A home burglary occurs in the United States every 15 seconds. Most of these burglaries occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and result in a dollar loss of approximately $1,600. Less than 13 percent of all burglaries are solved by police. Additionally, thousands of homes are damaged or destroyed each year by fire, flood and other disasters. All of these threats can result in the loss or damage to your valuable jewelry and other possessions.
For many reasons, your jewelry is an attractive target for thieves. Once stolen, most jewelry can be broken up and sold for what is called “melt value,” making it impossible to trace. Additionally, the stones taken from a piece of jewelry are easily sold to sources without any way of identifying them as yours. While the thief may only get pennies on the dollar, they see such thefts as a quick and safe way to make a few bucks.
Whether you have a collection of valuable jewelry or one or two pieces of heirloom rings, brooches, or other items you treasure, it is wise to take prudent steps to protect them and to recover their value if they are lost, damaged, or stolen. Here are 10 of those proactive steps you should consider.
10. Take pictures and videos
The first step with all of your assets is to take pictures and/or videos of them. These provide a permanent and objective record of your items and help prove their value if they are lost in any way. Ensure you take the pictures from several angles in good lighting, with each item displayed on a black or white background. Keep multiple copies, with at least one copy stored safely away from your home. One set will be useful to police in the event your home is burglarized, as they will use these to check with pawn shops and any recovered property they may seize. Today, many people also upload digital copies of their pictures to a service, adding to your ability to easily access them.
9. Store jewelry in a safe and secure place at home
Police report that many people are careless about where they store their jewelry in their homes. This not only increases the risk of loss to burglars, it increases the chance of loss to visitors, help or even family members. There are numerous places to hide jewelry in your home, from a fake electrical outlet to a hollowed-out book. Many false containers are available that look like cans of soda or other products. While many of these methods may hide your jewelry, your best bet is a safe that is hidden well and provides adequate protection from a fire and water damage.
8. Rent a safe deposit box
An affordable and effective way to store jewelry is the traditional safe deposit box. Your local bank rents these to customers for nominal annual fees and they provide dependable security. However, many people find this inconvenient for securing jewelry they use frequently or if a bank is not nearby. Additionally, it is important to note you may not be able to access a safety deposit box quickly in the event of the death of a spouse or co-signer on the box.
7. Install an adequate home security system
Of course, many people see a home security system as an effective first line of defenses against theft and fire. While these are effective, police report more than 30 percent of all burglarized homes have a working home security system. The key to effective use of such a system is to ensure you limit the number of people who have access to your passwords and you are disciplined about keeping it on when you are out. Modern systems provide you with more flexibility and monitoring, but you should still ensure your jewelry in the home is hidden when not being worn.
6. Carry adequate insurance
While your goal is, of course, to keep your jewelry from being lost or stolen in the first place, carrying adequate insurance is a necessity. In fact, the insurance industry reports many homeowners fail to properly insure their more valuable items with the needed riders and coverage. Make sure you regularly update your appraisals and documentation for each valuable piece of jewelry. You can speak with your favorite jeweler in Boca Raton where you buy valuable items and get advice on both appraisals and proper insurance coverage, including the difference in market and replacement values.
5. Protect them from chemicals and pollutants
Many people fail to realize the dangers many common chemicals represent to different types of jewels. Even airborne pollutants can erode, pit, and tarnish many of your valuable pieces of jewelry. You should ensure you don’t wear your jewels where they may be exposed to vapors or liquids, especially when doing any household chores. Likewise, all jewelry should be stored properly in cased and materials that protect them and neutralize many pollutants. Once again, check with your dealer where you sell or buy jewelry in Boca Raton for help and advice in this area.
4. Maintain current appraisals and documentation
As noted above, it is important to regularly update your jewelry appraisals, especially for your more unique and heirloom items. You’ll find this is relatively inexpensive when you turn to your regular Boca Raton jeweler. While an appraisal doesn’t protect your jewelry, of course, it does help protect your ability to recover full value if it is stolen or lost. In addition to your appraisals, be sure to keep your receipts, purchase documents, and any other relevant provenance items.
3. Be careful where and how you wear your jewelry
A surprising number of people lose valuable jewelry every year out of carelessness and oversight. Wearing a valuable necklace or brooch on a shopping trip increases the chances it will get lost while trying on clothes. You’ll seldom recover anything left in a changing room or dropped in a restaurant restroom. Likewise, many people wear rings and watches to the beach or in extreme situations like skiing and end up losing them. Water and cold temperatures make it more likely these devices will slip off and be lost. At the same time, leaving a watch or other valuable items in a gym locker increases the chances of theft.
2. Never ship or leave valuable jewels in your luggage.
While this seems to simple common sense, thousands of individuals report the loss of jewelry and other valuables each year from luggage on planes, trains and in hotel rooms. If you are taking valuable jewelry with you on a trip, always keep it with you in a secure place, and, of course, never show it or take it out while traveling. When in your hotel room, always use the hotel safe or the safe provided in your room. If you are carrying valuable items with you, make sure you have access to those pictures in case you lose the items or they are stolen.
1. Purchase faux replicas
Many individuals find it practical to keep faux versions of their most valuable pieces for use while locking away the real items. Between science and craftsmanship, you can often obtain remarkably realistic replicas of your treasures for a reasonable price. The more zeroes in the value of your pieces, the more you want to consider having faux pieces to use for everyday situations. Almost no one will know the difference and you’ll have a greater sense of security over displaying your more valuable jewelry items. Once again, you can find a trustworthy jeweler in Boca Raton who can help you find sources for such faux items.