprenticeships and assisting with the technical training of aspiring craftsmen. It has also made a £17.5 million investment by creating The Goldsmiths’ Centre, a unique community in the heart of Clerkenwell, providing training and workspace to goldsmiths, silversmiths and allied crafts. This is the Goldsmiths' Company's largest ever direct investment in the craft and industry with a particular focus on the trade, education and industry development. It also promotes excellence in the design and craftsmanship of silverware, jewellery and art medals, through advising on and arranging commissions, competitions and exhibitions. A selling exhibition, Goldsmiths' Fair, is held each year in the first week of October, where members of the public can purchase the work of over eighty contemporary designers and craftsmen.
The Company has long supported a wide range of charitable areas and pursues a number of educational projects with schools and teachers.