Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Lisa the Jeweler: Protecting and Insuring Your Jewelry

Lisa the Jeweler: Protecting and Insuring Your Jewelry: Thanks Lisa Martin for the great blog idea! If you've been following along, Lisa posted a comment in response to my last post, sta...

Protecting and Insuring Your Jewelry

Thanks Lisa Martin for the great blog idea!

If you've been following along, Lisa posted a comment in response to my last post, stating that a friend of hers had her "very" special diamond pendant ripped off her neck... can you even imagine!?!?

Sadly, this can happen anywhere, and as a person that likes to wear her jewelry, there are things that we can do to protect our jewelry, whether it is sentimental, of significant value, or both.

1.)  If it has a retail value of over $1000 have it insured, period. 
Upon purchase, ask your jeweler to provide you with an appraisal for you to give your insurance company.  I am personally always happy to provide this service to my customers!  There should be no charge.

If you don't know the value of a piece, say if it were a gift or inherited, have your jeweler do an appraisal.  The amount on the appraisal should be a retail replacement value based on the current market.  Submit the appraisal to your insurance company.  Don't have a jeweler?  Call around, or ask for a recommendation from a trusted friend, just make sure you go to a Graduate Gemologist, like myself.  You will need to leave the piece for them to calculate, grade, weigh and asses the value of the piece.

Don't trust them to leave your Grandma's ring with?  This goes back to previous posts... you need to trust your jeweler, otherwise, I can assure you, they'd rather not have you leave it.  That being said, this is how it should go:  When a client of mine drops off an item like their Grandma's ring, the first think I do is inspect the piece.  I will explain any issues with the ring, like worn prongs or chipped stones, and then show the customer using a loop or the microscope.  If the piece needs maintenance, I will recommend it at this time.  In the case of a diamond, I like to show the client any identifying characteristics (inclusions) that the stone has.  There are no two alike.  The jeweler will give you a receipt, with any of the above issues noted.  Don't be surprised if they write "white stone" instead of diamond, this is to protect themselves, because the stone has not yet been gemologically tested.  This is true of all gemstones, because there are many synthetic, simulated and assembled stones on the market.  With me so far?

2.)  Get a safe.
This was a great gift from an ex-boyfriend, who turned out to be far from great.  Mine is fire-proof, can be bolted down and has a keypad.

3.)  Be smart.  
Most jewelry thefts do not occur on the street resulting in your necklace being ripped off.  Most jewelry thefts happen in the house when people do not have their belongings securely locked up.  Even if , God forbid, your house is broken into in the middle of the day, if your belongings are in a bolted down safe, the only thing missing might be the TV.  Showing your house, cleaning person day, contractors remodeling?  Lock up your valuables.

4.) Have your jewelry checked.
Everyone has heard of someone who "lost their diamond."  Usually this can be prevented by having the piece cleaned and checked by their jeweler.  Diamonds typically don't just fall out.  But they do if the prongs have worn down or been bent.  I recommend going in once a year.  Also, avoid putting jewelry on, or taking it off, over the sink.

***As far as insurance goes, some companies handle these things way better then others.  Unfortunately, you never know how your homeowners or renters insurance is going to deal with a loss or theft until something bad happens.  In addition, if there is a loss, your insurance company could jack your rates.  I've started insuring my belongings through Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co.
They insure most stores across the country, are WI based:) and have Graduate Gemologists on staff.  Most insurance companies know nothing about jewelry, so I prefer to go to other experts.  Also, if something bad happened, God forbid, the loss would not be a strike against your homeowners insurance.  Find more info at:

Thanks for the great topic Lisa!

Happy Wednesday!!!  ~Lisa