I received this comment the other day and the writer asks a good question about what to do if your jewelry is lost or stolen. The following is the readers comment and my response.
“My wife and I recently returned from Phoenix and after a couple of days she realized her jewelry bag that she was traveling with was nowhere to be found. She believes the jewelry was in her bag up until we got to the rental car return. She had in the bag a vintage platinum and diamond necklace, platinum and diamond bracelet with heart shapes, 2 platinum rings(one with a floral pattern and the other here wedding band with filigree work on the sides) and several pearl necklaces not to mention some random costume jewelry. Does anyone know how best to track down lost/stolen jewelry? Any recommendations on who to call in Phoenix and or Dallas to track down such items? Regards”
The first thing I would do is check with the hotel and car rental company to see if the jewelry had been turned in by anyone. If you believe that the jewelry was stolen – I would contact the local police department and file a report so that they can begin to investigate. It has been my experience that the police do a very good job of contacting local jewelers and pawn shops to see if anyone has tried to sell, or to keep an eye out for someone attempting to sell, jewelry that has been reported stolen. I would not recommend that you contact jewelers and pawn shops yourself as the police know how to deal with these situations. You can also try the Jeweler’s Security Alliance stolen jewelry web site.
Unfortunately jewelry that is stolen or simply lost (sometimes referred to as mysterious disappearance) is a relatively common occurrence – and one I always hate hearing about.
Here are a few thought on how to keep these situations to a minimum.
First and foremost – have your valuable jewelry properly documented, photographed and insured.
This won’t stop you from being robbed and you still may misplace your jewelry – but you will have proper technical descriptions (that can help to identify a specific piece) and photos which make the search for and replacement of much easier.
When you take off your jewelry at home always put it in the same place – at home my wife and I have a little dish on the kitchen desk. You would be surprised how often jewelry is accidently thrown out, put down someplace odd and misplaced to be found years later, or ends up falling in the disposal.
If you are traveling keep the jewelry you are not wearing as close to you as possible - a purse or a carry on that does not leave your side is best. Don’t put jewelry in a bag that goes in the overhead and never pack anything you care about in a suitcase that is headed for the luggage compartment. If you are driving never leave jewelry in the car when you pull over at a rest stop or get a bite to eat.
When at a hotel don’t leave jewelry in your suitcase pocket or around the room – they are not ideal - but the little safe in some rooms or the hotels safety deposit boxes are better than nothing.
Never Ever – take off your jewelry in a public place and lay it down – it is downright depressing the number of people who will “seize the opportunity” before you even know what happened.
David West Nytch CGA www.westandcompany.com