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Shipping insurance for handmade jewelry

I used to think you just insured mail or packages for the amount
they were worth and then, if lost or damaged, they reimbursed you
that amount. The post office says (and probably UPS is the same way)
that you have to have documentation (such as an invoice on a
purchased item) showing the worth. My question is “how do you
document the worth of your handmade jewelry?” Do you have to have it

J.S. Ellington

If you are shipping something that you have sold, keep a copy of the
invoice as proof of worth. You have established the worth when the
item was sold. That is all that is required by any carrier.

Timothy A. Hansen

Hi, According to my post office, your business invoice showing a
description and the cost of the item is sufficient, however, in the
case of expensive stones, such as Diamonds, further documentation may
be required. I should add that in 25 years of shipping items via
the post office, I have never had a loss of a registered item, so I
have never had to put in a claim. Hope this helps.


My experience is that an invoice to the person you had mailed the
item too for the retail amount of the item served the purpose. I
collected with no hassel, except they lost all four (4) copies of the
insurance claim and I had to send my copy etc. etc. etc. Frank Goss

The last time I filed on a lost insured item - they did not require
any documentation other than the insurance part which I kept. Ater
all, I had paid for insurance on a certain amount. If necessary,
I have receipts showing what the customer paid and I do not know how
they could dispute that as the value. Incidentally, what I do as
extra added “insurance” is to strap tape the part of the insurance
form which is attached to the package. I have been doing that for
several years and have only lost one package in several
years since. It has really seemed to help.

J.S., I have had the post office lose a couple of items over the years
as I do alot of shipping via USPS. On the occasions of the shipment
being lost I simply provided them with a copy of the invoice to my
client. In each case this was all they needed because the person
that was to receive the mailing also had to fill out an form stating
that they did not receive the package and on that form they had to
put in the value of the item that had been shipped to them.


This is actually a kind of tricky question as there are different
parts to it. Are you sending a customer a finished piece? In that
case proof of the amount paid for the piece is sufficient. If you
are a wholesaler shipping to a retail client then the value shown on
the invoice to the client is the actual value that should be paid
out. If you are doing neither of these things then if you have proof
that you have sold similar pieces at a similar price might be
sufficient. You could also use legal documentation like inventory
lists that you report on a tax return. But the easiest thing is to
just enclose an invoice with the value with every order and keep a
copy. Incidentally FedEx is now offering a high value insurance
program that looks like it might be cheaper than most programs
available through your regular insurer. I am still crunching the
numbers but it looks like we could save $4-500 per year using them
instead of our Jewelers Mutual policy coverage. When I get definitive
numbers I’ll report on it again.

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

A client in the States once told me that Christie’s and Sotheby’s
always insist on shipping any and all items of significant
value(within the US) by registered mail only, and consequently
requested her handmade gold ring be sent to her by registered mail.
Since it has to be signed for every single step of the journey, it
would be extremely difficult for a piece of registered mail to go
astray. Thus, the insurance on registered packages is truly minimal!
I always send jewelry within the US Registered Mail.20

True, an insured piece gone lost is tantamount to another sale (!),
but sometimes one would rather not lose the piece (e.g.,
one-of-a-kind, sentimental value, an heirloom, upset for the client,

Janet in Jerusalem

The diamond dealer I get stones from also insists on registered mail
only. Since each postal employee handling the package must sign for
it, registered mail is far less likely to go astray.

Karen Hemmerle
Boulder, CO