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Air travel with gem products

I am preparing to go to Indian Market in Santa Fe for our first
time. We will be flying into Albuqueque and must pack turqouoise
cabochons and rough, I have never flown with product before. We
won’t be taking any tools, fortunately. Any advice or suggestions on
packing and such, Reno to Denver to Albuquerque.

Thanks in advance, Orchid is a fabulous,



My suggestion for taking product would be if you have someone to
send to before hand. that is the best way. Otherwise, when I have
taken courses I pack the gems and metals in my carry-on and my tools
go into the check-in bag. In there I put a clear rubber made (not
specific) container with a top. I put a list on the top of the
container and inside the container (the same) as to the contents. I
then let the Airline representative know that I am carrying tools
for a class in the suitcase. I lock my luggage with TPS lock that
they can open, but the baggage handlers can’t.

I hope this helps.

Jennifer Friedman

I either FedEx it to the destination or carry it on.


Hi Jennifer,

I lock my luggage with TPS lock that they can open, but the
baggage handlers can't. 

What is a TPS lock? A Google search didn’t turn up much that seemed
relevant (though I admit I only gave it a minute or two).


What is a TPS lock? A Google search didn't turn up much that
seemed relevant (though I admit I only gave it a minute or two). 

I’d guess she meant “TSA”: approved lock. (transportation security
authority, or whatever all those folks at the security checkpoints
work for). The TSA approved locks are combination locks as far as
consumers are concerned, but also accept a standard key that only the
TSA agents are supposed to have access to. So they can use their keys
to open the locks and don’t have to cut them off. Even with that,
though, I’ve had at least a couple of them cut off, probably by
careless inspectors who’d lost their keys or something…


a TSL ? travel security lock?

:slight_smile: Teri

It’s a TSA lock. Sold at luggage stores and probably most places
now. You can set your own combination and there’s a lock at the
bottom of it that TSA at the airports have a master key for.

Hi Suzanne- Last week I was flying out of Albuquerque with some
silver sheet and wire, about 1000 cts of Turquoise cabs, various
tools and polishing stuff (I am starting to replace everything I lost
in a fire two week ago) in a carry on bag. The security screening
folks had a bit of an issue with the silver sheet because it blocked
their x rays of the carry on. They also had a problem with the
polishing compounds due to its appearance on xray, I guess it looks
something like explosives. I had to unpack, explain what the stuff
was and I was sent on my way with no real difficulties. Kind of
interesting, one of the screeners was taking a jewelry making class
and we talked about jewelry making for a bit, I explained why I
needed 4 types of polishing compounds, let her look at my stash of
turquoise, and we had a delightful time.

Good luck
Jim J

What is a TPS lock? 

Beth, it’s a combination lock that can also be opened with a key
that TSA personnel have at airport check ins. We have luggage that is
designed for these locks; they’re tiny, the locks that is.


Sorry guys, it was 1:am in the morning and I couldn’t remember TSA
and said TPS instead. yes, they are combination locks that the
Transportation Agents are supposed to have access to. They have
combinations for us to access and a key hole on the bottom that the
TSA agents have keys for. The advantage to this lock is that you
don’t have anyone cutting your lock off and if you fly without locks
you risk having anyone with access to your luggage opening it and
picking out what they want.

Jennifer Friedman

Jennifer and folks who advised about traveling with gems, thank you
all. I am hand carrying our turquoise cabochons. For packing the
inventory I am considering slipping the bagged individual cabochons
into binder sleeves that are often used for baseball cards instead in
large zip bags or riker mounts. I am unable to carry heavy baggage
and need to present our cabs during our time in Santa Fe. In the past
I have used this method with one problem the opening isn’t secured
and I am considering using sm. velcro closures to keep cabs from
slipping out during handling. Any ideas??!!?? The TSA locks are a
great idea, thanks again,


Try looking in a good scrapbooking store. They have “pockets” to put
precious things in to display on a page in the book. Not sure, but
they might work for you.

Beth in SC

I have seen someone use clear plastic pages that hold photographic
slides, they used coin holders the size to fit the slide pocket to
make a loose leaf notebook of pages you could flip though and see
both sides of any gem displayed.

Richard Hart

Beth, I am using plastic sleeves that are sold for baseball cards and
have put small pieces of stick-on velcro to secures each pocket. The
velcro has created a cushioned effect and is protecting the turquoise
cabochons. The complete package fits in a zippered style 3-ring
binderpack with 24 pages, allowing me to carry 500 cabs easily, with
1 to 3 cabs in individual white bloc bags with weight etc.written on
the bag. The airport was my main concern and the weight and bulk of
riker mounts. This is a little crafty but will do the job and the
turquoise cabochons are presentable in suites or pairs as well as
individual. I didn’t have a scrapbooking store available, but the
idea is good,

thanks, Suzanne