As with any fine object of art, jewelry should have a place which it can call 'home.' A jewelry safe should be:
That last point being of particular interest. For some jewelry, insurance companies will require that it be stored in a burglary-rated safe in order to be insured.
Jewelry safes are the solution.
Home jewelry safes need to meet size constraints, be readily accessible, have shelving systems to organize and protect the jewelry, come with Fire ratings and burglary ratings, and be able to be bolted down for all but the heaviest safes.
If you're going to have your jewelry insured, first check with your insurance company to find out what requirements they may have regarding safe storage. At a bare minimum, their requirements must be met.
Typically, this will be a safe with a fire rating and burglary rating. What minimum level of fire and burglary resistance they put in place is your baseline for what safes you'll want to look at.
For high end valuables, insurance companies may require a 'rider' policy – a special 'amendment' to a standard insurance policy to (in this case) boost the amount of coverage for specific items that might not be covered under a general policy's limitations.
In these cases, the conditions of storage for jewelry may be stricter. It’s important to know this information before you start shopping for a jewelry safe.
You'll want a jewelry safe that has some level of fire protection. If you own a lot of expensive jewelry, and are going to invest in a safe for keeping it safe, you really should consider this feature, even if it's not a requirement of an insurance company.
While the burglary rating may be the 'lead' factor (more on that shortly), a good fire rating is definitely up there on the list of ways to protect your jewelry from ruin.
The National Fire Protection Association said in 2020 that there's an average of over 350,000 home fires each year in the United States. Based on an estimated 140 million households, that's about 1/4 of one percent of all the homes in America each year, which seems like a small number, but consider that over time. In 4 years, that puts the cumulative risk at 1%. Over 40 years, it's 10%. That's significant enough that its worth considering.
Fortunately, most good quality burglary rated safes will offer at least a 30-minute fire rating, and many offer much more.
Our recommendation due to the value of the content is for a 2-hour fire rating. And, this is absolutely essential if you live in a rural area, where fire service response times can be slow, or in a multi-level building which may burn longer.
You'll want that rating to be in a fire of at least 1700 ° F (some testing agencies only test to 1200 °). Most homes burn at around 1100 °, the added piece of mind knowing you have those extra degrees of protection are worth it. For more information, see our blog articles on What do Fire Safe Ratings Mean and How Much Fire Rating Do You Need in a Safe.
The obvious most important thing in a jewelry safe is that is protects the contents against theft. But there are different levels of protection available, which is right for you? Insurance companies may refer to a 'B' or 'C' or 'E' ratings.
These are insurance ratings, and indicate only a specific thickness of steel in the door and sidewall construction. There are no associated tests for these ratings; just construction specifics. It's a low bar to pass, but in general, the steel thickness requirements will insure at least some level of security, and safe manufacturers don't have to pay someone to meet the threshold – they just need to be built within the parameters.
You can find many good quality safes with only this rating, but be sure to look at other features, such as bolting and hinge construction as well as the lock type, and features such as glass relockers.
There are also higher ratings insurers may use, some of which do require some level of product testing, but they'll typically translate over to the more common terminology below.
If you want to know how a safe performed under actual burglary attempt testing, then go with a safe that's passed an Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) test. We have a nice article that goes into more detail about Safe Burglary Ratings, but in summary the UL ratings are:
But give serious consideration to RSC 1 rated safes. The reason is the II and III ratings are newer, and many safes that could meet the RSC II rating simply haven't been tested to that standard yet.
Pro Note: Higher burglary rated safes require more steel and more safe guards. Thus, a safe’s size generally increases as burglary rating increases. There are just a few small (less than 3cf) UL-burglary-rated safes available. We carry several.
Obviously, not every budget can afford some of the higher end safes meeting these standards, so look at your budget and find your price point, and try to get the best security features you can afford at your price point.
But regardless, don't rush into your purchase without considering what you are getting for your dollar, and if it's the best value for your dollar for you. Investing in a good quality jewelry safe with a high UL rating is worth the peace of mind.
For many, who own just a few pieces of expensive or collectible jewelry, a small burglary rated safe without any drawers may be all that is needed. But, as collections and jewelry value increases, you may opt for a drawer or shelving unit.
Several safe manufacturers, such as Hollon and American Security, offer jewelry drawer units that fit inside of their existing safe lines. The drawer units have several pull out shelves that are lined with felt and cutouts to store specific jewelry (rings, necklaces, watches, etc...). The jewelry solutions we offer focus around this type of solution.
In some cases, the interior of the safe is modified slightly to support the jewelry cabinet. So the safe and the cabinet need to be ordered at the same time for the modifications to be completed. This is common in gun safes that have jewelry cabinets installed in them.
However, if the safe's interior dimensions support the cabinet's exterior dimensions without any modification, the cabinets can be purchased separately, and the cabinets or jewelry drawers can be added at any time after the purchase.
Jewelry Cabinet During Purchase / Can Be Added After Purchase
Yes / Yes
Yes / Yes
Yes / Yes
Yes / Yes
Yes / Yes
CE2518, CE3524, CE4524, CE5524
Yes / Yes
CF2518, CF3524, CF4524, CF5524
Yes / Yes
Yes / No
Yes / No
Yes / Yes
Yes / Yes
If you are a collector of jewelry or own A LOT, you may find you want an entire safe designed specifically for jewelry storage. These jewelry safes are dedicated exclusively for jewelry - with glamorous, built-in shelving systems that are customizable to your taste and needs.
Brands such as Casoro come to mind.
These are top notch jewelry safes for sure, contain multiple drawers, cabinets, mirrors, and lighting; but their price point is beyond that of all but the very elite.
Pro Tip: High-end jewelry safe companies spare no expense when it comes to the jewelry storge experience. Hand crafted custom cabinets and the whatnot, however, be sure you are getting a UL-rated burglary and fire rating, and not just pretty storage cabinets put into an inexpensive, poorly built safe body. When you’re spending this much money, get the security too.
Often, a small safe is all you need. Or, you may be size constrained where you want to place the safe, and you are looking for a small safe. Finding a UL-burglary-rated small safe for jewelry can be difficult but we over several small burglary rated safes.
You won’t get built in cabinets with very small UL-burglary-rated safes due to their size. You will need to rely on a jewelry box or just use the shelving.
If you are not size constrained, consider adding 50% to the size of the safe. This gives you room to grow your collection over time. 'Bigger' isn't necessarily 'better' though. Don’t trade security for a bigger sized safe. A larger, but lower quality safe, isn’t going to be beneficial. Get bigger than you currently need, unless it means giving up the security you need.
Smaller, lighter safes will need to be secured so they can’t just be carried away. Most burglary safes (even bigger ones that don't need it) have bolt down holes to secure them to the floor, a shelf, or walls. You want to have a means of keeping a smaller safe in place, and bolting it down provides that, but be careful of post tension slabs.
Consider where you want to place the safe before you purchase.
Remember, a jewelry safe that is difficult to access defeats the purpose of owning one. But at the same time, small safes need to be secured in place so they can't just be carried off entirely.
In terms of convenience and security, coupled with its price point, we really like Hollon's Oyster series with jewelry drawer option. These mini-fridge sized safes pass a 2-hr fire test (1700°F), a 30-foot impact test, featuring 1-1/4 inch bolts, heavy-duty vault hinges, and a glass re-locker, and rated for 2-hr burglary protection.
It's construction, Hollon states, falls somewhere between and RSC rating and a TL-15 rating, which is excellent for its price, but it is not officially UL rated because Hollon prefers to pass the cost savings onto its customers. Even so, the Oyster series safes have been very popular with our customers, and we've sold a ton of them.
Hollon’s jewelry cabinet fits perfectly into a Hollon FB-685 safe. It features five black velvet lined drawers for storage.
There is also Hollon’s FB-845, a slightly larger version of the FB-685. It provides a little more storage for things other than jewelry, while utilizing the same jewelry cabinet insert.
Hollon also makes several small UL-burglary-rated safes that would make excellent jewelry safes. You’d just have to rely on a jewelry box or the safe’s shelving for storage.
To get to a jewelry safe, AMSEC makes jewelry cabinets and jewelry drawers that can be placed into many safes within their safe line.
Similar to the Hollon Oyster safes, AMSEC CSC safes, BF safes , and BFX gun safes all have UL RSC Burglary ratings.
Models linked above can fit the AMSEC jewelry cabinets. AMSEC is a bit more expensive than Hollon, but the official UL rating is part of the reason why.
The AMSEC BFII gun safes link and AMVAULT series safes provide UL rated RSC, TL-15 and TL-30 rated safes with many models fitting the jewelry cabinets as well.
If you are size-limited, there is one other good option for a UL-burglary-rated safes, the Burg Wachter.
What separates these apart from other safes with UL burglary ratings is that these safes offer wall mounting holes in the rear of the safe so they can be secured to the wall, and not just to the floor.
In order to get a reasonable volume of space inside, you sacrifice some fire protection. Burg Wachter Safes have 30-minute fire ratings.
They also don't come with any jewelry drawers, though small jewelry drawers would fit inside well. These little safes hold up well under burglary attempts (we've seen it!).
As you can see, there is a lot to consider before purchasing a jewelry safe.
It's important to consider all these factors and do your research; you'll be happier with your safe if you do.