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While Jane Roberts-Feeney was out shopping with her husband in November 2018, thieves broke into her West Australian home and stole $30,000 worth of heirloom jewellery. Her grandmother’s engagement ring, her step-father’s prized watches, even the couple’s own wedding bands: all taken.

This isn’t the first time the Roberts-Feeney home has been robbed. Twelve years ago, they experienced a similar break-in and consequently bought a safe to store their jewellery and valuables. Unfortunately, the safe was no match for the thieves, and now the couple has to place their hopes in the skills of the police.

This story is all too common, which is why it’s so important to insure your heirloom jewellery.

 

The Heritage of Heirloom Jewellery

Why do people collect heirloom and antique jewellery? Is it because of its historical value as a touchstone to the past? Is it because these pieces remind us of people we love? Is it because we want to wear the items our loved ones cared about?

Heirloom jewellery is highly personal, and people can feel a great responsibility for their stewardship over such pieces. After all, you may be the person caring for the piece right now, but you’ll hand it down to another family member who will hopefully hand it down to another. These pieces carry stories with them and help us to remember who we are and where we come from.

Their sentimental value is one of the reasons it’s so important to protect heirloom jewellery with specialised jewellery insurance. If an antique necklace is stolen, it may be expensive to recreate, but with high-quality jewellery insurance, it can certainly be done.

 

What Makes a Piece an Heirloom?

Jewellery doesn’t necessarily have to be old in order to be an heirloom. In fact, any piece of jewellery with a story might be considered an heirloom. When a mother gives her daughter a pendant and says, “My father gave me this necklace at my engagement party,” you can bet that the piece will be an instant heirloom in the family and will be treasured by whoever is its lucky guardian.

If you’re building your own jewellery collection in hopes of passing down heirlooms to your descendants, consider what kinds of pieces typically become heirlooms. While there are no hard-and-fast rules about heirloom jewellery, certain items tend to be turned into family treasures:

 

  • Engagement rings. In the story mentioned above, a grandmother’s engagement ring was one of the stolen items. Engagement rings may be the quintessential heirloom jewellery item.
  • Diamond earrings. Always classics, diamond earrings retain their sparkle year after year, and since diamond earrings don’t have complicated clasps or links, they’re less likely than other pieces to suffer damage over the years.
  • Pendant necklaces. Often given as gifts to mark special occasions, pendant necklaces hold special places in the recipients’ hearts.
  • Diamond bracelets. Classic tennis bracelets never fall out of fashion and show effortless style. They make wonderful heirlooms.
  • Eternity and wedding bands. Because they’re symbols of love and family stability, these rings often stay in the family for many generations.

The key is to ensure you have multiple good quality images of the item, should it need to be reproduced. 

 

Insuring Your Heirloom Jewellery

Building an heirloom jewellery collection can enrich your life and strengthen your family member’s ties to the past and to one another. When you’re involved in such a meaningful pursuit, it’s wise to consider the risks.

Thieves know there is great value in heirloom jewellery, and that’s why they’re willing to take chances. The criminals who stole Jane Roberts-Feeney’s family heirlooms don’t care at all about the fact that the ring belonged to her grandmother and the watches belonged to her step-father. They simply want the cash they can glean from the pieces

In 2017, over 115,000 Australians were the victims of burglaries in which property was taken, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Approximately three-quarters of those burglaries occurred in residential homes. Some of your jewellery may be covered under your home and contents insurance, but in most cases, the standard limits on jewellery are fairly low and they have the final say on where it gets replaced.

Theft isn’t the only peril putting your heirloom jewellery at risk, however. One of a pair of diamond earrings could be lost while you’re on vacation, or the clasp of your heirloom tennis bracelet could break. Is there one simple solution that covers all of these risks?

 

Q Report Jewellery Cover

If you’re looking for a way to protect your heirloom jewellery against theft, loss and damage, look no further than Q Report jewellery insurance. With this kind of protection, you can wear your heirloom pieces often without having to worry about losing them or risking damage. Additionally, you can be sure that even if you are the victim of a burglary, your treasured heirlooms will be replaced; restoring them to you once more so you can hand them down to the next generation.

With specialised jewellery insurance, you don’t have to worry about the kinds of limits imposed by home and contents insurance. Each piece can be fully covered, even when it’s outside of your home. You’ll also enjoy the following benefits.

Free Annual Valuation

One of the difficult aspects of collecting heirloom pieces is that you may not know what the jewellery is worth since it was purchased long ago. Without an accurate estimate, you may not know if your cover is adequate. When you have Q Report jewellery insurance, you’ll receive a free annual valuation of your pieces, giving you peace of mind that your cover is adequate.

Access to Your Family Jeweller

With some types of insurance, you have to go to a jeweller of the insurance company’s choice if your piece is in need of repair or replacement. We think you should be able to use the services of your family jeweller, so we make a point of giving you that option.

An Agreed Value with Up to 125% Cover

Heirloom jewellery can be challenging to recreate, and that’s why we offer an agreed value with up to 125% cover with our Q Classic insurance. If the materials or stones are difficult to find, replacement might cost more than current market value, so we add a buffer for cases such as these.

 

We sincerely hope you never have to come home from a shopping trip to the scene faced by Jane Roberts-Feeney and her husband. If you do, however, we want you to feel that all is not lost; your heirloom jewellery can be fully restored to you and your family. To learn more about specialised jewellery insurance for your treasured collection, reach out to us at Q Report or get an instant online quote today.

 

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Helpful resources

Diamond Setting Fact Sheet

The Complete Guide to Buying an Engagement Ring

Engagement Ring Shopping Checklist

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