Be proactive and prepared should your valuables get taken

Taking safety precautions to protect your jewelry and other valuable assets can prevent you from becoming a victim of crime, but desperation can drive people to take great risks to get your belongings. It’s important to be prepared in case your home gets burglarized or you are robbed.

I speak from experience one as a jeweler and as an artist who has seen many of my clients and friends go through this difficult process. Here are the immediate steps to take.

1. Contact your jeweler. He or she can be your best ally if any of your valuables are stolen because jewelers likely have detailed and accurate information on pieces you have acquired. I know each piece I have sold to each collector and each retail store dating back 20 years. I photograph everything today so can provide photos plus details about the piece that has been stolen.

2. Do your own documentation as soon as you purchase a piece. This can be as simple as taking a photo of the piece and your receipt on your smart phone. This applies not only to jewelry, but can be used to keep records of designer bags, shoes and all your electronics.

Be sure to take pictures of your valuables for insurance purposes.

3. Make sure you have the proper insurance. I don't most people realize that renters insurance for personal property like jewelry, electronics, bags, and belongings of this nature are a la carte services that cost extra. It may be possible to negotiate with your company on which services are applicable to you.

4. Just as jewelers keep records, so do luxury brands. If you cannot easily find your receipts, boutiques you frequent will have a list of what you have purchased so that is another way of documentation and validating what you have.

5. While social media is not the place to advertise your valuables, if you do get burglarized it can be the best way to let people know that you have had some kind a loss. Post pictures to help friends be on the alert should any of your pieces appear on Craigslist or in pawn shops. 

All photos, even ones used for social media, can help in identifying and locating stolen jewelry.

Sadly, you will have to gather your photos and do much of the legwork of finding your pieces yourself. The police deal with many issues and are not likely to be of much help, so you must be proactive in reaching out to the community for help searching the marketplace and reaching out to jewelers and pawn shops where criminals will try to sell your items.

Another resource may be the homeless, who somehow are able to acquire a lot of jewelry and objects of value and will try to sell them on the streets.

Don't forget to put away your valuables at all times as leaving them around can be an invitation to temptation to be stolen.