Joanna Hardy

Jewellery Foundation

  • Recommended


    Includes personal feedback and tuition. More

  • $300

    Learn in an online classroom with no more than 20 classmates. More

Course Description

Jewellery expert and BBC Antiques Roadshow regular expert Joanna Hardy teaches you how to evaluate jewellery and gems and understand the heritage and value of jewellery pieces.

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.

You'll go on a virtual visit to 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.

This is my first foundation course. It's appropriate for enthusiastic amateurs or aspiring professionals alike. I'm expecting people ranging from interested hobbyists, 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. Joanna Hardy F.G.A., D.G.A., F.R.S.A

You'll learn:

  • how to appreciate and value jewellery and gemstones
  • about hallmarking
  • jewellery craftsmanship from high fashion jewels to fine jewellery pieces
  • principle enamelling techniques
  • history, processing and use of rubies, emeralds, sapphires, diamonds and pearls in jewellery

The course includes:

  • 8 on-demand video lessons - presented by Joanna Hardy
  • lifetime access to the videos, notes and interactive class
  • flexible classes - join and learn when and where you like
  • downloadable lesson notes
  • practical jewellery assignments (with tutor feedback available)
  • access on your mobile, PC, Mac or laptop
  • small interactive online classroom - chat online to students from around the world and share your creative ideas

Time to complete the jewellery foundation course:

Every student is different but in general we think the whole course will take around 22 hours 30 minutes to complete including:

  • Video lessons: 6 hours 30 minutes in total
  • Course notes: 30 minutes per lesson
  • Your jewellery appreciation assignments: at least 1 hour per lesson
  • Interactive classroom time: 15 minutes per lesson
  • Tutor feedback review (Expert level): 15 minutes per lesson

Ready to get started?

Just add the course to your basket above - choose the 'Expert' option for personal feedback from Joanna on your jewellery assignments.

If you know someone who'd love this course then give it as a gift - just tick "This is a gift" at the checkout.

Any questions? Contact us by clicking on the orange speech symbol - we'd love to hear from you.

CPD Accreditation

Course activity has been accredited by the CPD Standards Office (CPDSO). The course equates to 22 hours, 30 minutes of CPD learning.
The CPD Standards Office. CPD Provider: 50276.

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.

The course has been absolutely wonderful […] I am seeing my jewellery and that of my parents and grandparents in a totally different light now, it is truly fascinating.


Choose how you want to learn

  • The Expert option


    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 and CPD hours
    • 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
  • 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

Buy this course for a business or group

You can now buy this course through your business or organisation for individuals and groups up to 20

Jewellery classroom - how it works

  • Start anytime

    Watch video tutorials led by expert tutors

    Watch video tutorials led by expert tutors
  • Test yourself

    Practice what you learn with inspiring assignments

    Practice what you learn with inspiring assignments
  • Personal tuition

    Get assignment feedback from expert tutors

    Get assignment feedback from expert tutors
  • Share ideas

    Collaborate and chat directly to classmates

    Collaborate and chat directly to classmates

Meet Joanna Hardy

Joanna Hardy - Jewellery
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 its 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’, and 'Sapphire' 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 Jewellery Foundation course. Joanna is a Fellow of the Gemmological Association, Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, a Trustee Board member of Gem-A, a Liveryman and Court Assistant of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and is a regular jewellery specialist on the BBC Antiques Roadshow.

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Awards & Accreditations

  • Royal Horticultural Society - Approved Centre 2023-2024
  • Royal Horticultural Society
  • CPD Accredited (provider 50276)
  • Digital Education Awards 2023 Winner for Digital Health and Wellbeing Learning Product of the Year
  • Digital Education Awards 2023 Winner for Adult Home Learning Product of the Year