Sunday, July 24, 2011

All My Jewelry Was Stolen…What Should I Do Now?

You arrive home after a nice evening out with friends and you find your backdoor wide open.   “Oh my god, did you leave that door open you idiot” you yell at your husband.  But as you enter your home, you realize something isn’t right.  In your bedroom, you find your bed has been disturbed.  What's going on?  Where are my pillow cases?  Things are thrown about the room and the top drawer of your bureau is on the floor.  You slowly realize what has happened…that's where you've always kept your good jewelry - right there in the top drawer, rather than in a locked box or a safe where it should be…and now it’s all gone and you want to throw up.

A theft like this takes less than ten minutes.  It’s so quick you wouldn’t believe it if you saw it happen.  Backdoor kicked in, run upstairs to bedroom, remove pillow cases, go directly to woman’s bureau and stuff cases with jewelry that is right there (like it always is), run out back door.  Jewelry is small, easily transported and easily pawned.  It means nothing to the thieves, but when you realize every piece of jewelry you own is gone, including your Grandmother’s wedding ring, you are crushed.

Family heirlooms can never be replaced, but hopefully, your most important pieces were insured so you can start to rebuild your jewelry wardrobe.  If you’re lucky enough to have a homeowner’s policy that includes $5,000 in blanket coverage for lost or stolen jewelry, take that money and here’s what you can buy.

You need a good watch.  Buy the best you can afford – a Michele Deco is fashionable and won’t break the bank… and you won’t have to use the sun to tell time anymore. 

Michele Deco Watch, 16mm New Deco Stainless Steel Bracelet ($250) and Deco 16mm Stainless Steel Watch Head with Diamond Dial ($425).  FYI-Michele watches are often sold in two pieces so be sure to price accordingly.
Buy a good pair of gold hoops.  I think yellow gold is the classic color to buy.  If you have extra money you can purchase a pair of white gold hoops as well, but yellow gold hoops are the classic and where you should make the investment.  I still have mine from high school.

Roberto Coin18K Yellow Gold Hoop Earrings, 1 ¼” diameter, $520
Pearl studs are feminine and stand the test of time.  Buy Mikimoto if you can and, if you’re over 30, buy at least 7.5- 8mm in size.  Anything smaller will look like you have boogers on your ears, especially if you have long hair.  They must be at least 8mm to be seen, even if you pull your hair back.

 Mikimoto Akoya Pearl Studs, 7.5-8 mm.  White or yellow gold, $730
David Yurman Bracelet:  It seems everybody has one, but that’s OK, join the cult.  You get a lot of look for your money and wearing one tells your friends you’ve arrived.  Buy a 7mm Onyx Color Classic Bracelet.  And, remember you are an adult…the 7mm size is the middle size…not too big and not too small, and, onyx will go with everything you wear, plus it’s one of the cheapest stones he has available.   

David Yurman Onyx 7mm Color Classics Bracelet, $595.
A diamond solitaire pendant is the type of necklace you can wear all the time and never take off (this way you will never lose it).  It would look nice with your pearl studs and Michele watch.  H, VS2 is excellent quality for a diamond pendant.   

Blue Nile .50 ct., H, VS2, diamond solitaire pendant, $2475.

Speaking of insurance...  depending on how much jewelry you have, you may want to do the following:

Check your homeowner’s policy to see if you have any coverage for "unscheduled" jewelry that is lost or stolen.  Some policies offer minimal coverage ($2,500-5,000) for the loss of unscheduled pieces (not listed and insured individually), and some policies offer nothing.  Check yours.  

Appraise, schedule and insure your most expensive and sentimental pieces.  This is called an insurance rider and you pay extra for it.  Big ticket diamond items like your engagement and wedding rings, tennis bracelets, studs, or antique diamond pins, etc….anything that exceeds the minimum coverage your policy provides should be covered separately if you can afford it .  Consider listing any other important items where the replacement value is more than you can handle out of pocket, or where you feel the need to be compensated for an appraised amount.  Scheduled jewelry is expensive so don’t list (and pay) for anything you can easily replace out of your personal budget.

If insurance is too expensive, buy a good safe and use it.  Lowe's has a good, fireproof safe with a digital combination that is easy to use.  If possible, have a handyman permanently attach your safe to the closet shelf or floor so thieves cannot simply walk away with it (however, some of these safes are very heavy already and not easy to walk away with).  Then, be religious about securing your things when you are not using them.  I’ve met many people over the years who learned this lesson the hard way.  You can’t believe how careful people become with their new jewelry after they’ve lost all their old jewelry.

No comments: