The Birmingham Assay Office (BAO) has proudly unveiled a sterling silver candelabra in celebration of its 250th anniversary. This unique piece will join the esteemed historical Silver Collection housed at the Birmingham Assay Office.
Craftsmanship and Collaboration
The candelabra, a testament to local craftsmanship, was crafted by local silversmith L J Millington, who are based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. The design process was a collaborative effort, with engineering specialist R F Bevan & Co Ltd working closely with Millington.
The design of the candelabra was inspired by the 250th-anniversary logo, a creation of Caitlin Beale, a student from Birmingham City University. Beale’s design pays homage to Birmingham’s Anchor town mark, symbolising the city’s rich history in the jewellery trade. The design also acknowledges the deep-rooted historical connection between the Birmingham Assay Office and the Sheffield Assay Office, both established in 1773. Sheffield’s original town mark, the Crown, is also celebrated in Beale’s design.
A Modern Touch: Lab-Grown Diamond
Incorporating modern advancements in the jewellery industry, the candelabra features a 1.17 ct laboratory-grown diamond from SkyDiamond. This diamond, a symbol of the industry’s evolution, is laser engraved with its certificate number on the girdle. Ensuring the diamond’s perfect placement was the responsibility of local jewellery manufacturer, Davran Jewellery Ltd.
Unveiling and Charitable Initiatives
The commemorative piece was unveiled to the public during Birmingham’s Heritage week, which took place from 8-17 September. The event, attended by over 100 guests, saw Chief Executive Doug Henry and Deakin & Francis Director Henry Deakin present the masterpiece.
In conjunction with this significant milestone, the Birmingham Assay Office has shown its commitment to giving back. The 250th-anniversary logo, introduced in April 2023, can be applied during the hallmarking process for a nominal fee of £1 per item. All proceeds from this initiative will be donated to the office’s chosen charities: Midlands Air Ambulance and the Benevolent Society.