Not just because of the unusual pandemic circumstances of recent times, but this time of the year is renowned for the prevalence of jewellery theft.
According to Lloyds bank, 62% more claims are made in the first three months of the year compared to the last three.
One of the reasons for the increase in thefts is that there are several events in the winter months where expensive jewellery is gifted.
This includes Christmas, New Year and Valentine's Day, where many gifts of jewellery are exchanged, including engagement rings. Add to this the festivals of Diwali, the first day of which is considered a particularly opportune time to buy gold and silver and the fourth wedding quarter that runs into January, where the bride’s family gives valuable gifts like gold jewellery and silver articles to the groom, and the likelihood of being able to ‘bag some good loot’ suddenly increases dramatically.
What other contributing factors are there?
Spurred by the coronavirus, the price of gold has risen 28% since the start of 2020 and many owners may have pieces that are now seriously undervalued.
The sharp rise in the price of gold – which topped £1,527 an ounce for the first time during the pandemic – means that many homeowners may be unaware of the true value of their collections.
Latest crime figures have also revealed that jewellery was the second most targeted item in household burglaries in England and Wales in the last recorded year, stolen in almost one third (32%) of crimes. According to police crime stats, 248,633 residential burglaries were recorded in this period nationally, which is a colossal 79,562 jewellery thefts.
What can you do?
Thisismoney.co.uk, Lloyds bank and Gunnebo have advice on how to keep your and your loved one’s precious jewels safe.
Catalogue your pieces Itemise individual pieces in your insurance policy as high value items, retain receipts, photographs and any valuation certificates to prove their worth for claim purposes.
Update insurance policies Make sure your insurance cover is up to date. As we have seen above, the price of precious metals and stones can fluctuate, so make sure you review and revalue your jewellery and let your insurer know if its value has changed. Unfortunately, this will not replace the sentimental value of a stolen piece, but at least you will get the true current financial worth.
Take out specific high net worth insurance policies Speak to a specialist and make sure you have enough insurance cover for high value items. If you are not adequately covered, they won’t pay out. Did you add that expensive piece of jewellery gifted for Christmas or the pricey engagement ring planned for your valentine proposal?
Don’t leave it on display Not only should jewellery not be visible from outside your property (i.e. conspicuous on windowsills), but if a burglar does break in, don’t make it easy for them to see and take your trinkets because they are on show. Hide them, preferably in an unlikely or unusual place that also takes time or effort to access.
Photograph your jewels Take photos of your valuables for insurance purposes as this will help insurers process a claim more easily, have the item recreated or, better still, identify your specific item from a robber’s recovered stash.
Don’t advertise your wealth It’s easy to be caught up in the moment and to want to flaunt photographs of your beautiful jewellery all over social media and draw attention to it. We don’t recommend it though. All it takes is a check in at home under the same account and a bit of research as to when you are out, and you are making yourself a prime target for theft.
The best solution is not to have to endure any emotional heartache or stress associated with losing an inherited family keepsake, heirloom or precious gift, particularly if the acquisition thereof was already traumatic and upsetting.
Our recommendation would be to put yourselves in the hands of safe storage experts.
Safety Deposit boxes There are plenty of financial and private institutions that now offer mechanical, electronic and automated safety deposit locker facilities where you can house your valuables. Gunnebo supply a range of these with exceptional security and even automated 24/7 access.
Invest in a Home safe Buy a good quality, independently tested & certified Chubbsafes Grade 1 safe to protect your jewellery & other valuables. Your insurance company will also advise you to get a safe & this can even bring your premiums down.
If you need more advice, download our free, informative guide below: “Choosing the right safe for your home”.
Alternatively, if you are ready to purchase and need guidance as to the type of safe, we have a step by step Buyer’s guide that will steer you to the perfect choice based on your needs.Click the Buyer's Guide link:
How to choose the right safe for your home!
Download our free guide and avoid the common pitfalls associated with buying a safe.