RUBY: The King of Gems





By Joanna Hardy

This is the most ambitious book ever published on ruby, the king of gems. From emperors and empresses, kings and queens, Maharanis to Hollywood royalty, a stunning array of style icons are shown wearing their favourite ruby jewelry, alongside classic images of rubies throughout the centuries.

The book also showcases sixty of the world’s most significant and renowned pieces of ruby jewelry, including many previously unseen designs from royal and private collections. Historic creations are represented alongside pieces from major modern and contemporary jewelry houses, among them Cartier, Boucheron, Van Cleef & Arpels, Chaumet, Mellerio dits Meller and Graff. Additionally, Ruby offers practical guidance on what to look for in a quality ruby gemstone, a look at extraordinary jewelry techniques as well as the author Joanna Hardy's travelogue from visits to the world's great ruby deposits.

Ruby’s Latest Reviews

It’s all shiny for Ruby: The King of Gems in gemmologist Edward Boehm’s review in The Journal of Gemmology

“I can honestly say that in the 40-plus years I’ve been reading about gems, I have never experienced greater joy than from this fabulous tribute to Ruby. […] I highly recommend this magnificent work of art to anyone who wants to learn almost everything there is to know about ruby and the jewellery containing it, or simply wants to be mesmerised by Hardy’s storytelling expertise to escape the burdens of the ‘real world’ for a while. Enjoy!”

See the review here

From its formation millions of years ago, to its cutting, setting and the myths and intrigue that surround this stone, ruby is truly the King of Gems. Explore the stories connected to this incredible gem in Joanna’s latest book: Ruby. Available at many retailers, including Waterstones, Foyles, Amazon, Harrods and V&A Book Shop.

Read revered gemmologist Richard B. Drucker’s review of Ruby: The King of Gems.

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Ruby Review, Richard B. Drucker

Nov 2018, Gem Guide

Precious Statements

John Donald: designer and jeweller


This lavishly illustrated and exquisitely designed book tells the story of how John Donald became one of the most famous jeweller's of the 20th century. Precious Statements highlights John Donald's most dazzlingly beautiful, intricate and often astonishing pieces of work with a stunning series of images.

'John Donald’s work is a wonderful example of innovation, freedom of thought and expression. It is a time capsule representing an era spanning five decades since the 1960s that British jewellery will never witness again.' - Joanna Hardy, independent fine jewellery specialist


Contribution by Vivienne Becker, Maria Doulton, Nina Hald, Joanna Hardy and Suzy Menkes


Joanna Hardy contributing author whose chapter ‘Rarity’ traces iconic diamonds that have passed through the hands of Laurence Graff. 

A look into the exclusive world of Graff, the British-owned luxury purveyor of unique jewels, one-of-a-kind statement pieces, and the most famous diamonds in the world. The House of Graff is synonymous with the pinnacle of luxurious, sophisticated style, the exclusive glamour and exquisite craftsmanship of its creations a singular complement to the world-famous gemstones that have passed through its master craftsmen’s hands. Laurence Graff’s gift of releasing the hidden beauty within gems of unprecedented size and brilliance has led to Graff being renowned as home to “the most fabulous jewels in the world.” 
Spotlighted are famed stones such as the 603-carat Lesotho Promise, which Graff daringly cut into a necklace of 26 perfect stones; the largest square Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond in the world, the 118.08-carat Delaire Sunrise; and the largest D Flawless round diamond in the world, the Graff Constellation, at 102.79 carats. This volume showcases the best of the House of Graff—the most dramatic, the most mesmerizing, and the most exceptional jewels in the world. Included is the story of the creation of Graff, portrayed through archival photos and the words of founder Laurence Graff.

Cartier Panthère



Silently stalking its way through Cartier iconography for a century, the Panther is the proud leader of the pack of precious animals that make up the famous Cartier menagerie. Cartier Panthèreillustrates the panther throughout art history and popular culture, chronicles the creative evolution and technical expertise behind Cartier’s exquisite Panther jewelry, and recounts anecdotes of legendary Cartier personalities and patrons from Jeanne Toussaint and Daisy Fellowes to María Félix and the Duchess of Windsor. Featuring stunning imagery, including rarely seen preparatory drawings from the Cartier archives and the most recent haute joaillerie creations unveiled at the 2014 Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris, this beautiful volume is the definitive collection of 100 years of Cartier Panther jewels.

EMERALD: Twenty One Centuries of Jewelled Opulence and Power

Joanna Hardy, Hettie Judah, Jonathan Self Preface by Franca Sozzani

Publication date: 16 December 2013 Price: £75.00 

Emerald is a lavishly illustrated, definitive guide to the world’s most valuable precious gemstone. It is packed with hundreds of examples of fabulous emerald jewelry and tells the story of this fascinating, enduring and magnificent gem. A gem that is twenty times more rare than diamond and which was first discovered over five millennia ago.

Franca Sozzani, editor of Vogue Italia, opens with an introduction on emerald jewelry and women written from a personal perspective. Emerald is then divided into three sections beginning with a searching and historical piece by Hettie
Judah on the power, allure and status conveyed by gemstones, including stunning photography by Bert Stern, Horst P. Horst and from the archives of the great jewelry houses.

The second section is a showcase of the finest emerald jewelry, ancient and modern, ever created. The selection of over 200 outstanding pieces – many of which have never been seen by the public before – has been made by jewelry and gemstone expert, Joanna Hardy who explores royal emeralds and the royal beauties, from Cleopatra to Empress Josephine, for whom they meant so much, as well as the extraordinary commissions by grand Maharajas of the nineteenth century and heiresses of the twentieth. Historic creations up to 5,500 years old are seen alongside pieces from Cartier, Boucheron and Bulgari and contemporary designers such as Hemmerle, Leo de Vroomen and Sevan Biçacki.

In the third and final section, author and globetrotter Jonathan Self uncovers the secrets of the emerald trade. In the process he visits Cleopatra’s lost emerald mines in the Sahara Desert and the largest emerald mine of all time in Zambia. He interviews gem hunters and jewellers, investigates legends and myths and traces the stone’s long and frequently romantic history. The section is beautifully illustrated with specially commissioned photography by Errol Rainey. 

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By Jonathan Self, Joanna Hardy, Franca Sozzani

 Collect Contemporary Jewelry

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How does one identify the ‘antiques of tomorrow’ in the contemporary jewelry market – those pieces that appeal to modern taste but also have the stamp of timeless collectibles?
All over the world, talented designers and craftsmen are using an astonishing range of techniques and materials to produce covetable jewelry, but it can be difficult to decide in which pieces to invest when confronted with this vast choice.
Joanna Hardy’s selection of truly imaginative makers and pieces includes works to suit all tastes, from the more traditional to the adventurous, providing authoritative answers and expert direction in this hugely exciting and fast-developing market.