Appraising jewellery and gemstones

Course Dates: 27/07/24 - 03/08/24
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: Keeley Street
Wish you knew more about the jewellery you were buying, or could value the heirlooms in your drawer? Join this fascinating two-day course to learn how to appraise gem set jewellery and stones. Explore precious metals, hallmarking, common gemstones found in jewellery and how to identify antique pieces, and bring your own jewellery for assessment by the tutor.
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Appraising jewellery and gemstones
This course is full
  • Course Code: VV738
  • Dates: 27/07/24 - 03/08/24
  • Time: 10:30 - 16:30
  • Taught: Sat, Daytime
  • Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Judith Crowe, Derek Jhinnoo

Course Code: VV738

Choose a start date  

Full Sat, day, 27 Jul - 03 Aug '24

Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Centre for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

The two-day course will teach you how to appraise gem-set jewellery and gemstones, to allow you to buy with confidence. There will be practical exercises, plus students will have the opportunity to bring their own pieces of jewellery for identification.

What will we cover?

- How to use a loupe to view jewellery and gemstones
- The different precious metals used in modern and antique jewellery, and basic jewellery construction
- Hallmarking – what it is, why it’s done and how to understand hallmarks
- The common gemstones found in jewellery including the certification of gems
- Identifying antique jewellery (Victorian, Art Nouveau, Art Deco etc.) and how to spot reproductions/fakes
- Assessment criteria for jewellery and gems and what to look for when buying.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Use a loupe to identify hallmarks and assess jewellery and gems
- Understand the basic construction of old and new jewellery and the common precious metals
- Understand what a hallmark is and be able to recognise/read them
- Have a basic knowledge of the common gemstones and an awareness of treatments, synthetics and imitations
- Understand the important antique periods of jewellery, their common features, and how to spot reproductions
- Grasp the basics of assessing jewellery plus the common pitfalls and problems when buying.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course is suitable for all levels, from beginners to those wanting a refresher. It will interest anyone with a fascination for jewellery as well those who work in the trade.

You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations and hand-outs, and health and safety information. It will be beneficial if you can take part in informal group discussions.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The course will take the form of a talk with practical exercises plus question and answer sessions. There will be many examples of jewellery and gems that will be shown around the class plus projected images. There will be time for students to show their own jewellery to the tutor who will identify it and appraise it. There is no work outside the class.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

There are no other costs or anything you need to bring. There will be gemstones and books on sale should you wish to take your interest further.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

City Lit offer a wide range of short and year-long courses in Jewellery design and making, from beginners to advanced, and for professional development.

Browse our current offer online for complementary courses.

Judith Crowe

Since 2003 Judith Crowe has been running 2 companies - as a gemstone dealer and for making bespoke jewellery. She has a BA Hons degree in Fine Art and from 1985 she worked as a studio manager/designer in graphic design. In 1990 she broke her back horse riding and then worked as a broadcast journalist and TV director at the BBC Disability Programmes Unit. From 1999 Judith retrained in silversmithing at City Lit and she is now teaching short courses on gemmology and jewellery at the college. She has written a book, 'The Jeweller's Directory of Gemstones', published by Quarto. Her website is

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.