Items of jewellery are typically some of our most valuable and treasured possessions due to their construction, financial and/or sentimental value, meaning they require a great deal of care. With Valentine’s Day approaching, many valuable items will be purchased and gifted to loved ones. But do you know how to correctly protect and store your valuable jewellery?

Buying jewellery items

When buying items containing diamonds, it is important to retain any diamond grading laboratory report that has been given to you on purchase. Many retailers when selling modern diamonds of more than one carat in weight, provide said grading report which states the colour, clarity, carat and cut of the diamond you have purchased.

Professional valuations

It is vital that regular jewellery valuations are undertaken in order to ensure items or collections are not undervalued and therefore underinsured. Many insurers require items of value are revalued at least every 5 years. It is important to use a valuer who is a member of the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) or a member of the Guild of Valuers and Jewellers.

Valuers will either charge a percentage of the jewellery value, or a fixed fee for valuations depending on who you use. A professional valuation will include a full description alongside a picture of the item.

This is so, if a valuable item is lost or stolen, the document acts as an ID for replacing or recovering. It will also provide the police with a detailed description, making recovery more probable.

Keeping jewellery safe

Keeping your items of value (jewellery, precious metal, sentimental items, and money) in a safe means they will be in an environment of security within the home. There are many different varieties of safe. The physical size of the safe you choose does not necessarily relate to the level of security it provides. For the most protection, a safe should be fitted within an alarmed, yet accessible and well-lit area, fitted with a safe limpet if possible.

All safes are rated on cash value. This is a way of classifying safes by their security level. Manufacturers design their safes in order to meet certain levels of security which is identified by a cash rating from £1,000 up to £150,000.

The jewellery rating is calculated using the cash rating. This indicates the value of jewellery that can be stored in the safe and is ranked on flexibility, size, and location.

The locking mechanisms must be considered when purchasing a safe. Most modern ones are fitted with electronic locks that are battery powered. They stay secure even when the battery is flat, as the internal memory of the lock retains the user code.

The code for electronic locks can be re-programmed as many times as the user requires, making them reliable and flexible. The most reliable are ones that have been Eurograde Tested.

Any safe that has been tested to this grade is approved by the European Insurance Industry for the protection of valuables up to various cash levels dependant on model and grade. This is the ultimate test for safe storage security. There are also safes that are ‘sold secure’ certificated which is evaluated by attack testing.

Specialist safes featuring watch winders and chillers for fine wines are also available.

For high value jewellery schedules, it could become necessary to have more than one safe, in order to split the collection into more than one secure space which is more beneficial than increasing the size of the existing space to fit the growing collection. Splitting the spread of the valuable items can reduce the chances of them getting stolen as a jewellery theft often involves a hold-up situation.

Strong rooms and Bank Vaults

Strong rooms are purpose-built rooms with solid timber or steel doors, similar to a safe, and are built to keep high value items that are at risk. The construction and lock will determine the value of the items that can be stored.

Vaults in banks are ideal for keeping unworn jewellery and valuables, or for the safe keeping of jewellery when away from the home.

It is important that safes are always installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

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