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Protecting Jewelry at Home and Abroad

Jewelry is unique among assets: while the intrinsic financial value of a piece is obvious, the sentimental value of an item like your wedding ring, heirloom earrings or the watch you bought to mark a personal milestone is known only to you.

And unlike your stock portfolio or art collection, jewelry often travels with you: to the corner store, the office, or halfway across the world. Your jewelry may also leave your possession if you lend it to friends or exhibits, or have to send it out to be repaired. That portability means you have to take additional precautions to adequately protect these most treasured objects. You can minimize your exposure to loss by following some common-sense—though often overlooked—preventative measures.

In your home:

  • Store jewelry in a safe and only remove it right before putting it on.
  • Bolt your safe into the structure of your home so it cannot be removed and broken into later.
  • Buy an Underwriters Laboratory-listed safe that is rated to withstand a two-hour burn if your collection is of particularly high value.
  • Keep your safe in a less obvious place than the master bedroom—that’s the first place thieves look. To throw off the most determined thieves, you may even want to keep a small “decoy” safe in your master bedroom that holds only less valuable items or your frequently worn pieces. They probably won’t think to look for a second safe with the bulk of your collection.
  • Conduct background checks on private staff. Many jewelry thefts are inside jobs.

While traveling:

  • Treat jewelry as if it was your wallet—it should be kept on your person whenever possible.
  • Only take what is necessary for the trip.
  • Keep an inventory of the items you are traveling with and leave a copy at home or in a place separate from the jewelry.
  • Store jewelry in the hotel safe or a safe deposit box when it is not worn.
  • Keep jewelry not worn during transit in a padded jewelry portfolio that is in your possession—never put in a checked bag.
  • Consider shipping high-value items to your destination instead of wearing them on commercial aircraft or other travel methods (see below).


  • Consider using a secure transportation service when moving high-value pieces to a secondary home or when you purchase items on vacation.
  • Use specialized jewelry shipping services and not standard overnight parcel services when you must send jewelry somewhere. Shipping jewelry can increase the risk of loss or damage.
  • Identify local jewelers for all repairs, maintenance and appraisals to minimize the distance jewelry must travel.

Last updated Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

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AIG Private Client Group is a division of the member companies of American International Group, Inc. (AIG). Policies are underwritten by member companies of AIG, including AIG PROPERTY CASUALTY COMPANY. This is a summary only. It does not include all terms and conditions and exclusions of the policies described. All references to claim settlement information are based on the loss being covered by the policy and are subject to change without prior notice. Please refer to the actual policies for complete details of coverage and exclusions. Coverage and supplemental services may not be available in all jurisdictions and are subject to underwriting review and approval. Services provided by third parties are not guaranteed by AIG Private Client Group and may be discontinued at any time.

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