How to Keep Your Jewelry Safe

I decided upon the ivory Grecian gown for the ball. Being a Princess, I next walked to the jewelry vault room, where my trusty guard ushered me in to select my coordinating jewels and tiara for the evening. Oh wait…I’m just a commoner…wearing jeans and a cute top for going out tonight. And my “vault” is just a regular ‘ole jewelry box. So really, what’a a commoner like me to do about keeping my collection safe? Granted, it’s not the crown jewels, but it still consists of a lifetime of carefully curated choices.

The two main components of jewelry security are the physical safety measures and the insurance. I chatted with Debbie, my go-to gal at my State Farm office, and she agreed that the best way to insure your jewelry is through a personal articles policy. You may not realize it, but most standard homeowner’s or renter’s polices only cover around $5000, less your deductible, and only $2500 for any one item. If you’ve got a sweet wedding ring, then this would hardly cover it!

To create a personal articles policy, you need to have a list and detailed description of each item you want to insure. (You’ll be surprised at how quickly things add up!) And most insurance companies will require you to have an appraisal done for any item worth $5000 or more. Most local jewelry stores can do an appraisal for you. And typically, the more items you have them appraise, the more cost effective it is. I do have a personal articles policy in addition to my renter’s insurance, and I update it once a year to reflect new acquisitions.

Next, I spoke with Captain Mike Matteucci of the Burlingame police department. As expected, he said having your jewelry in a fire-proof safe, be it a wall safe or one bolted to the floor, was your best best in securing your investments. True, a safety deposit box would work as well. But really…how often would you be driving down to the bank to get out a bracelet you wanted to wear to dinner?! (Though I guess if you have a butler, he could do that sort of thing for you.) 😉

Gem 2418 jewelry safe
This safe is quite lovely!

Capt. Mettteucci also told me that 90% of robberies occur during daylight hours, so be SURE to use your alarm system and lock your doors and windows, even if you’re just running down to Safeway to pick up a dozen eggs. He also brought up a good point about not having your jewelry accessible if you’re entertaining. He cited a number of cases where jewelry had been pilfered during a dinner party or while a teen child was having friends over. Never even thought about that one!

Finally, where to “hide” your jewelry if you’re going out of town and you, the lowly commoner, doesn’t actually own a safe?! Well he said the worst places to hide things are in the bedroom (i.e. under the mattress or in the pocket of a coat hanging in the closet) or the den. Instead, think about clever hiding places in the kitchen or your children’s room. I highly doubt that the average crook would be searching through the 100’s of stuffed animals that reside in Johnny’s room….Another friend suggested that hiding things in metal pots in your kitchen would be difficult for a thief to detect with a metal detector. Capt. Matteucii hadn’t heard of this tactic before, but it does sort of make sense.

While I do just adore creative jewelry storage, these tips do make me think. I know that jewelry is just a “thing” and that things aren’t the most important parts of life, but if I can take measures to secure my lovelies, then I’m going to do it!