Security for Jewelry Owners.
A few days ago a lady emailed me about earrings that reminded her of a pair she once owned but that were stolen from her home in London.
Last week I heard from a good friend, telling me that one of our jewelry dealer associates was robbed at home. In that case, fortunately, there was no harm to life and limb, but sadly, we live in an age when we have to consider our responsibility towards ourselves and our belongings, especially our antiques and jewelry, which are such a temptation to robbers.
Jewelry, because it is so easy to melt and make unidentifiable and yet retain it's intrinsic value is a choice target for thieves. Sadly, people with no conscience will think nothing of melting an antique jewel and destroying it's greatest value, leaving only the melt value of the metal. A big advantage for the baddies is that the melted metal is unidentifiable.
Having the priviledge of owning these jewels, it is our responsibility to ensure that they are safe.
When I started selling antiques, I never locked my doors, I left jewelry all over the house. Slowly, my conscienceness was penetrated with the pleas of my friends to be more careful. As story followed story of holdups and robberies, with jewelry dealers a prime target, I realised that I was tempting fate a little too much and that it was grossly irresponsible to behave this way.
First I got lockboxes and when clearly these would not suffice, a safe in the bank.
A good, solid home safe is a must and do check out the company who instals it. I know of a number of ladies who were robbed almost immediately after their safes were installed. The robbers knew exactly where to go.
Since at times, we have to have some of our valuables at home, we need a good home security system. Most important, is to use it. How many people have good systems installed, pay monthly maintenance and fees and never actually switch on their system? I'm just going to the supermarket said one well-known Florida collectress. She came back to find a life-time's collection of valuable jewels had flown the coup. Lock your doors and use your alarm every single time you leave the house, even if it's only for your daily run. Chances are, professional robbers know what time you leave your house for that run and what time you get back.
Don't make yourself too conspicuous. One fo the saddest results of the criminal-infested world we live in is that we dare not wear our best jewels at all times. I remember how my late mother was never considered 'dressed' in her mind, unless she had her hair, makeup and jewelry in place. Today, we often do without the latter in order not to draw unwanted attention to ourselves. Don't flash your diamonds in public and amongst strangers. Find the balance of enjoying your jewels and ensuring your safety.
I am not joking when I say: get a dog. Dogs are a great burglar deterrant. While ideally, we would all have wonderfully trained, obedient Alsatians, reality is that we don't have resources of time, space and for them. But, The noise that even the tiniest doggy-boy makes is enough to scare off most robbers. The other benefits of your 4-legged friend are too numerous to start chatting about here.
Get a good insurance policy. Sorry, but having belongings costs money. I hate it, but it is part of the cost of living in our society. If you want a good agent, ask your friends.
Don't leave your house empty for too long. When you go away, make sure that you get the mail removed daily. If possible, have someone house sit.
When my kids were teenagers and I had a non-stop troupe of hundreds of kids entering and exiting my house throughout the day and night, I knew that my antiques were safe. I don't think that thieves are likely to attack when there are so many people around. On the other hand, some relatives of mine went away, left their house uninhabited and came home to find that not only were their valuables gone, but the robbers had the audacity to sleep in their beds for almost a week before they returned.
One more thing: don't rest on your laurels. You were ahead of the field when you installed a great burglar alarm system 15 years ago. Well, times have changed. Have you added videos, cameras, monitors, wifi, apps on your 'phone? While you don't need to obsess, you should think about your system periodically and make sure it is as up-to-date as possible. Maybe it's time to update.
So, you need to lock your doors, use a safe at home or at the bank, a good security system, a dog and lots of common sense.
Ultimate security measure.