Closure of the Edinburgh Assay Office due to COVID-19

The following is an update from the Edinburgh Assay Office.

In earlier updates on the Edinburgh Assay Office response the Covid-19 crisis we have outlined the steps that we had taken to keep our office open for as long as is safely possible.

We no longer believe that we can ensure the safety of the staff who must travel to and from our city centre location. Furthermore, today’s advice from Government is very clear. If you are operating a non-essential business that cannot be operated by allowing staff to work from home, then you should be closing your business.

With the health and welfare of staff and the wider community in mind, the Edinburgh Assay Office will temporarily close at 4.30pm on Tuesday 24th of March until further notice. While we appreciate that our decision to close will cause some considerable inconvenience for many of our customers, we are equally sure it will come as no surprise that we have taken the decision to do so, in light of the latest advice from government and the developing situation internationally.

We wish all our customers well during these turbulent times and we look forward to opening again when it has been deemed safe to do so.

This means:

  • We will endeavour to complete all work that we have and dispatch it tomorrow. Our progress team will contact customers to discuss this tomorrow.
  • We will return any work we are unable to complete on request.
  • Counter closure: No further work will be accepted over our counter with immediate effect.
  • Collecting work: We would ask all our customers to collect their work from the Assay Office before 4.30pm on the 24th of March.
  • Posting items: We can post incomplete items back to customers if we receive an email request to do so before midday tomorrow (24th March).
  • Storing items: We will store items for customers:
    • Who cannot come to the Assay Office to collect work
    • Who have not requested their items to be sent back by mid-day tomorrow.
    • In the event that we are unable to complete your work.

Further information:

All email enquiries should be directed to

Please monitor our website at for further updates.

An Update from the Incorporation of Goldsmiths and the Edinburgh Assay Office


Like every other business at the moment, the Edinburgh Assay Office is trying to navigate the challenges around the emerging international health crisis caused by the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

For the last month our workforce has followed stringent hygiene protocols in order to minimise any opportunity for infection within our premises. Based on the emerging picture of other affected areas in Europe we now must accept that there is a high probability that we may have to consider additional measures over the coming weeks.

At present we are operating at full capacity and it is our intention to continue to do so for as long as it is safe to do so. Providing our capacity is not reduced to the point where a service is unviable, we are forced to close on safety or infection containment grounds, or we are requested to close by the Government, we will maintain a normal service.

We are in discussions with the other 3 UK Assay Offices on plans to provide emergency cover should one or more of the UK offices become unable to operate.

We would prefer customers to ship goods by post or courier to the Assay Office and avoid coming to the window in person at this time.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation. We will notify you directly if there are any changes as they develop.

Elements: A Festival of Jewellery, Silver & Gold

Elements:  an annual celebration of the UK’s most significant designer jewellers and silversmiths.

We are delighted to be hosting our fifth Elements from 8 – 10 November 2019 in the stunning Lyon & Turnbull auction rooms in the heart of Edinburgh.

We look forward to welcoming 50 makers from across the UK at this year’s Elements, many of whom have not previously exhibited with us, including Eileen Gatt (pictured), Hannah Louise Lamb, Hannah Bedford, Flora Bhattachary and Marion Lebouteiller. We are also putting together an exciting programme of talks, evening events and workshops to keep everyone (including children) entertained.

Please head over to our Elements website to find out more about who will be exhibiting and the events we are planning:



View the full list of makers here.

image by Alex Robson

Making Impact

“I had a really great day and left feeling inspired by all the amazing speakers and buzzing with energy!”

The start of April saw our Making Impact Conference at Edinburgh College of Art. The conference was organised in collaboration with Fair Luxury and Edinburgh College of Art and welcomed a broad audience including jewellers and silversmiths, gemstone dealers and mining experts, students and academics.With over 15 different presentations and activities aimed at getting us all to think about how we can make an ethical impact in our work without having to compromise on design or quality, the day proved a great success. Guest speakers included Emily Auckland from the UK Stake Holders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD), Vivienne Low from Fashion Revolution ScotlandStuart Pool from GIA (Gemmological Institute of America) and PACT Tanzania Project. We also enjoyed hearing from jewellers Hannah Bedford and Stefanie Cheong about how they put ethical jewellery making in to practice.

We have been absolutely delighted to hear from so many of the attendees after the event about how they have been inspired to make changes in the way they work and we will be blogging about jewellers who are embracing ethical making, so please watch out for updates and keep checking our Ethical Making Resource which has a wealth of information in it.

Image by Arabel Lebrusán

Outstanding Student Award

The Incorporation runs an annual award for students at the Scottish Art Colleges.  Each college submits a design for a silver goblet, and the winner is paired with an established silversmith to create the goblet.

The student gains valuable experience of working to commission, as well as of designing and making a goblet for the collection of the Incorporation.  They also get the experience of working with one of Scotland’s prominent and highly regarded silversmiths in their workshop, providing them with technical assistance and guidance with the making of the goblet.

Last year we were delighted to announce Annabel Hood as our winner and she was partnered with 2014 winner Karen Westland. Annabel is pictured below holding her goblet with Karen and previous years’ winning goblets. Annabel’s goblet was inspired by tactile surface design, the word touch in Braille has been chased around the goblet in graduating sizes.

“This project has made me more confident in my practice, and has given me the courage to make bigger pieces of work. I loved creating a piece for a specific collection, creating and working to a brief is a great way of experimenting with ideas that you might not normally produce.” Annabel Hood.

Image by Colin Hattersley.