June 13, 2023

Protecting Fine Jewelry: 5 Ways to Keep Priceless Jewelry Safe

Caitlin Sacasas

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Protecting your priceless heirlooms and fine jewelry takes more than simple storage. Having a jewelry maintenance plan will help you keep the best care of your jewelry collection by preventing damage and theft. 

Here are the best ways to store and protect your priceless jewelry:  



1. Store Fine Jewelry in a Fireproof Safe 

Securing your jewelry in a fireproof and burglar-proof safe can keep your heirloom jewelry and valuables safe from theft and damage.  

Jewelry boxes and dresser drawers are the first place a burglar goes when attempting to steal expensive items. Keeping them out of sight and stored securely away will reduce your risk.  

While you may think your jewelry is safe at home and does not need to be stored in a safe, home is where jewelry is often lost or damaged. Many affluent homes have domestic employees, contractors, and guests who come and go. Besides vetting these individuals before allowing them to have home access, it’s smart to reduce your risks with proper, safe storage. 

Plus, an accident can happen at any time. Some fireproof safes also provide protection from water or extensive damage. Keeping your jewelry stored away in one of these safes provide the best protection from risks. 

A safety deposit box is an alternative option to a fireproof safe to protect your seldom-worn and highest-value jewelry. 


2. Always Have Documentation and Appraisals 

Document what pieces you own by keeping a photograph on hand of each item. Include details of their appraised value and description. 

If you haven’t gotten an appraisal done, it’s a good idea to have a record of its value should something happen. This information will be needed when reporting an insurance claim or filing a police report. 


3. Insure Jewelry for the Unexpected 

Insuring jewelry will help protect and cover your items in the event of damage, loss, or theft. Collections insurance can be added to your home coverage to cover any losses associated specifically with your jewelry and heirloom collection.  

For example, if your jewelry is lost or damaged while traveling, or you lose one piece in a pair or set, your collections insurance will cover your losses. 

Find the value of your items by having an appraisal done and talk with a Vault agent to discuss coverage options.  


Based on a True Story 

While shopping, a customer lost a “cursed” ring which cost $443k to replace. 

Diane* bought a 12ct diamond ring at an auction and secured it in a bank vault for years. 

The ring had a bit of an unusual history. It had belonged to a well-known lawyer who was caught in a Ponzi scheme. His wife had refused to give up the ring until her arrest. 

Diane kept the ring secured at a bank for years and insured through Vault. But one day she decided to take it out from the bank and wear it out shopping. 

While shopping, the large centerpiece diamond fell out and was lost. Two adjusters went back to retrace her steps and look for the 12ct diamond. But in the end, the diamond remained lost. 

Because of this stroke of bad luck upon wearing the ring for the first time, Diane came to believe the ring was cursed because of its history. 

In reality, the ring had not been maintained during those years in storage, and probably prior. Diane hadn’t realized she should have had the ring inspected before wearing it out. 

Vault helped Diane set up a jewelry maintenance plan for her other pieces and provided replacement cost payment for the lost ring. 


Save These Tips: Download the Free Guide to Protecting Fine Jewelry


4. Install a Home Security System 

Having a home security system or doorbell camera can help protect your home when you’re away. They are a deterring factor for potential burglars and keep your valuables safe. 

If you plan to be away from home for some period of time, take safety precautions such as: 

  • Never post your travel plans on social media or that you’re leaving for vacation. Instead, post your photos and updates after you get back. 
  • Stage your home to look like someone is still there while away. This could include a timer on your outdoor lights, having your mail picked up so it doesn’t pile up, and asking someone you trust to check on your home. 
  • Make sure your home is locked up, including all windows and doors, before you leave. 


A great home security system is a deterrent, but safety practices while away reduce your risks further.


5. Be Mindful While Traveling 

Never check your jewelry in your luggage. Instead, always keep your jewelry on your person while traveling or, if you must, in your carry-on luggage. 

It’s also best to keep your jewelry in a hardshell box to prevent damage and wear and tear during travel. Have your jewelry inspected before you leave to ensure it’s in top condition, your jewels are firmly in place, and reduce lost gems and damage. 

While traveling, pay attention to your surroundings and do not flaunt your accessories. Thieves often scope out tourist spots that attract wealthy patrons to swipe their jewelry. Paying close attention and stay mindful to prevent lost jewels.  

You can read more tips for traveling safely with jewelry here.


Storing Your Priceless Jewelry 

Prevent damage to your fine jewelry by properly storing your pieces. Here are some things to keep in mind to prevent jewelry damage:  

  • Always store your jewelry in low humidity, away from sunlight and moisture, to prevent tarnish. If you live in a humid area, keep a silica pack in your jewelry box to prevent excessive moisture.  
  • Store diamonds and gemstones away from other jewelry. They can scratch other jewels and metals, such as pearls. 
  • Place your jewelry in soft-lined fabric, such as cotton or felt, to prevent damage. 
  • Have your jewelry cleaned to maintain its integrity, shine and sparkle.  


Jewelry Insurance: Is Insuring Jewelry Worth It? 

Is insuring your jewelry worth it? It depends on your specific situation and the jewelry you have. If you have priceless family heirlooms or jewelry that would be expensive or hard to replace, it may be worth considering jewelry insurance.  

Jewelry insurance, offered under Collections Insurance at Vault, is designed to cover anything of high value above your home insurance premium. It can be added on to your policy and give you peace of mind that your valuables are protected.  

Talk with your Vault insurance agent about what coverage options would be best for you and your jewelry collection.  

Request a quote for Collections coverage and experience the Vault difference. 


Related Products: Collections Insurance 



*names and some details have been changed to protect identity and for clarification. 


While Vault believes the information provided in this article to be accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information provided. Vault is not responsible for, and does not adopt, endorse or approve any third-party webpages, or their content, that may be hyperlinked from this page. Nothing on this page alters any terms or conditions of an insurance policy and is not intended to be taken as legal, medical, or other professional advice. 

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