Santa Barbara, California jeweler Calla Gold posted a detailed article, "Insuring Your Jewelry", here, with links to some of the best-known insurers and other info you may never need, until a jerk takes an axe to your back door (My story.)
Some friends' best baubles spend 97% of their lives in safety-deposit boxes. My bank is within shouting distance of my apartment, about the only way to actually wear items stored in a vault, unless you have a personal assistant to ferry your jewels across town.
Some women say security issues are why they don't own fine jewelry. Though I see the logic, there are ways to decrease risk and have your pleasure, too.
1. Wear oddball gems
The average lowlife's taste is pretty standard. A flashy diamond solitaire is an obvious attractor and high-karat yellow gold is honey to bad bees. If such jewels are your passion, security will be top of mind. Pieces set in white metal or other materials are less likely to scream "Grab me!"
Hemmerle's aquamarine earrings framed by oxidized copper: supreme luxury under the radar. Though the master jewel thief of movies exists (and knows this renowned house), most thieves are looking at, and for, the big bling.
Your "oddball" may be an antique imperial topaz brooch, a strand of dove-grey baroque pearls, an Italian micro-mosaic ring, or opal earrings. (Shown, Brooke Gregson boulder opal post earrings; price, $2,340.)
That's my favourite strategy, because many stones and pearls are both beautiful and much better value than a flashy rock.
2. Wear real like fake
A friend's friend owns a staggering pair of diamond drop earrings, a gift from her father. She wears them with jeans and a tee. "No one thinks they're real", she says.
I would do that with Mallary Marks' Amazing Chandelier earrings, about $24,000 worth of cool.
Or you can adopt the reverse ploy, swapping real for a copy, which you'd wear sometimes. Nearly all designs can be reproduced (some specialty jewelers' businesses are devoted to the faithful reproduction of complicated designs), for a price. Some clients who commission costly custom-made pieces have two made at the same time, the precious original and a copy.
3. Roz' Trick: Pinned to protect
At work, Roz, a museum administrator, wears an important diamond ring she inherited from her grandmother.
The heirloom is insured— but before she commutes home on the subway, Roz safety-pins her ring onto her skirt or trouser waistband. (Note: Not in her bag; talk about a double loss!) Never depend on swiveling the ring on your finger to disguise what you're wearing.
Shown, an Art Deco 2ct diamond set in platinum; price, $26,000, from Beladora.
If you're away for days or longer and a crew combs over your home with a metal detector or loads everything into a moving van, you're SOL. But the average snatch n' grabber wants to be in and out in minutes. This illustrated article shows concealment options, and not in the master bedroom. Of course bad guys are on to the tricks, but if your 'houseman' is in a hurry, such tactics work.
An acquaintance uses a two-safe system. One, in the master bedroom, is stocked with some minor items (unwanted jewelry, an old camera) and cash. A second safe, far more concealed, contains the real valuables.
If you plan to be away, your insurance may require secure offsite storage. Even if they do not, it's a good idea to store your sentimental baubles elsewhere.
5. Wear what you can live with
I know women who have pined for fine jewelry and then that day comes, and they feel like a target.
If you have the chance to add something significant to your jewelry wardrobe, choose a magical piece that isn't so grand it intimidates you, by which I mean you "save it" or warehouse it; for someone, that might be Arik Kastan's deco lapis kite ring. (From Twist; price, $1,298.)
Another woman will feel perfectly at ease in her antique French emerald (from Romanov Russia on First Dibs; price, $8,900).
As Janice said, if you couldn't bear to lose it, maybe it shouldn't be in your life. At the same time, why restrict ourselves to branded jewelry that has been reissued annually since Dot One? Yes, it is replaceable, but most of it is not that appealing anyway.
If you receive something so grand or formal you would never wear it, have it restyled. My jeweler recently showed me a client's project: ten thin white gold bangles sprinkled with diamonds, once set in a fussy, dated necklace she had inherited.
6. Imitations still draw eyes
A woman stayed calm while she handed her synthetic diamond solitaire and big "gold" necklace and watch to a mugger, but the police officer told her, "Lady, you were asking for that."
Synthetic diamonds set in gold, like those sold by Carat and Ti Sento, will attract attention; if you want the showiest pieces, apply the prudence when awearing that you'd use if they were real. (Shown, Carat Baguette Princess 2ct solitaire, about £314.)
If you own treasured (not necessarily valuable) goods, you will eventually lose something through theft, an accident or mysterious disappearance. My approach is to not be cowed by irrational fear, but at the same time, take precautions. At various times, I've insured to the max, and at other times cut back.
I will not refuse precious jewelry any more than live without art; insurance and attention to your surroundings mitigates most worry. (Do not place your ring and watch beside your yoga mat and then walk off after class, like I did!)
As for the asteroid-hits-earth scenario, I am sorry that all those lady dinosaurs lost their pearls!