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Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths

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The third and present Goldsmiths' Hall in the second half of the 19th century
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The second Goldsmiths' Hall c.1814.

The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Company, which has origins in the twelfth century, received a Royal Charter in 1327. It ranks fifth in the order of precedence of Livery Companies. Its motto is Justitia Virtutem Regina, Latin for Justice and Virtue are Queen.

The Company was originally responsible for hallmarking platinum, gold and silver. (The word hallmarking arises from the fact that precious metals were officially inspected and marked in Goldsmith's Hall, the Company's official home.) Today, the Company is one of the few Livery Companies that continues to carry out its ancient functions. The Company operates the London Assay Office, where objects made of precious metals are tested for purity, and then marked with an official symbol if it passed the necessary tests. At a Trial of the Pyx, they are responsible for checking the validity of British coinage.

The company's livery hall, Goldsmith's Hall is located at the junction of Foster Lane and Gresham Street, north east of St. Paul's Cathedral. The company has been based in the same location since 1339, and the present hall is the third on the site. Little is known about the first hall. The second hall was built in 1634-36 and restored after the Great Fire of London in 1666. It was eventually demolished in the late 1820s. The third and present hall was designed by Philip Hardwick. In 1941 a bomb exploded inside the south-west corner but the building largely survived and it was restored after the war. Goldsmiths' Hall is not usually open to the public but there are a few open days each year.

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