If you are traveling to the US, you’ll probably have jewelry on, especially if you are a lady, and you will have a few more pieces of jewelry in your jewelry travel case, somewhere in the carry-on.
But traveling with things that could set off the alarms at TSA checkpoints might not be the thing anyone ever looks forward to. If anything, it is the one thing most of us hate about traveling.
How are you supposed to carry your gold or diamond jewelry through TSA into the US? Are some kinds of jewelry better when traveling than others?
What is the minimum number of jewelry pieces you can safely travel to the USA without getting questioned?
Tips for carrying gold jewelry to the USA
Before we share tips for carrying gold and diamond jewelry to the US, especially when you need to carry the jewelry in bulk, there are some essential things that you need to know about traveling with high-value jewelry.
The first thing to note is that jewelry made of solid gold, silver, or platinum is non-magnetic. These precious metals are non-ferrous, meaning that they will not set off the detectors used by the airport security systems.
However, suppose your gold jewelry is plated and traveling with costume jewelry. In that case, these will set off the detectors at the airport because costume jewelry is often made of magnetic materials like nickel, iron, and steel.
You still have to remove your jewelry when going through security. Since your bags have to be scoured, you will be asked for receipts or a valid reason and documentation to verify your reason for traveling with a considerable number of jewelry.
This is often the case when you are traveling with many pieces of high-value jewelry. So, if most of your jewelry is expensive and mostly made of gold, diamonds, platinum, or any other expensive materials, you may want to leave them back at home for safety or maybe just travel with one pair of the valuable jewelry, and make sure that the rest of the jewelry you are traveling with is costume jewelry that will not break the bank.
Also, avoid traveling with more jewelry than you’d typically wear, and wear the basic pieces after getting through security. This will give you peace of mind since you won’t have to worry about where the jewelry is and if it is safe.
Now that we have the basics out of the way let’s take a look at some of the important things you need to do to avoid being on the wrong side of the law when traveling with gold or platinum jewelry.
1. Declare the jewelry
To avoid delays and other issues, you want first to declare everything you’re traveling with to the US.
The declaration must be made with Customs and the Border Protection Officer.
Doing this makes it easier to get through the checking-in process, and it also means that the people at Customs will have to sort things out and advise you in case there is a problem.
This is recommended not just for valuable jewelry but also for prescription medications, your contact lenses, etc.
In other words, there is nothing wrong with you traveling with the biggest number of gold and diamond jewelry; you could even have an entire bag carrying the jewelry, but always declare the jewelry.
Be ready to foot the bill for jewelry exceeding $10000 in value. In weight, the maximum weight of gold that you can carry into the US, in whatever form, is 1kg. a
2. Consider the value of the jewelry
If the value of your jewelry exceeds $10,000, you must declare the jewelry and be ready to pay customs duty on the jewelry.
The value may be variable, but in most cases, the Duty charged on the jewelry is about 6%; less than $10000 is the allowable limit in terms of the value of the jewelry that you can travel with.
It would help if you also had an acceptable means of making the payment. In most instances, you will pay for Customs Duty via Travelers Check, Credit card, or cash.
Keep in mind that Customs Duty refers to the tax or tariff imposed on goods transported across any international borders. This tax protects the country’s economy, the environment, people, etc.
It ensures control over what goods flow into and out of the country while also filtering the prohibited and restrictive goods that may move in and out of a country.
3. Have all the necessary paperwork
If you are traveling with gold jewelry whose value is beyond the permissible limit, you must have the right or necessary paperwork required by customs.
These include receipts or invoices, insurance documents, certifications, and identification paperwork. In addition to these, you also need to fill out the formal form for jewelry declaration.
You will list every item and all other valuables you may be carrying and their specific details.
The paperwork will allow for fast verification of your details and the jewelry, and customs will not raise any questions or even doubt your intentions.
4. Wear the jewelry
While you may have to declare the jewelry when you have expensive jewelry, you may want to wear all your jewelry or as much of your jewelry as you can.
Doing this saves you the headache and hustle of dealing with TSA. Also, wearing most of your jewelry means avoiding paying too much in the duty fees.
5. Get travel and jewelry insurance
Your gold or diamond jewelry value notwithstanding, you need always to get travel and jewelry insurance. This applies even if you are only traveling with one 18k gold earrings, necklace, and bracelet set.
Such jewelry doesn’t come cheap, regardless of where you buy it from in the world, and because you wouldn’t want to lose the jewelry and have to dig deep in your pockets to find similar jewelry later, make sure that your insurance information for the jewelry is up to date. You may also make the insurer aware of your travel plans, just in case.
6. Where to put the gold jewelry
If you cannot wear all the gold or diamond jewelry, don’t put the jewelry in your bags, especially not in the bag you are planning to check-in.
Instead, it would help to keep the jewelry in the carry-on luggage.
This is important because the customs officer may want to check your bags, which they often do for security reasons to avoid misuse or illegal activities.
So, even if you have declared the bulk of your gold jewelry, they will want to check if you carry the amount of gold jewelry you have declared.
In the unfortunate event that this happens to you, we recommend asking for a private room for the check because you wouldn’t want the rest of the passengers and the entire airport to be alerted that you are carrying valuable gold jewelry in your bags.
7. Keep the jewelry safe in a travel jewelry case
Even in your carry-on baggage, you need to keep the jewelry safe by keeping it all in a secure travel jewelry case.
We recommend choosing a travel case with zipper enclosures and dedicated spaces for the different kinds of jewelry you’re traveling with.
You need this, especially when you cannot wear all your jewelry at once.
Follow the recommendations above to ensure that the gold jewelry you are taking to the US doesn’t land you in trouble.
You also need to know that the US restricts the importation of gold items from Sudan, Iran, and Cuba; which means that even if you bought your gold jewelry from another country, but they were manufactured in these countries, you won’t be able to take them to the US.
Overall, the tips above will ensure that you are on the right side of the law and even save you time.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.