Starting her life in the jewellery trade 30 years ago, Joanna Hardy first studied to be a goldsmith and jewellery designer at Sir John Cass College, then worked for De Beers valuing and grading rough diamonds.
She then became a polished diamond dealer in Antwerp, Tel Aviv and Mumbai before moving into antique jewellerey and joining Philips's auction house, primarily as their diamond expert but also valuing other gemstones and period jewellery. In 1995 Joanna joined the jewellery department at Sotheby's London where for 14 years she was a senior specialist and auctioneer, regularly taking to the rostrum to sell jewellery in the company's New Bond Street galleries. She was also responsible for assessing and valuing jewellery worldwide for sales at Sotheby's in New York, Geneva and London.
In 2006 Joanna masterminded and launched a unique selling venture at Sotheby's, entitled 'London Rocks'. Designed as a pioneering exhibition of contemporary jewellery, seventeen artists/jewellers, predominantly London based, were invited to showcase their specially designed pieces for public sale In many ways London Rocks worked exactly like a Contemporary Art Exhibition: allowing original, progressive, fashionable and most importantly, collectable artists to showcase their work and expose it to a wider audience.
In addition, Joanna regularly conducts charity auctions and delivers seminars and lectures for various charities and institutions. A skilled broadcaster, she has lectured on radio and is a regular jewellery expert on the BBC Antiques Roadshow. She also lectures for Sotheby's institute, fr whom she conducted a hugely successful lecture series aboard Crystal Cruise liners and is an accredited NADFAS lecturer She recently appeared in a feature-length documentary 'Aphrodite's Drop: The Power of Pearls' and has been made a Freeman of the Goldsmith's Company, a Freeman of the City of London and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Joanna is a jewellery consultant and has created the Jewellery School of Excellence.