A while back, Frankly Frugal asked me what I would do if I lost my wedding ring. I was able to answer with a good degree of certainty as it’s actually happened to me before. In a past marriage, I took off my ring at work. I put it in the safety of a zipped pocket of my bag so I wouldn’t lose it while on that particular job. The bag stayed within sight for the duration of the work day. Yet, at the end of it, the ring was gone.
I turned the place upside down. I turned my car upside down. I turned my house upside down. I knew it wasn’t in the latter two places; it had definitely come with me to work and made it into that zipped pocket. But I had to look anyways.
I never found the ring. I was devastated at first. But I eventually got over it. The ring isn’t important; the thing it symbolizes is. And seeing as that marriage ended in divorce anyways, I’ve more than come to terms with the loss of the jewelry.
But what I did do as soon as I had accepted the ring wouldn’t show back up was file an insurance claim. Generally, wedding ring insurance is actually under a valuable personal property policy. You can insure the ring up to whatever it’s worth, and pay a premium based on the coverage level. My premiums for these policies have always been nominal (we’re talking less than $5/month,) and it turns out it was a really good policy to have.
I lost the ring after the Recession had hit. It had been bought when the economy was booming. The value and therefore cost of precious metals generally goes down significantly when the economy is stable, and then shoots through the roof when the economy tanks. So my ex had gotten the ring for a comparatively affordable price.
But when the market tanked, my ring went up in value significantly. As I was completing my claim, I realized this, but the only paperwork I had in regards to the value of the ring was the original receipt. Even though I had adjusted the coverage on my policy, they were only willing to pay out the ring’s documented value.
So what happened? I lost upwards of $800.
That’s how much the value of my ring had gone up. Around $800. But because the documentation I had only proved the value from the days of a bustling economy, that’s all I could claim. The lesson is: when the economy takes a turn for the worse, go get your wedding ring appraised. (Or all your real jewelry, for that matter.)
You can get an insurance appraisal at almost any jeweler’s. It’s not a complicated process, and they provide you with documentation of the ring’s value should you ever be unfortunate enough to lose that little band. Be aware that the ring’s value and what you would actually be able to sell it for are very different numbers. The value will be higher (and would be the amount your insurer would pay out should the unthinkable happen,) but no jeweler or pawn shop owner will give you that much for it. They’ll still give you more than what they would have when everyone had jobs and the value for precious metals was low, but they won’t give you the appraisal amount.
At the end of the day, a piece of metal is just a piece of metal. It’s the strength of the relationship that matters. But if you’re properly insured, you can ensure that you can get the cash for a replacement piece of metal to pass on as a family heirloom if you so desire.