Cocktails on the Rocks

Held at the Capital Hotel, Knightsbridge, London. Join Joanna Hardy for an afternoon of jewels, cake and cocktails.

Contact Joanna for more information. An ideal present to celebrate a special occasion or a spoiling treat.   


Suggested Lecture Themes

Jewels That Catch an Experts Eye

There are some jewels that are special, but why? It may be because of their exquisite manufacture, or even their magical story of discovery. Jewellery can be inspiring, breath taking or simply understated to grab the attention of an expert. But one thing they will all have in common is good craftsmanship. The jewels I have chosen have all passed through my hands and range from antique to contemporary, with each being as diverse as the stories that lie behind them.

Diamonds and Pearls

The Kings and Queens of the Gemstone WorldWe will first follow the diamond’s extraordinary journey through time. From the volcano to being fashioned into a beautiful gem which has caught man’s imagination for centuries. What do you look for in a diamond? How do we value a piece of diamond jewellery? These questions among many more will be explored through the history of diamond jewellery and hopefully start to unravel some of the myths and secrets of the diamond world. The pearl has captivated man since the beginning of civilization, it has been synonymous with beauty, love, passion, desire and wealth. They were believed to be gifts from gods and the tears of angels that fell into the sea only to be captured by the oyster. Kings, Queens, Tsars and Maharajahs have lavished themselves with the pearl to protect them from evil and misfortune. To fully appreciate the fascination for pearls we will follow their remarkable journey and discover why it is still deemed to be a valuable asset today. 

The Art of THE Parisian Fine Jewellery houses

Joanna hardy goes behind the scenes

Paris is the custodian of the famous ‘high jewellery’ houses such as Cartier, Boucheron, Chaumet and Van Cleef & Arples who have created jewels that have adorned Kings, Queens, Maharajahs, millionaire industrialists of the 1900’s, bankers, entrepreneurs, Hollywood royalty and some of the most beautiful women in the world. These jewellery houses have continued their quest to create jewels that are innovative in design and beautifully crafted, ingredients needed to make iconic creations that will stand the test of time. The skill’s of the Parisian goldsmith is unrivaled and Joanna has had the unprecedented privilege of being invited to Cartier’s workshops in Paris to discover and witness first hand what goes into making ‘high jewellery’ that will ultimately be sought after and collected by international jewellery connoisseurs. But it is also the stories that lie behind the commissions and the fabulous diamonds, pearls and gemstones that have been used which bring the jewels alive and by sharing these tales we will travel through history following some of their remarkable journeys that have helped make Paris the centre for jewellery luxury and excellence.

Symbolism and Sentimentality in Adornment

Throughout time jewellery has been used as a form of expression to replace words. We will look back in time to observe these intimate moments when a jewel has been passed between lovers and admirers to convey a very personal message. Jewellery has also been worn to represent status and wealth, and there have been times when it has been used to signal political aspirations and desires.