Learning with experts

Jewellery FoundationTaught by Joanna Hardy

Start anytime

To look closely at a gem through a microscope, is like diving into another world

  • Course suitable for all abilities

  • Understand techniques and skills employed by master craftspeople

  • Understand rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds and pearls

  • Recognise designers and hallmarks


The world’s first online foundation course in jewellery with specialist, Joanna Hardy. This course is a must for any enthusiast or indeed aspiring and practising professionals. This course is made up of 8 lessons, each giving you an in-depth lens on different aspects of the world of jewellery.

Recognised by
Recognised by The Goldsmiths' Centre

Knowledge level: Suitable for amateurs, through to enthusiasts and professionals wanting access to a top jewellery specialist

Bourcheron Yellow Gold, Sapphire and Diamond Medicis Bangle, Rene Boivin Amethyst & Diamond 'Grappe de Raisin' Brooch and Van Cleef and Arpels an Invisbily set Ruby and Diamond Forget Ring. Symbolic and Chase. Masterpiece 2017.

“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.”

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

Joanna has over 30 years experience working with jewellery beginning her career as a goldsmith before joining De Beers as a rough diamond valuer. Joanna then went to work in Antwerp as a polished diamond dealer before joining Philips the auctioneers in London. She then moved to Sotheby’s in Bond Street and for fourteen years was their senior jewellery specialist and auctioneer where she was responsible for jewellery auctions worldwide in New York, Geneva and London. She is a published author with her books ‘Collect Contemporary Jewelry‘, and ‘Emerald’ both published by Thames and Hudson and is a regular contributor to The Daily Telegraph Luxury Magazine. Joanna curates Contemporary Jewellery selling exhibitions, is an accredited NADFAS lecturer, a Freeman of the City of London, a Liveryman of the Goldsmiths Hall, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and is a regular jewellery specialist on the BBC Antiques Roadshow.

The Curriculum

  • 1. 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.

  • 2. 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.

  • 3. 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.”

  • 4. 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.

  • 5. 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.

  • 6. 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.

  • 7. 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.

  • 8. 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.

Meet your expert tutor

Joanna Hardy F.G.A., D.G.A., F.R.S.A Joanna has over 30 years experience working with jewellery, beginning her career as a goldsmith before becoming a rough diamond valuer and grader for De Beers. ...read more

Why you'll love learning here

  • Exclusive: Be coached directly by Joanna Hardy

  • Motivating: Intimate community of students, share ideas and feedback

  • Fun: Get a new perspective with classmates from around the world

  • Inspiring: Real experts sharing their secrets

  • Convenient: Fits with real life. Study whenever and wherever you like

  • Forever: Lifetime access to videos, notes and classmates

Start whenever you like

  • Start and learn whenever
  • Interactive virtual classroom
  • Engaging video content
  • Downloadable notes
  • Learn with classmates
  • Unlimited classroom access


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



Discover the power of group learning. International virtual classroom of no more than 20 people, benefit from shared knowledge and community study.


Our community loves us

As recommended by