It is wise to have a safe deposit for your jewelry and important documents, including jewelry appraisals, etc., but even wiser to keep copies of those documents in another place. There have been many occasions in which I have acted as an expert witness, developing hypothetical appraisals for clients whose boxes had been burglarized, and not only is the jewelry gone, but so are the identifying documents!
It is very difficult preparing a list of the missing items for a police report, trying to remember what you had and what they contained, but more difficult proving to the insurance adjuster that you actually possessed them and are worth what you remember them to be. The appraisals should have photos as well. If not, take your camera and take photos of all of your jewelry — and why stop there? Take them of all of your personal property. You may thank your lucky stars some day that you did, not just for burglaries, but for fire and water damage. And remember to update your appraisals every three years.
Cos Altobelli is a third generation jeweler and president of Altobelli Jewelers in Burbank, previously located in North Hollywood for 60 years. His specialty is appraising for all functions and acting as an expert witness.
He holds a graduate degree from the Gemological Institute of America and the title of Certified Gemologist Appraiser, from the American Gem Society, is the author of three appraisal books, and has appeared on “Prime Time Live” several times.
Mr. Altobelli can be reached at (818) 763-5151.