Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Summertime, Travel, Fun in the Sun, Fun at the Airport or not ! Jewelry is rarely at the top of ones packing list. And other than the addition of a cheap, costume necklace or two for a fancy night out, most people don't pack any good jewelry. But sooner or later, we all have to travel for some function where "the good stuff" needs to come along. Be it a family wedding where grandma's pearls need to make an appearance or a gallery opening where that canary Diamond you have (and I say "you" because I certainly don't have one) begs to be worn, or a fancy Cruise where you have to appear at Formal Night with the Captain, we all find ourselves packing some fine jewelry occasionally. So, how do you keep it safe and secure? Lets check with some experts to find out.

The hotel security director: You can probably guess what a director of safety and security would say when asked , "Don't take your heirlooms and your favorite stuff with you." But, if you are going to take them, here are some tips for traveling with jewelry:
1) Be sure you are staying in a hotel with a safe in the room or safety deposit boxes at the front desk. Most 3-star or better hotels have both.
2) Once you've checked into the hotel, use the safe or safety deposit box. The hardest part is getting people to utilize them, the hotels advertise having them, but then people don't use them, and that's where things can go wrong.
3) Know the hotel's policy if something should happen to your jewelry. In most U.S. States, an innkeeper is not liable for hotel losses, unless they are the direct result of the hotel's negligence. For example, if a hotel employee is caught stealing it.

The insurance agent: if you own fine jewelry, you probably have insurance to cover it. But does that insurance apply when you are traveling? You first need to ensure that you are insured. A standard homeowner's policy will not cover jewelry for disappearance, and it will only cover theft of jewelry up to $1,000. The key is to purchase a rider to your homeowner's policy or a separate policy to cover just the jewelry. Either one will cover your jewelry for theft, disappearance or other mishaps, including losing a stone from a setting or the old familiar dropping of your wedding ring down a garbage disposal. Now you will need to be sure that you are following your specific policy's rules for travel, and you need to check with your agent about that. Most standard policies will cover you for travel anywhere, but some might require that certain items be kept in a safe when you are not wearing them. And, if we're talking about Harry Winston, red carpet-level jewels, your policy may limit exactly how much jewelry you can travel with. And Insurance Agents like Security Directors, will both advise that it is best to leave the heirlooms at home. There is no way to insure sentimental value. That ring that your grandmother gave you can only be insured for an appraised value, and it probably means more to you than that.

And last but not least, be aware of your surroundings and where you are traveling before wearing that necklace, bracelet or ring. Displaying them at a party or special gathering is one thing, but wearing them in public going to and from the "gala" can sometimes lead to trouble when least expected.

And one last suggestion, with the abundance of immatations on todays market, it might just pay to have someone make a copy of that "special necklace or broach" and leave the real stuff in your safe or bank box when you do the "fling on the night". But still be careful where you go, as someone may think you really have the real thing and want to relieve you of it.