Protecting Your Jewellery
Every year, more than $1 billion of jewellery disappears in North America. In fact, police estimate that jewellery accounts for as much as 70 percent of all stolen property.
Thieves are always looking for easy opportunities, so any steps you can take to make theft of your jewellery more difficult will be worthwhile. Finding a great hiding spot for your precious jewellery items whether you are at home or traveling is an important part of protecting them from theft and burglary.
Here are a few DO’s and DON’Ts to follow when it comes to keeping your jewellery safe.
- Consider purchasing a "false-bottom container" to protect your precious jewellery items. Remember to keep these containers in realistic places in your house, and make sure they are not mistakenly thrown away if they appear to be empty.
- Consider installing a secure home safe. A safe that can be permanently mounted in your home, in concrete, provides better protection than a small movable safe and can be hooked to alarm system.
- Always use a hotel or ship safe or security vault for your expensive jewellery items.
- Carry expensive items with you on board planes, ships or trains. Do not put them in checked luggage.
- Do place jewellery that you don’t wear often in a bank vault. The insurance savings can be substantial.
- Keep precious jewellery items in your bedroom. Master bedrooms are always the first place burglars go after breaking in to a home.
- Keep your most expensive jewellery items in a jewellery box. Once in the bedroom, it’s the first place they look. Keep only inexpensive and costume jewellery items there.
- Never pack jewellery in your luggage.
- Wear or carry valuables at the pool or on the beach.
- Avoid using pockets in your clothes to hide your rings.
- Diamonds in particular can scratch other gemstones, metal and pearls, and even other diamonds if stored without adequate protection. Diamonds and all gemstones should be stored separately from other jewellery, preferably in individual, soft clean pouches.
- Each ring should be stored separately.
- Cultured pearls are soft and require special attention. They should be stored in a special chamois or velvet pouch and cleaned and dried prior to storage.
WEARING YOUR JEWELLERY
Remove rings before routine household chores.
- Activity such as gardening, working with tools or playing sports may damage a gemstone. Gemstones that receivea sharp blow are susceptible to chipping or cracking.
- Jewellery should be put on after applying make-up and hair spray. Cultured pearls are particularly vulnerable to chemical damage, including the oils and salts from your skin. They should be wiped with a soft chamois or flannel cloth after each wearing.
- Some coloured gemstones fade when worn in intense sunlight or in a tanning spa – best to remove them first.
- While advertisements promote waterproof watches, few are more than water-resistant, so avoid submersing your watch in water for extended periods.
CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE
- Routine care of your jewels with mild soap and water solutions and a soft brush provides the best care for most of your jewellery.
- Ultrasonic cleaners can be used effectively on most gold pieces, jewellery without gemstones and on some diamond-set jewellery. They should not be used with amber, coral, emerald, kunzite, lapis lazuli, opal, pearl, ruby or turquoise.
- Soap and water is NOT the recommended process for amber, coral, emerald, jade, kunzite, lapis lazuli, opal or turquoise.
- Gemstone rings should be inspected and cleaned at least once a year by a professional.
- Other fine jewellery should be inspected and cleaned by a professional once a year – stone condition is assessed, prongs and clasps are routinely checked, and repair requirements determined.