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Sampler David celebrates 45 years at the Assay Office

David Archer is celebrating 45 years working with us this summer having started work for the Assay Office in 1978. 

He is very methodical and meticulous which makes him the perfect candidate for his role as sampler.  His keen eye and precision are vital as he specialises in sampling the second hand goods which we receive.  Second hand articles are some of the most difficult to assay due to the nature of changes or adaptions that have been made over time.

Congratulations to Dave!

You can learn more about sampling and assaying here.

Dave says:

"I started work on the 5th June 1978 in the Silver Sampling department on the 2nd floor. I worked there for about 6-8 years, then moved to the Gold Sampling department on the 3rd floor – it was there I trained to do sampling on second hand articles.  I enjoyed doing that, and still do these years later. Also, I do ‘trolley work’ meaning I move packets to different departments – it keeps me fit!  Additionally, I sometimes do press marking but I prefer sampling. 

There were no XRFs (x-ray florescent spectrometers) in the early years so I took lots of scrapings (samples for cupellation and titration), and did a lot of touch testing and weighing etc. But in the last 10-15 years I have been doing XRF testing which means no more old fashioned scraping or touch tests. At the moment I do normal work, second hand work, and complex samplings.

There are lots of lovely friendly people working here, and there have been throughout all my years at Goldsmiths’ Hall. 

Soon I will be thinking of retiring and enjoying lots of gardening and travelling – my favourite hobbies!"

Dave Archer