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Jewellery Foundation

Taught by Joanna Hardy

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Course Description

The world's first online foundation course in jewellery with specialist, Joanna Hardy. This course is for the budding jewellery enthusiast who wishes to learn more about the fascinating world of jewellery and gemstones. Consisting of eight one-hour videos covering historical jewels to contemporary creations, Joanna shares her 35 years of experience in the jewellery trade with you.

In the course, Joanna introduces you to the main gemstones: emerald, ruby, sapphire, pearl and diamond, and looks at how they are set in antique jewellery, as well as following their journeys from mine to market.

Recognised by
Recognised by The Goldsmiths' Centre

Sapphire 'FEUILLE' brooch, René Boivin 1934, courtesy of Christie's, Zambian Emeralds, courtesy of Gemfields, Van Cleef & Arpels ruby and diamond Mystery Set earclips

[1] Sapphire 'FEUILLE' brooch, René Boivin 1934, courtesy of Christie's
[2] Zambian Emeralds, courtesy of Gemfields
[3] Van Cleef & Arpels ruby and diamond Mystery Set earclips

The Foundation videos also take you to visit the London Assay Office to understand the hallmarking process; discover jewels in the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths' collection; talk with fine jeweller Shaun Leane in his atelier about the design process; visit E. Wolfe & Co.'s workshop, where the British crown jewels were made; and learn from master enameller Fred Rich about the various enamelling techniques.

The unique online classroom guides you through your jewellery journey so that you can discuss the lessons with fellow classmates and share jewellery notes from around the world. With two options for integrated learning, you can choose the level that works for you: Peer, with access to the online classroom and the video lessons, and Expert, with assignments after each lesson that are marked by Joanna and her team. Nowhere else where you will find such diverse content on the world of jewellery in one course!

Joanna Hardy F.G.A., D.G.A., F.R.S.A

"My intention is to create a world class online jewellery school, where enthusiastic amateurs or professionals can be introduced to the world of jewellery. This is my first foundation course. It's appropriate for enthusiastic amateurs or aspiring professionals alike. I'm expecting people ranging from interested hobbiests, career changers, professionals wanting to improve their knowledge - right through to members of the boutique high end jewellery trade. Through my course I can teach you wherever you are in the world. I'm anticipating students from Europe, the US and Asia and beyond. I'm doing this because I'm passionate about sharing the real stories behind jewellery and ensuring future generations are appropriately educated the world over in this fascinating subject."

Course outline

  • An Introduction to the Appreciation of Jewellery

    An understanding of jewellery design, craftsmanship and movement - Joanna will discuss what to look for in quality jewellery as well as show you how to use an important tool for the jewellery enthusiast: a jeweller’s loupe. Appreciation of fine jewellery does not end with the piece itself, the hallmarks stamped on the jewel and the case it is boxed in can both help to reveal more about the story of the piece and how it was made.
  • Craftsmanship: Skills and Techniques Part 1.

    Joanna will guide you through the many techniques and skills employed by master craftspeople. We visit the Atelier of Shaun Leane, who started at the bench and later met and worked alongside Alexander McQueen, the couturier, creating his 'catwalk jewellery’, and discuss how this experience influenced his own jewellery collections. A visit to the workshops of E.Wolfe & Co, once manufacturing jewellers for the Crown Jewellers Garrard, reveals the steps involved in making fine jewellery. Finally, the end procedure of hallmarking is revealed at the London Assay Office. This lesson will help you better understand the goldsmithing skills needed to make good quality jewellery.
  • Craftsmanship: Skills and Techniques Part 2.

    In this lesson we will learn to appreciate how high quality enamel is achieved. Fred Rich, one of Europe’s leading practising enamelers, demonstrates how four principle enamelling techniques, plique-à-jour, champlevé, cloisonné and guilloché enamel, are executed. We then visit Wartski, one of London’s prestigious antique jewellers and leading authority on Fabergé, where Katherine Purcell will discuss museum-quality enamelled jewellery made by Lalique, Falize and Fabergé who each used similar techniques to those demonstrated by Fred Rich today. We will finish with an introduction to the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, who house a highly important silver and jewellery collection, and explain about the jewellery collection that was started after their “International Exhibition of Modern Jewellery 1890-1961.”
  • Rubies

    Revered as the King of Gems, rubies have been mined and respected for thousands of years. This introduction to the stone will focus on its natural occurrence and gemmological properties, as well as key examples of rubies in both historic and contemporary jewellery. With a range of stones, supplied by Gemfields, owners of a significant ruby deposit in Mozambique, and stone trader Jason Williams of G. F. Williams & Co, we will explore both rough and polished rubies. With fine examples courtesy of renowned London antique jewellers Bentley & Skinner, we will look at vintage jewels that are set with these historic gems.
  • Emeralds

    Emeralds are appreciated across the world and throughout time for their colour and individuality. The inclusions that make them so distinctive will be discussed in this lesson, particularly concentrating on what to look for in gem-quality emeralds. Along with Gemfields, who own the Kagem emerald mine in Zambia, and Bentley & Skinner, we will take a look at rough emeralds and vintage emerald-set jewels. Joanna, along with coloured stone trader Jason Williams, will also explain what to look out for in an emerald.
  • Sapphires

    Though many people think of blue sapphires, the stone is also found in a myriad of other colours. These different examples of sapphire have many similarities in their composition and characteristics, which Joanna and coloured stone trader Jason Williams will explain. Sapphires of all colours have been set in jewellery throughout time and we will discover some antique examples courtesy of Bentley & Skinner.
  • Diamonds

    It is the perfect crystal structure of diamond that is responsible for the fire and brilliance that we know the stone for, but these beautiful optical effects can only be achieved through the most precise cutting. Visiting the diamond cutting factory of Monnickendam, founded in 1890, we will discover the skill and accuracy needed in cutting and polishing diamonds. From mining diamonds to grading and setting, Joanna will guide you through everything you should be looking for in diamond-set jewellery through the ages, including diamond set tiaras courtesy of Bentley & Skinner.
  • Pearls

    In this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive insight into the pearling industry, from the continued popularity of natural pearls to the boom in cultured pearls, both saltwater and freshwater. Joanna, along with YOKO Pearls, will be looking at these various pearls and at how they have been set in antique jewellery, supplied by Bentley & Skinner, showing how to focus on the lustre, colour and shape of individual pearls.

Choose how you want to learn

  • The Expert option

    Recommended

    Develop your learning further with marked assignments and personal tuition from Joanna Hardy

    • Start course whenever you like
    • 8 weeks tutor access for personalised assignment feedback & coaching
    • 8 assignments marked by Joanna Hardy
    • Certificate of completion from Joanna Hardy
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 8 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • Group chat & direct message with tutor & classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more
    $799.00
  • The Peer option

    Discover the benefits of group learning in an online interactive classroom of no more than 20 people. Get the most from shared knowledge and community study

    • Start course whenever you like
    • Practise what you learn with your peers
    • Online classroom with up to 20 classmates
    • 8 lessons with expert videos & notes
    • 8 course assignments
    • Group chat & direct message classmates
    • Lifetime access to videos, notes & classroom
    Learn more
    $199.00

How it works

About Joanna Hardy

Joanna Hardy is an independent fine jewellery specialist with over 35 years experience working in the jewellery industry. She began her career training as a goldsmith at Sir John Cass College before working as a rough diamond grader for De Beers. She then became one of the first women to be a polished diamond dealer in Antwerp and then joined Philips the Auctioneers in London. She moved on to Sotheby’s and was their senior jewellery specialist and auctioneer for fourteen years and since 2009 has worked independently. Joanna lectures and writes articles for publications worldwide and is a published author with her books, 'Collect Contemporary Jewelry', ‘Emerald’, ‘Ruby’, published by Thames and Hudson and a contributing author to ‘Graff’ published by Rizzoli and ‘Cartier Panthère published by Assouline. She curates contemporary jewellery exhibitions and has recently launched her Online Foundation Jewellery School. Joanna is a Fellow of the Gemmological Association, Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, a Trustee Board member of Gem-A, a Liveryman, Court Assistant of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and is a regular jewellery specialist on the BBC Antiques Roadshow.

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