Follow the Company’s timeline and view some of the landmarks events in our history.

Simply click and drag the images to scroll through the interactive timeline or alternatively select a particular century along the bottom.


Timeline of the Company


The first reference to gold and silver standards, the 'guardians of the craft' and the leopard's head in a statute of Edward I


The Goldsmiths' Company's first royal charter from Edward III marks the beginning of the Company's formal existence as a craft guild, with St. Dunstan as its patron saint


Purchase of a merchant's house in Foster Lane to the north of the goldsmithing area in Cheapside which is still the site of Goldsmiths' Hall today


Goldsmiths and silversmiths required to have a mark unique to them to be struck on all their wares to identify the maker


A second royal charter, from Richard II, allowing the Company to own property and rents to the value of £20 yearly for specific charitable purposes


The Assay Office in Goldsmiths' Hall established with a paid official. A date letter was introduced to the marking system and workers were required for the first time to bring their wares to Goldsmiths' Hall to receive the hallmark


The lion passant mark introduced on gold and silver possibly related to the placement in the Assay Office of two appointees of Henry VIII


The first educational grants from the Company's charities for exhibitions at Oxford and Cambridge


Grant of coat-of-arms from Robert Cooke, Clarenceux King of Arms


The Goldsmiths' Company appointed as one of the Keepers of the Troy Weight, the measurement of weight used for gold and silver. The nest of standard weights has remained in the Hall ever since


The start of written records of the Trial of the Pyx, which had been carried out by goldsmiths since the 13th century


London Livery Companies forced by James 1 to purchase land in Ireland. The Goldsmiths' Company together with the Cordwainers, the Painter-Stainers and the Armourers acquired land jointly to the south-east of Londonderry. The Company sold its share to the Earl of Shelburne in 1728


The second Hall erected on the site of the original merchant's house, incorporating ten shops. The Palladian red-bricked building was the work of Nicholas Stone, the King's Mason, with advice from Inigo Jones, the King's Surveyor


John Perryn's estate in Acton, West London, left to the Company. Eventually 20 almshouses would be built on the estate


The new Hall gutted by the Great Fire leaving only the walls standing. The Company's treasures and records were saved by Sir Charles Doe, an Assistant, who commandeered a cart and took them to safety to a house in Edmonton


Restoration of the Hall completed by Edward Jerman


Part of the southwest corner of the building destroyed by a major fire in the Assay Office


A higher standard of silver, the Britannia standard, made compulsory for silver wares in order to protect the new milled coinage from being melted down by silversmiths for their raw working material


The sterling standard for silver restored, coexisting with the higher Britannia standard


A large collection of domestic and buffet (display) plate purchased by the Company from the four main silversmiths of the day: Paul de Lamerie, Thomas Farren, Humphrey Payne and Richard Bailey, and still displayed in the Livery Hall today. The total weight exceeded 2,300 ounces and replaced plate sold over the previous century to meet the Company's financial requirements


Two new Assay Offices opened at Birmingham and Sheffield


Duty imposed on gold and silver wares and a new mark, the sovereign's head, introduced to denote payment of duty


A lower standard of gold, 18ct, introduced coexisting with 22ct gold


Twenty almshouses erected on the Perryn estate in Acton. At this time the Company decided to rebuild the Hall and began to set aside corporate funds for that purpose


The old Hall demolished and work started on the third Hall designed by the Company's architect, Philip Hardwick


New schoolhouse built by the Company in Stockport for the school which was founded by Sir Edmund Shaa, a benefactor of the Company, in the fifteenth century


The new Hall opened, the third Goldsmiths' Hall on this site since its purchase in 1339


The Company offered prizes totalling £1000 at the Great Exhibition of 1851 for manufacturers of plate


As laid down in the Coinage Act of that year, Goldsmiths' Hall became the established venue for the Trial of the Pyx


A scheme to encourage design in gold or silver started as an annual competition with prizes awarded. Scholarships available to those who had been successful over several years


The Goldsmiths' Company, together with other City Livery Companies, a prime mover in the establishment of the City and Guilds of London Institute which is today one of the main examining bodies for vocational qualifications


Two reports issued by the Royal Commission set up to enquire into the conduct of the City of London Livery Companies, one in favour of abolition of the companies, the other proposing continuation. This Commission undoubtedly galvanised many of the Companies into adopting more proactive initiatives, particularly in the field of education


The New Cross Technical and Recreative Institute opened by the Goldsmiths' Company and run with the help of a Warden. In 1904 it was handed over, lock stock and barrel, to the London County Council to run and became known, as it is today, as Goldsmiths' College


The collection of economic literature owned by Professor Foxwell purchased by the Company and given to the University of London Library


The Goldsmiths', Silversmiths' and Jewellers' Art Council of London established by George Booth Heming as an annual competition for craftsmen and schools in London. The Goldsmiths' Company has been a prominent supporter along with the trade itself and the competition continues to this day under the title of The Goldsmiths' Craft and Design Council. In the same year, Readerships are endowed by the Company in metallurgy at Cambridge and in English at Oxford


A chair in bacteriology established by the Company at the London Hospital Medical School


Design competitions for Ascot trophies begin a long and continuous involvement in modern design for silver wares through competitions, exhibitions and lectures


The South West corner of the Hall badly damaged by incendiary bomb in April. Trial of the Pyx continues but Assay Office temporarily moved to Reigate


A Design and Research Centre established with financial help from the Company and government grants


A series of major exhibitions of historic and contemporary silverwork staged at the Hall during the decade


A scheme for travelling grants for teachers introduced


The Stone Committee on hallmarking recommended, inter alia, the closure of two of the six existing offices (Chester and Glasgow) and the repeal of previous legislation in order to make the law clearer and more easily enforced


The International Exhibition of Modern Jewellery 1890-1961 held at the Hall, marking the Company's first interest in jewellery, leading subsequently to its collection of contemporary work


The establishment of the Technical Advisory Committee in July to provide technical assistance to the trade


The 1973 Hallmarking Act enacted on 1 January. All four Assay Offices adopted the same date letter sequence for the first time. Platinum marking introduced.


The first Loot exhibition held, precursor to today's Goldsmiths' Fair


Celebration of 750 years since the Company's first charter and a commemorative mark for the Queen's Silver Jubilee approved for use on silver wares


An exhibition of the history of the Assay Office and its five hundred years in Goldsmiths' Hall


A Chair in Education Management created by the Company at Goldsmiths' College


A major exhibition of the French art nouveau jeweller Rene Lalique at the Hall


The Millenium of the birth of Saint Dunstan, patron saint of Goldsmiths. The Annual Church Service to mark the handover by the Prime Warden takes place on his patronal festival, 19 May


Major refurbishment of the Hall undertaken


Changes to the usage of hallmarks: the sponsor's mark, the standard mark and the town mark being compulsory, the date letter and other standard marks such as the lion passant voluntary. New standards of gold, silver and platinum introduced


A commemorative millennium mark approved. The staging of a major exhibition of the Company's collection of 20th century silver, jewellery and art medals


Queen's Golden Jubilee commemorative mark approved


City and Guilds Licentiateship Scheme for apprentices introduced


First off-site hallmarking facility in modern times established by the Company in Greville Street, Hatton Garden


Mrs (now Dame) Lynne Brindley elected as the first female member of the Court of Assistants


25th anniversary Goldsmiths' Fair, which now runs for two weeks


The Goldsmiths’ Centre, our largest ever direct investment in the craft and industry, given the go ahead


Palladium marking introduced


The Goldsmiths’ Centre opened in 2012 providing training and education, workshop space and a venue for exhibitions and events. It marks the beginning of a new era and is also the product of a 700-year tradition. This £17.5 million project represents the Goldsmiths' Company's largest ever direct investment in the craft and industry with a particular focus on the trade, education and industry development.