How do you handle mailing jewelry

I have been shipping jewelry and insuring it. This adds up
quickly. How do you all do it? Do you insure for the full value
or enough to feel it will be handled properly.



I use U.S.Mail and began to insure after a piece got lost.

Heirloom Rosaries

I used to use UPS for overnight service but have started using
FedEx and insuring through a company called Parcel Pro
(888-683-2300, ). Their insurance is 20 cents
per $100. You can’t beat registered mail though.

Dick Caverly

My commercial ins policy covers up to a predetermined amount. I
still send irreplacable items registered mail and pay for postal
ins also. Some people take their chances sometimes. I would
rather get a check from the insurance company than pay myself.


U.S. Postal Service is best if you have time, insure for the
full amount. UPS is good, be very careful about using FEDEX. Lots
of diamonds get pilfered going to NY. In fact, some insurance
carriers dont allow you to ship FEDEX…

Hi joe,

I send Gems in the mail all the time , Small parcels (under US $
200) I do not insure but anything above is. My mailing bill alone
comes to US $ 1000 per month.

Ahmed Shareek
Crescent Gems
International Mail Order

Joe, I would strongly recomend that you insure all shipped
backages for the amount that you intend to sell them for. If you
donot the insuror may decline payment on the basis that the full
value was not declared, as required in the insurance contract.
This is a ongoing problem for jewelers, and there high doller



I had to respond to your question on shipping jewelery, as we
have had problems in the past. If using the mail system, ONLY
use Registered Mail, insured for actual replacement cost. Yes,
it is expensive, but well worth it. Insured mail will take six
to nine months to resolve a claim. We have never lost a
registered package in over twenty years, but insured mail gets
lost quite often. Mike


I have always sent jewelry works by “registered” mail, because
everyone that touches the package must sign for it and because
regular “insured” mail has limits on the the amount they will
insure. Registered mail has much, much higher limits ( thousands
of dollars ). All the diamonds, stones, valuables that are sent
to me come registered, so it could be considered a standard
method. I was unsure in your original message whether it was
"insured" mail or “registered” mail that you were questioning.

Tim Glotzbach
Richmond, Ky.

   I have been shipping jewelry and insuring it.  This adds up
quickly.  How do you all do it?  Do you insure for the full
value or enough to feel it will be handled properly. 

I insure for the full value and use registered mail or insured
priority mail. Registered mail works well, and has a very high
limit on insurance. I did have to file a UPS claim once, I sent
two pieces to a client and they were never delivered. You should
always insure for full value to replace the item, either
wholesale or in the case of a client’s piece, retail replacement


Richard D. Hamilton
A goldsmith on Martha’s Vineyard
Fabricated 14k, 18k, 22k, and platinum Jewelry
wax carving, modelmaking, jewelry photography,
and sailing whenever I can…

Dear Joe, I have been using the U.S. Postal Service for shipping
jewelry for many years and I insure the jewelry for the full
retail price, so if it is lost or disappears I can remake the
jewelry and still not lose any money in the process.

Using Fed-Ex or UPS requires a separate insurance rider if I am
not mistaken,at least it did a few years back…haven’t checked
in a long time.

A cautionary note…in labeling try to use names that do not
indicate jewelry inside the box. Keep very good records and
receipts on cost as the Post Office requires excellent records if
the insured item was misplaced while en-route and insured by
them, if you want your money.

As for the expense of it…well yes it is the cost of doing
business and the postage is added to the price if it is
appropriate. I always make it very clear with the customer before
I begin any work , if the item must be mailed , if it is to be
charged to customer or to me.

In the last 15 years I have had only one item lost in the mail,
a pair of earrings, that was sent to downtown NYC…(figures)

Terry Parresol

Hi Joe,

I always insure my jewelry when shipping…a case to consider.

Jeweler I know send a small gold and diamond ring via UPS.
Insured it for the price he had sold it. Somewhere along the way
the package was smashed flat, like it was run over. Diamond
missing, smashed gold band was left. First UPS insinuates they
were lying about the diamond being there at all even though there
was an obvious setting for it. Then they offer the jeweler the
cost of the gold…oh, $50 or something like that at the time
even though it was insured for the retail price, only when the
jeweler decided to get his insurance company involved did UPS
cough up the WHOLESALE price of the ring, not retail. I can’t
remember if they ever did get the full amount.

I have had some not very nice UPS experiences and a friend who
worked there told me some rather scary stories about package
handling as well.

O.K. I got off the track…the answer is, Insure it…for all
it’s worth, at the shipping point I use they want to see the
piece too so they can verify to UPS that what you insured was
actually in the box.


Terry Parresol mentioned not refering to jewelry on any package.
That’s worth repeating. If I’m shipping to a company called
Heartland Jewelers I’ll address the package to H. J. Co. or just
Heartland. If you’re mailing to a well known company you might
ask them how to label the package. I’ve recieved stone shipments
in packages with the return address saying it was from a travel

Dick Caverly

I ship just about everything US mail, insured for it’s full
retail value. If it is something that I really don’t want to get
lost, (it doesn’t belong to me to begin with i.e. a customer’s
piece), I send it insured/registered return receipt. This
alomost guarantees that it won’t be lost. If I am only
interested in being compensated should it suddenly disappear,
then normal first class/insured is the way I go.

Sharon Z.

Hi Joe, I feel you should always insure for the full value of the
item, heaven forbid they lose it you should not have to bear the
burdon. Registered mail is a good way for you require a signature
to receive the item. Also, they track these packages at every
stop knowing who handled them along the way. I believe you could
insure up to 25,000. Probably more for I havn’t done it for a
while, your post office will have every thing you need to know.
Another good point is that they supply you with a book to have a
permanent log of who you sent to. As far as the cost involved I
would pass that along to the customer. There’s not to many
businesses out there that I know of that provide free shipping. In
the past 10 years we have lost 2 packages. We had to wait 30
days before we could make a claim. We did get settled with but I
don’t recall how long it took to receive a check. We had to
supply proof of value. I would imagine there are a few horror
stories out there concerning proof of value of items lost. I
would’nt mind hearing some situations and how best to avoid them.

Michael B


I have a question on this too! Even if insuring a package for
anything over $51 via USPS, which requires a signature, is it
handled differently than registered mail? Is registered
more/less expensive? Thanks for the tip.


Dr. E. Aspler
Managing Director
Ganoksin Jewelry Co.,Ltd

Webmaster Ganoksin Online

ICQ # 864 5224

Insure it for all its worth, yes…but consider sending it U.S.
mail, rather than UPS! Believe it or not, the government is
easier to deal with, and get a claim settled, than UPS. And, in
spite of a lot of joking to the contrary, they have a really good
track record delivering the goods safely, in one piece, where
it’s supposed to go. And no, I do not/did not work for Postal
Service! (Retired last year from Social Security field office,

Sharon Holt

Insuring retail vs wholesale…

Insuring for more than your replacement value will be a waste of
money. The USPO and UPS will not include any profit margin -
regardless of how much you actually insure the item for. Save
money and headaches; be able to verify the actual replacement
costs of the items, just in case they are lost or stolen.

Been There…


I’ve got a friend that works for the US Post Office Dept. Her
advice is to send anything of value, registered. Insure it if it
has any intrisic value. The reason for sending it registered is
the audit trail that’s created for registered mail.

A record of every person handling a piece of registerd mail is
kept. If the piece of mail gets ‘lost’ the PO has an idea of
where to begin looking. While this may not cause the item that is
truely lost (fell in the trash bin, etc) to be found, it does
make it less likely that an item will go out the back door in
some employee’s pocket. If the package is also insured, the cost
can be recovered.


We have been shipping fine jewelry items for years by Priority
Post. So far only one item has been lost, but get this, Canada
Post found it about 6 months later ! With P.P. it is overnight,
and best of all disclosing contents isn’t required. For the
senders name we use our company intitials, thus we don’t insure
the package.

A quick funny story, my partner was in Vancouver and needed a
carat diamond that day that I had in the store. I rushed down to
AirCanada Cargo to send the package. They asked for the contents
of the package and not wanting to say what was in it I replied
"his spare dentures" lol …I am sure no one opened that package

Central Canada