Jewellery masterclasses: let the expert Joanna Hardy guide you through the fascinating world of jewellery

Cocktails on the Rocks lectures and Masterclasses led by jewellery expert Joanna Hardy in London leave no stone of the secret lives of gems unturned.

Joanna Hardy's popular Masterclasses, held throughout the year in London, guide participants through various aspects of the jewellery industry and shows them how to use a jeweller's loupe.

By Ase Anderson in London

If you want to learn more about the wonderful but sometimes bewildering world of jewellery, look no further than Joanna Hardy's Masterclasses and newly launched Cocktails on the Rocks lectures.

Quite frankly, what the BBC Antiques Roadshow expert doesn't know about jewellery is probably not worth knowing. In her popular Masterclasses she guides participants through various aspects of the jewellery industry and shows them how to use a jeweller's loupe, an essential tool for examining jewels and gemstones up close. 

Now in their third year, the Masterclasses are fun as well as informative and with a maximum of 12 people per session, everyone will get a chance to ask questions and try out their newfound loupe skills on real jewels. All the sessions are held at the Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge from 10:00-17:00 and include a working lunch and a celebratory glass of champagne to finish the day.

Each masterclass also has a theme, from the Wonderful World of Gemstones (23 February 2015) to the Age of Decadence and Discovery 1900-1935 (10 November 2014) and the Allure of Adornment: a 5,000-year-old tradition (26 January 2015).

There is no need to worry if you can't set aside a whole day to delve into the world of gemstones and jewels. This autumn, Joanna is launching a series of Cocktails on the Rocks masterclasses, during which guests enjoy afternoon tea followed by a lecture before retiring to the bar for a Q & A session over a specially designed jewelled cocktail, or two.

Held on four Thursdays at the Capital Hotel, each lecture will have a different theme. The first event takes place on 16 October 2014, when Joanna will talk about Jewels that Catch an Expert's Eye and examine what constitutes good craftsmanship in both antique and contemporary pieces.

Diamonds and Pearls will be the focus of the second session on 11 December 2014, followed by a fascinating behind-the-scenes journey into the history of Cartier (22 January 2015) and a look at Symbolism and Sentimentality in Adornment (26 February 2015). Designed to be informative, relaxing and glamorous, Cocktails on the Rocks will open your eyes to the high level of skill that goes into creating beautiful, long-lasting jewels.

Jewels, cake and cocktails? Count me in.

Space for both the Masterclasses and Cocktails on the Rocks afternoons is limited, so early booking is advisable. 

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