The inaugural meeting of the IAAO took place on 15 April 2008 at Goldsmiths’ Hall in London. However, its history is longer than this and dates back to 1992. In this year, the Association of European Assay Offices (AEAO) was established, essentially with the same aims as the current organization.

The formation of the AEAO was a response to significant scrutiny of hallmarking legislation by the European Union as it attempted to harmonize services to create a single market. Providing a liaison body for European legislation remains a core activity. However, with the spread of interest in hallmarking beyond Europe, especially in the Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Far East, many requests were made by assay offices from these regions to join the AEAO.

In particular, these assay offices were keen to participate in the technical co-operation programmes arranged by the AEAO. To reflect this globalization, the AEAO decided to change its name and modify its membership criteria to embrace these offices.