If you own jewelry, chances are that it makes up some of your most valuable possessions. This is both in a financial and sentimental sense. A diamond engagement ring may cost tens of thousands of dollars, and it’s meaning to you cannot be redeemed by a replacement.
Unfortunately, jewelry is also at high risk of getting stolen. Thieves target it, and it is easy to snatch because of its size. In fact, if a burglar gets into your jewelry box, you may not even realize anything is missing for weeks.
No matter what you do to protect your jewelry, there is always the chance that it will get stolen. Here’s what you need to do if this happens.
Get the right insurance
If your jewelry has already gone missing, hindsight can be cruel. Without the right insurance, you may be out of luck. It is imperative to choose the best coverage for your precious jewels long before you need it.
While most renters and homeowners insurance policies will cover jewelry up to a certain value, particularly expensive items need special coverage. This is called scheduled personal property insurance and you need to specify and pay for each added extra. When you are dealing with items worth thousands or tens of thousands of dollars that can easily go missing, it is well worth it.
Ideally, however, you want to retrieve your jewelry. If it may simply be lost, retrace your steps and consider posting online about it. If you know that it was stolen, take the following steps.
File a police report
You might think that the police can’t do anything about your stolen piece of jewelry. Maybe you didn’t get a look at the person who snatched it or simply can’t pinpoint exactly when it was stolen from your home. However, you need to file a police report regardless. At the very least, your insurance will need it to make a claim.
But the point of a police report is never just the insurance. Police may not spend much time going after the unknown entity who took your jewelry, but they may catch them while chasing another case. Then, if they find your jewelry in the person’s possession, they will know to get in contact with you.
Contact jewelers and pawn shops
Your jewelry may have sentimental value to you, but it is only its financial value that is meaningful to a thief. They need to find someone willing to buy it from them. It is always possible that they have gone to a local jeweler or pawn shop to try to offload your jewelry. For this reason, it is worthwhile to contact jewelers and pawn shops to find out whether they have it.
They may even be able to help police find the person if they refused to buy what they could tell were stolen goods. They can give a description of the person who tried to sell your jewels and maybe even the vehicle the thief was using. Good police officers will do this due diligence, but not all will put in the effort, and it is worth doing your own investigation.
File a claim
As long as you have a police report, you can file a claim with your insurance. This is true even if you still harbor hope that you will somehow retrieve your item. Filing a claim is not an act of giving up on your jewels. It is taking the steps you will probably need to take anyway sooner rather than later.
What happens if you retrieve your jewelry from the thief? In this case, you will need to contact your insurer and let them know. According to your contract with them, they will likely own the item if they’ve already paid you. However, they will give you the option to reclaim it as long as you pay them back. As such, if you still hope to get your jewelry back and insurance has paid your claim, hang onto the money rather than spending it on a replacement until you’ve given up hope.
There is no way to recover the sentimental value of a stolen piece of jewelry. However, the financial value can be retrieved and you can take steps to try to find your stolen gems.