jewellery testing

Offering a diverse range of industry-standard and unique testing services,
testing metallic elements that may cause Allergic Contact Dermatitis (ACD)

Jewellery Testing what is it?

Welcome to our Analytical and Chemical Lab! We take pride in offering a diverse range of industry-standard and unique testing services, along with certification services and expert analysis across various industries.

While our roots lie in the analysis of precious metals, we’ve expanded our capabilities over the years.  Alongside our renowned nickel testing services, Birmingham Assay Office offers a comprehensive suite of analytical services catering to diverse needs across the UK. Our testing portfolio spans various sectors including jewellery, gifts, accessories, and children’s toys.

AnchorCert Protect

AnchorCert Pro is a unique accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 by UKAS testing method that identifies and measures a suite of 16 metallic elements that may cause Allergic Contact Dermatitis (ACD) and provides regulatory compliance in relation to REACH, Nickel and General Product Safety for jewellery, watches, spectacles, hair accessories, footwear and clothing trims, and many more products.

Lead & Cadmium Testing

For lead testing, Birmingham Assay Office’s Analytical Services are accredited by the US CPSC to assess lead content in surface coatings and metal substrates. Compliance with US federal law, limiting lead content to 300ppm (0.03%) since August 2009 and further reduced to 100ppm (0.01%) since August 2011, is ensured. The current surface coating limit stands at 90ppm (0.009%). Customers are informed about pertinent changes in lead testing regulations through our downloadable fact sheet.

Regarding cadmium, adherence to EU legislation and the REACH Directive, which restrict cadmium levels in various materials including jewellery to 0.01% (100 mg/kg), is a priority. Our testing extends to metal beads, components, parts of jewellery, hair accessories, and plastic materials. Additionally, we provide information on permissible cadmium levels in paints and enamels in our fact sheet.


  • LEAD

Quick Nickel

This is an accredited in-house method for release of nickel from all post assemblies, which are inserted into pierced parts of the human body and articles intended to come into direct and prolonged contact with the skin.

Plating Thickness and XRF

Birmingham Assay Office offers XRF measurements to verify plated layer thickness and composition, crucial for establishing plating specifications such as layer thickness, composition, and material conformity.

Packaging Testing

Testing packaging to identify tarnish accelerants. The accelerated tarnish test from the Analytical Laboratory for testing packaging materials involves the identification of the presence or absence of components responsible for causing tarnishing or staining of products. This test is primarily for packaging that is in direct contact with silver, low carat gold and base metal items.

Waterproof Jewellery Testing

This method involves a series of tests specifically designed to evaluate the durability and performance of jewellery under conditions simulating regular user activities and environmental scenarios.  The comprehensive testing process exposes the jewellery pieces to a variety of carefully controlled conditions. These conditions include high humidity, mildly acidic substances, saline, chemicals, sulphur-based compounds, chlorine, body fluids, seawater, heat, and light.

This exposure phase is followed by a detailed assessment to gain a holistic understanding of the item’s quality, durability, and resistance to tarnishing. 

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