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Shipping Frustration


Has anyone had a problem with UPS not paying claims on lost
packages. We recently sent a client a tanzanite and UPS lost it.
According to the UPS by-laws they will not insure precious
stones (ruby, sapphire, emerald, diamond are named.) Anyway they
are refusing to pay our claim. Has anyone else had this problem,
or does anyone have a suggestion on how to fight this??? Thanks
in advance Jordan


Look up the lengthy Orchid thread on this subject…one of my
least favorite pet peeves. Sorry you had the trouble…

Lisa, (Re-doing my taxes, in balmy charming weather…too bad I’m not outside)
Topanga, CA USA


I am sorry you did not read the policy for what UPS insures.
They do not insure loose You need to look at your
jewelers block, or ship it by registered mail. Be thankful it
was not a customers $20,000 diamond that was lost. Good luck,


We only use Fed Ex as they are consistently more reliable and
organized than UPS, but you should have shipping insurance
through your regular jeweler’s block insurance policy. If you
don’t have one then you should ship through the US Postal Service
and ship everything registered and insured.



I only use UPS when I have to. They are horrible. Use the post
office of Fed Express. Once I shipped video equipment via UPS
years ago insured. The boxes arrived at their destination ripped
open and the equipment looked like it was dropped from a ten
story building. UPS eventually blamed me for not packing the
boxes correctly. I only received a part of the insurance money.



Yes, several times, Tes! UPS does all it can to avoid paying
claims! I use Federal Express, or Priority Mail! Yes Priority

Proioiry Mail can be sent Insured, and have to be signed for.
UPS, even though instructed, only gets signatures about 40% of
the time!

Since the UPS Strike, I have had nothing but bad, sloppy,
careless service, and no customer service at all! Try Priority

         Louise Roys
         Aquarius Custom Jewelry


Tanzanite is not a precious stone, any gemology book will tell
you this, mail them a copy of the definition from a G.I.A.
source, no one can argue their authority in the industry. Find
out where this disclaimer is printed, is it in any of the
that you have and signed agreement to, or is it
stored in a deep dark cavern in the men’s restroom in the
subterranean confines of a long forgotten UPS building in
Trinity, New Mexico. Best advice; Don’t back down. No one wants
to pay and insurance claim, especially not the first, second,
third,…sixth time it is presented. Good luck, please keep us
informed, as this really does apply to everyone here. Alicia


Yes, it is correct UPS does not insure loose stones and if you
have jewelry be sure the value of the piece and the piece itself
is well documented. the same goes for the united states postal
service. They recently lost a package for me. The rings in it
were all made by me and shipped to a stone cutter for stones. I
had no receipts for the jewelry because I didn’t buy it. Try
explaining that to the post office. They don’t have a little box
to check for that answer. anyway I never got paid for the loss.
The solution is individual insurance that covers your goods in
shipping. The insurance the shippers offer seems to me to be
worthless. There I feel a little better but I still am out 3
rings. Frank


Did you “claim” the stones on the original shipping sheet and
pay the insurance? If you did not clain it and insure it, you
are out of luck. Have you contacted the main office in your area
or just a small branch? Ask for the district supervisors phone
number. Did you ask for UPS’s regulations on shipping stones and
ask them to show you or highlight the pertinent sections?

We almost always use USPS for high value, small items and send
them in relatively large boxes (too big to easily fit in a
pocket), insured and return receipt.

Good luck,

John Dach


I believe that is true. UPS does not insure precious stones. I
have had the same problem with them in the past and they are not
helpful at all. In fact, they are downright rude. However, I
believe UPS will insure jewelry ? Ask them if they insure
jewelry / STONES THAT ARE SET in some type of ring, necklace
etc… Then you could simply set your Tanzanite stone, worth say
$295.00, in some inexpensive jewelry piece worth under $5.00.
Declare the value at $300.00 and you are covered ! You could also
send it U S POST OFFICE Registered mail. I believe the U. S. POST
OFFICE does insure and watch your stone under lock and key
every step of its journey when it is sent insured / &


Hi Jordan, I don’t have a specific answer or solution for you but
I do want to add a few cents here. I recently received notice
from Namano - a diamond supplier that any returns to them must
be made by registered mail as UPS does not cover loose stones. I
believe they also do not cover raw materials or scrap gold and
the like. Fed Ex - I recently learned is perfectly willing to
take your additional money to pay for insurance on the finished
jewelry you ship - even though they do not cover jewelry loss
-go figure . I have spent lots of money over the years paying
for service and insurance that did not really exist. I don’t
imagine this is any kind of good news but for all of us who
ship stones, metals, jewelry , whatever - it pays to ask your
carrier “explicitly” what is and isn’t covered - before you
really need the coverage. Michelle

Sumiche Handwrought Jewelry
Creating what you want in gold, platinum and silver


One other suggestion as to shipping, no matter who you ship to,
if it says anything about jewelery or gold or silver etc.
someone’s going to get it. When you ship it put so ans so’s
manure supplies or some such name, I’ve lost one package in 10
years to theft that I know of. Just a thought …


I have to stick up for UPS even though they aren’t perfect. I
use UPS for all my shipping and have had almost no problems. I
use daily pickup (even though I don’t ship every day) and use
their software with their thermal printer. The software has made
all the difference in the service in my opinion.



Nope…UPS does not insure stones that are set either, or
valuable art for that matter…but they, and FedEx will gladly
take your money for the insurance that they don’t provide…and
they won’t mention it either, until you put in the claim. You
need a separate rider, or Insured, US Mail…don’t know what to
tell you overseas colleagues.

Lisa, (in hot, and getting hotter), Topanga, CA, USA


I have had nothing but good experiences with Parcel Pro, an
insurance firm that not only has wonderful rates for insuring
precious metals and but they also give you a
discounted FedEx rate as well!!! They are great, and I strongly
recommend them to anyone that ships pricey items.

Parcel Pro
(888) 683-2600
(619) 232-4688  <fax>

Good luck! ; }

Heather Sickler
Intrica Fine Jewelry


The best words of advice on this subject I have ever heard came
from this (Orchid) list. - Do not use company names on your
shipments. Wish I could remember who gave that advice… I’d
like to thank them. Before I heard this, I had the same problem
on occasion. Good luck trying to collect… For the past couple
of years, I have urged all my sources and customers to use
personal names only on shipments. I haven’t had a problem
since. Your chances of being hit by a random theft are pretty
slim. If you have anything on the label that implies jewelry or
lapidary, your chances of being victimized greatly increase.

Mark Williams,
Stone Broke Custom Lapidary


Tanzanite is most certainly a precious stone. All gem materials
can be both precious or less expensive (rubies, emeralds, and
sapphires included). GIA does not condone the use of the phrases
precious or semiprecious as there is such a wide value range on
all gem materials.


For things I can’t ship registered I ship with FedEx using a
company called Parcel Pro as a third party insurer. Their
insurance runs twentyfive cents per hundred dollars which is less
than UPS. I don’t know why they are such a secret. I like the
service a lot!

Here’s their contact info:

Parcel Pro
9620 La Cienega Blvd.
Inglewood, CA. 90301

Telephone, 1-(888)-683-2600
FAX, 1-(619)-232-4688 General Information:


Why must we claim the loss of precious stones when in fact what
we “really” lost was “something” else? Why, if UPS has these
hidden rules that we all know are there now, would any of us be
dumb enough to claim it was a stone we lost? Put an arbitrary
piece of junk in the package and claim that as your intended
shipment letting the gem go along free for the ride. Or is there
some rule against insuring a paper clip, that my grandmother used
to hold her love letters together, for which I have found a buyer
in Kansas willing to pay say $5 thousand dollars for said
heirloom? Just a thought ( to circumvent rules made by
corporations which benefit themselves).

Peter Slone


We also use UPS for most shipping and have had no trouble. We
ship 5-10 pkgs a day and use their software and online tracking.
I have had many claims and have never had any trouble
collecting promptly. If your own paperwork and procedures are
good you should have no trouble. They do insure jewelry (up to
$20,000 in US and only $500 internationally) of all kinds,
including those set with precious stones.

Tom Kruskal