Gold and cash
Everything’s going up in price but gold has soared by an astonishing 360 per cent in the last five years. Gems, particularly diamonds have also increased in value as has silver which means that watches and jewellery are probably worth considerably more than you thought and possibly underinsured.
Few of us update the value of familiar items and this is particularly the case when family keepsakes come into one’s possession and are easily dismissed as being solely of sentimental value. Just by way of example, a Patek Philippe men’s watch that was worth £13,000 in August 2006 had almost doubled in value five years later; similarly a popular gold gate bracelet that would have sold for scrap ten years ago for just £65 would fetch £350 today.
It is generally reckoned that up to seven million British households are under insured simply because people don’t truly calculate the value of their contents and have never had a professional valuation of their possessions. As canny investors turn to fine wines, precious metals, art and watches, so too do thieves, also well aware of the increased value of items that can all too often be easily stolen, concealed and sold on or pawned for cash.
It’s worth getting an up to date, professional valuation of jewellery and other precious items that should provide a detailed, professional description of the item, a clear photograph and current replacement value. This documentation should be kept in a safe place – ideally with your bank or solicitor and valuation should be regularly updated every few years. Such information could prove vital in tracing and identifying stolen property.
You should advise your insurers of any new purchases or items that come into your possession as a gift or legacy for instance as you may need to adjust your cover to adequately reflect their true value. Items that are seldom worn should be professionally cleaned, mountings and settings repaired and kept in a safe place, certainly not on the dressing table which is where a burglar will look first for easy pickings! The contents of your jewellery box could turn out to be a real gold mine but make sure you protect them.
It’s common sense not to overtly display valuable items and certainly when travelling, hotel safes should always be used – even when popping to the pool, gym or beach. Despite press photos of celebrities and the super- rich flaunting their bling on the beach, it’s not a good idea to follow their example!