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Jewelers safe

Hi all: I am in search of a used jewelers safe. I live in Northern
California. The smallest safe would do…we would like a TL-30 and
fire resistant. It will be used for jewelry items that total under
100,000. Any leads or suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks
again for Orchid…

Linda Crawford
Linda Crawford Designs
Willits, CA

Hi all: I am in search of a used jewelers safe. 

Thanks for bringing this up-- me, too (I’m in the Chicago area). I
need one large enough for my gem trays. I’ll settle for leads on
where to buy a new one, since eBay and such have not yielded what I
need, and, obviously, shipping on a safe will be significant. Ideas


I think you may be underestimating your needs for a safe. You don’t
want anything too small as that can be carted off. TRTL30x6 is
better and since you are already carrying an inventory up to 100k it
makes sense to assume that in a few years it may be significantly
larger than that. With a larger inventory, not only is it safer to
have a better safe, but it might also be required by your insurance
company. That being said, you can almost always pick up used safes
for the price to transport them. It is normally so expensive to move
the things that no one expects to actually get any real money when
they sell them, unless you are dealing with a fairly sophisticated
safe that is fairly new. I know you’re a bit out in the country up
there but head for any larger city and read the local papers or Want

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

Hi Linda, i bought my safe from a larg company in the bay area…a
tl-30. I found them in the yellow pages. Maybe the name started
with an “H” . Most places that sell safes also have used safes.
They ( most at least) deliver and install for a fee…well worth it!
You just need to look in the yellow pages…there are many dealers
to choose from. Consider getting one larger than you think you need
and grow into it…consider and ask about not only break-in time /
tools required ratio, but also fire safety and , if you’re on a
second floor what kind of a drop it’s rated for. Some materials
allow for safety with a thinner wall which gives more interior room.

Most major metropolitan areas will have a safe dealer. Not always
the cheapest way to go, but then you are dealing with the security of
your life’s work. Having moved a safe twice when I had my trade shop
up north, I know to leave it to the pros. Mine weighed in at around
a ton, so it wasn’t anything I was going to mess with. First move
involved taking it out of a store without damaging showcases or
fixtures, or floor. It has been put in place before all of the final
work was done on the store, so this was a decent feat in itself. At
my place, it had to be dropped down a cellar entranceway with the
steps removed, then across the basement and placed on a raised part
of the floor, in tight quarters. Tricky all the way around. 2nd move
was back out of that spot, and into a garage at our new home. That
part was easy.

Point is, even small safes are heavy. If it is light enough to
easily move by a couple of people, is it secure enough? Even so, if
you insist on moving it yourself or ‘friends and family’, make sure
you know how to move heavy stuff and have the right equipment. A pro
looks awfully cheap after the back surgery…

A good relationship with a pro also gets you a source if the locks
ever screw up, if you need to change combinations, or anything else
that requires special knowledge.


I haven’t bought a safe yet (new roof comes first) but I did have
occassion to be at the mall a few months ago during a gun show, and
came upon several men wheeling a gun safe out the door. They made
the safes themselves (bonus!) and the gentleman I spoke to indicated
that he would be willing to make a custom safe for jewelry. Since I
knew that it would be a while before I was ready to purchase a safe,
I didn’t feel comfortable asking for an estimate, but the safe they
had, which was for shotguns and rifles, was about 5 or 6 feet tall,
3 feet wide, and 2.5-ish feet deep, exterior dimensions, sold for
US$750, which is roughly half the price of comparably sized safes
for sale from larger companies. There were questions I didn’t thing
to ask at the time, like about fire lining, but it was still
significantly cheaper than a brand name safe without fire lining.
Unless I’m fortunate enough to have a used safe fall in my lap
(figuratively speaking,) this is probably the route I’ll go when I
buy one.

Electa, Do yourself a favor and do more research about types of safes
and RATINGS. The UL ratings tell you specifically which types of
’attack’ for which the safe has been tested (they actually try to
break in to a sample safe! ! !) Example: TL-30 (using tools for 30
minutes) TRTL-30 (using torch and tool for 30 minutes.)

It sounds like the gun safe was probably a ‘plate safe’ (just steel
plates) which MAY be adequate for some uses. You need to decide how
much value you are protecting. Your insurance company will also have
guidelines or requirements. Lastly…Under the heading of paranoia,
it probably isn’t a good idea to announce on Orchid (or any public
forum) that you don’t have a safe. OF COURSE, that means that ALL of
your valuables are locked in a bank vault every night and you are
armed and dangerous (if anyone should think you’re an ‘easy mark’)

David Barzilay
Lord of the Rings
607 S Hill St Ste 850
Los Angeles, CA 90014-1718

Electa The majority of gun safes are designed for one thing. to keep
children or a casual thief out of the guns. They are for the most
part lightweight (when compared to a jewelers safe) steel boxes that
can be moved with a hand truck and or a couple of people. The
simplest way for someone to steal the goods in your safe is to just
remove the safe from your premises and work on it at their leisure
and gun safes are light enough to do this. A jewelers safe will have
a steel outer box probably at least 1/2" thick and then a composite
wall that is made of materials that are very difficult to drill or
hammer through which are typically some from of proprietary
reinforced concrete so you end up with a wall that is 3 or more
inches thick of solid material. If you want a safe that will protect
your goods from someone who knows there is an amount of jewelry in
there that is valuable enough for them to bother with breaking into
the safe then you want one that takes heavy equipment to move and
then you want to bolt it down to the floor and you will still need
other forms of security system so that the thief will not have
unlimited time to work on the safe. A TRTL30x6 safe will supposedly
take a thief more than 30 min to get in using a torch (TR) and or
tools (TL) but a professional using the most modern tools can beat
that time. Most jewelers that have safes are either required to by
our insurance in which case they specify the kind of safe we have to
use or we have enough material to protect that we just cannot afford
to lose it and the cost of the safe is deemed to be a lesser evil
than the loss of the work. If you are not willing to go this route
than you probably don’t really need a safe yet and you are probably
just as well off with a good hiding place for your work rather than
spending the money on a gun safe or other form of insufficient

Jim James Binnion Metal Arts Phone (360) 756-6550 Toll Free (877) 408
7287 Fax (360) 756-2160
Member of the Better Business Bureau

Electa Gore, Bad, bad idea going with the type of safe you are
talking about. The safes these guys make are designed to keep guns
away from prying children and stupid teenagers. Any serious safe
cracker will cut through them like butter. Not only will they not
have the fire protection you need but they won’t have any protection
you need. A guy with a few muscles and a good crowbar will be able
to open this kind of safe. Invest in your future wisely. There is a
reason why real safes cost more money.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

I have three safes in my gallery. Yes, three TL-30 safes, connected
to two separate alarm systems. Each alarm system has two zones: one
for the “perimeter” and one for the safes. One alarm system covers
the shop, and one covers the gallery. To burglarize the
store/studio, one would have to defeat two systems simultaneously,
then open three separate safes.

While this may seem "low-tech" to someone with a walk-in vault, it

is next to impossible to rob. I have found that TL-30 safes do show
up used periodically, and you can often get one for free, if you are
willing to pay to move it (it’s not that expensive). I know of a
small town near me that has a walk-in vault that they would love to
give away, since the store closed. Now, that would be a lot more work
and expense to move!

A gun safe would be better than no safe, and the old-style office

safe would work, too. I would certainly add an alarm system to the
mix, to provide real coverage.

Douglas Zaruba
Why Wait? Move to EarthLink.

Hi All: Thanks for the of safes. I will keep on
looking. A group of us started a gallery and I am currently the only
jeweler in need of a safe. We do hope to add more jewelers in the
future so I am taking into consideration what the future value of the
inventory might be. Thanks again…can’t wait to meet some of the
Orchid Members in Santa Monica.

Linda Crawford
Linda Crawford Designs
Willits, CA
"Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it."