Preserve your prized jewelry and watches


Store valuables in a jewelry box or other clean, protected location.


Jewelry and watches have a strong appeal to many people. They can represent sentiment, personal adornment, private assets, family heirlooms and collectible works of art. Because of their unique value, jewelry worn today should be preserved for tomorrow.

Consider the following tips to help protect your jewelry:

  • Store jewelry in a clean, protected location, such as a jewelry box.
  • Place jewelry in separated compartments because some metals and gemstones scratch or chip more easily than others. Some boxes include individually padded slots for rings and provide posts for hanging necklaces and bracelets.
  • Consider installing a secured safe within your home to prevent theft.
  • Keep your most precious items or items you wear infrequently in a bank vault or safe deposit box. In addition to preventing theft or misplacement, you may also save on insurance premiums.
  • Prepare an inventory of your watches and jewelry, just as you would all of your property. Take photos and keep purchase receipts. Store a copy offsite.
  • Take extra steps when traveling:
    • Photograph jewelry you plan to take with you in case an item is lost or stolen
    • Consider limiting the amount of jewelry you travel with
    • Pack jewelry in your carry-on bag, not in checked luggage
    • Keep your carry-on bag with you and avoid overhead compartments on the plane; if overhead storage is used, make sure the compartment is in your aisle or an aisle in front of you to allow for a clear line of sight to your items
    • Keep your most expensive items with you at all times
    • Place unattended jewelry in a locked safe or vault under hotel management supervision rather than in your hotel room safe
    • Consider avoiding social media posts when you travel, signaling to others that you are out of town
  • Examine the condition of each item on a regular basis. Check for loose settings, weak clasps and worn strings. Have any weaknesses or damage repaired as soon as possible.
  • Visit a professional about every 6 months to have your jewelry professionally cleaned and inspected.
  • Schedule a jewelry re-appraisal on a regular basis, about every 3 to 5 years.

Jewelry and watches have style and beauty we can admire. Contact your local independent insurance agent for more detailed information on how to preserve your collection for generations to come.

This loss control information is advisory only. The author assumes no responsibility for management or control of loss control activities. Not all exposures are identified in this article. Contact your local, independent insurance agent for coverage advice and policy service.

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