One of the most vexing problems for jewelry owners is where to keep their valuables. If you rarely wear your jewelry, a safe deposit bank vault might be the easiest answer, giving you one more line of defense against home burglars.
On the other hand, there are many options for in-home safes—both sophisticated and basic— and if you wear your jewelry often, you might not want to be traveling to the bank all the time to get it.
Here are some considerations for choosing either route:
In general, the larger and heavier the in-home safe, the more secure your valuables. In-home safes have had a resurgence of popularity in recent years, due to natural disasters around the country. Many people would simply like to have more immediate access to their jewelry.
Experts say that you should look for a safe that is rated from the testing center Underwriters Laboratory (look for the UL rating). This means the safe can withstand a five-minute attack from one technician with tools like a hammer, screwdriver and drill.
The next step up is a commercial safe with a “TL15” rating, which can withstand two technicians wielding drills. Safes marked “FR ½ hour" will protect valuables for up to 30 minutes up to outside temperatures of 1,550 degrees. Many people decide to go up a rating, since extra fire protection—more than 1,700 degrees—is usually only incrementally more expensive.
Want to make stealing from you a bit more complex? Some of the newest in-home safes have biometric locks that read fingerprints or irises; GPS antitheft systems; and even automatic watch winders so you can store your most expensive watches in perfect condition.
Safe deposit box
A safe deposit box is a good option for storing the jewelry you rarely take out. Most bank safes have at least several layers more security than a home safe. They’ll also be protected from fire, flood or other natural disasters that could damage your home. If you rent the box only in your name, only you and/or the power-of-attorney or agent you designate can access the locked box. And box contents are strictly confidential.
There are some common misconceptions about safe-deposit boxes, however. Safe deposit box contents are not insured by the FDIC or the bank that stores your items. To protect your valuables against loss, consider attaching a rider to your homeowner’s policy that insures specific items. Then, of course, there’s the size. Boxes typically range from 2”x 5” to 10”x 10” and are 22” long, which means that in the event you’re storing a large jewelry collection, you’ll need to rent several.