Packing for your vacation and wondering if you should bring your favorite pieces of jewelry? Here are some tips for traveling with jewelry.

Since fine jewelry has financial and emotional value, many travelers would rather leave it at home. But so long as you remember the following guidelines, you can safely travel with jewelry that is precious to you. GIA Exhibit Developer McKenzie Santimer, who’s packed and shipped jewelry worth millions of dollars, is here to share her top 10 tips on how to do it right. Feel free to share them with your friends and family!

 

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  1. Photograph your jewelry: Photograph (with the cell phone that you will have with you) all the jewelry you plan to take. Should a piece get lost and is eventually found, you can use the photo on your phone to prove that it’s yours.
  2. Contact your insurance carrier: Notify your insurance company of your travel dates. Travelers often let their credit card companies know when they are traveling, and you should do the same when bringing jewelry.
  3. Carry your jewelry with you: Take your jewelry as a carry-on item. Never put them in your luggage – luggage can get lost!
  4. Organize using a pill box: Pill boxes are perfect for organizing and storing jewelry. They’re sturdy and inexpensive – and offer another benefit: they conveniently let you plan what you’re going to wear each day of the week. They’ll also protect your jewelry from getting damaged by the contents in your bag.pill-box
  5. Pack your jewelry in plastic bags: Plastic sandwich bags are a great way to pack jewelry. Put each piece in its own bag, and then label the bag with a description of what’s inside it. This lets you quickly see everything that you’ve brought. Don’t store pearls in plastic bags for extended periods of time.
  6. Pin your pieces: If the piece has a pin (like an earring or brooch), put the pin through the plastic bag so it won’t move. This prevents pieces from rubbing against each other, which can scratch and damage soft gemstones.
  7. Don’t use cotton battening or cotton balls: Cotton battening and cotton balls leave fibers under prongs. Saran wrap or plastic bags from the dry cleaners are far better choices. They won’t leave fibers on your jewelry and let you see what you’ve packed.
  8. Bring a polishing cloth or an eye glass cleaning cloth: A soft cloth like ones used to clean eye glasses or a microfiber cloth are ideal for cleaning your jewelry before you wear it.
  9. String chains through straws: Stringing your chains through straws prevents them from getting tangled. This simple trick can save you a headache at the hotel.
  10. Don’t take too much: Sometimes less is more. You can still make a splash by bringing a select few pieces, while leaving the rest at home.