Airlines & Airports - 9 min read

Can You Wear Jewelry Through Airport Security? (TSA’s Guidelines)

Betty Nelson

Betty Nelson, Updated October 9, 2022

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Jewelry is attractive, and we wear it for different reasons. It may be a keepsake or simply to complement your fashion or style. Going on a flight doesn’t mean you should keep your precious jewelry at home. However, can you wear jewelry through airport security?

You can wear jewelry through airport security. Even so, wearing only a small piece of it is recommended, so you won’t draw attention that could lead to pat-down screening. The metal detectors may detect big and heavy jewelry.

Nevertheless, you can remove them and pass through. Different airports have different security systems, so the type of jewelry they detect varies.

If your jewelry triggers the security alarms, you’ll most likely get a pat down from a security officer. The officer can hold the jewelry for you and return it when you’re past the security.

For most people, getting a pat-down from an officer may be uncomfortable. If that applies to you, you can put your jewelry in a travel case, so the officer only has to check the case. However, leaving your jewelry in bowls that go through the security belt is not ideal as they could be misplaced.

Can You Bring Jewelry Through TSA?

You can bring jewelry through TSA. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) only screens for dangerous items, including weapons and harmful chemicals. Your jewelry is none of these, so no one will be calling the police even if the alarms go off.

Jewelry is allowed in carry-on bags and checked baggage. However, the TSA advises travelers to keep valuable items like jewelry with them. Therefore, instead of packing your jewelry in your checked luggage, you should wear it or keep it in your carry-on bag.

You shouldn’t put valuables like jewelry in checked luggage because you could lose them if the bag is lost. Although it is not frequent, checked baggage sometimes gets lost, damaged, or delayed.

While airlines typically offer compensation in such a situation, there is no guarantee that you will ever see your jewelry again. If you carry pricey jewelry in your carry-on bags, you can ask the TSA officer for a private screening.

Related Read: Can You Bring Jewelry on a Plane?

How Much Jewelry Can I Bring on the Airplane?

You can bring as much jewelry as you like on board the airplane, as there is no quantity restriction. But if the value of your jewelry is high, you may have to undertake additional processes before boarding the plane.

In particular, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requires people traveling in or out of the US to report instruments valued at over $10,000. In addition, even though jewelry technically isn’t an instrument, foreign-purchased jewelry must be declared when entering the United States.

This is part of the US government’s effort to tackle international money laundering. As a result, if your jewelry is worth $10,000 or more, you may need to fill out and submit FinCEN Form 105.

It’s similar in Europe, as most EU countries have a €10,000 limit for jewelry travelers can bring in. However, it is worth noting that declaring your jewelry before bringing it on an airplane doesn’t mean you’ll pay taxes. 

Will Jewelry Set Off a Metal Detector at the Airport?

Large and heavy jewelry pieces may set off a metal detector at the airport. A metal detector can detect gold, silver, bronze, and platinum jewelry. However, the small ones may not trigger any alarm.

Most metal detectors can only detect magnetic materials. While items like gold, silver, and bronze aren’t exactly magnetic, they are often mixed with magnetic materials when making jewelry.

For example, your necklace may have a pure gold pendant, while the chain is made of metal. In this case, the metal detector will pick up the chain.

If your jewelry is made of pure gold, silver, or bronze, it may not set off a metal detector at the airport. However, you’re more likely to set off a metal detector if you have inexpensive jewelry.

Ultimately, it depends on the type of metal detector. There are many types of metal detectors, and some are great for detecting items like gold.

Related Read: Can You Bring Deodorant on a Plane?

Do You Have to Take Out Earrings at Airport Security?

You don’t have to take out earrings at airport security. Earrings are among the small pieces of jewelry you can have, so it’s unlikely that they will set off the airport alarms. However, bulky metal earrings may set off security alarms in some situations.

When this happens, the TSA officer will likely ask you to remove the earrings in private. A pat down won’t be necessary unless the officer suspects the metal detectors are picking up something else.

You can put such earrings in your carry-on bags and walk safely through airport security. Afterward, you can put them back on when you board the plane.

Hence, to avoid time delays, you can simply wear small stud earrings when going to the airport.

Related Read: Can You Bring Nail Clippers on a Plane?

How Do You Travel With A Necklace?

When traveling, you can wear your necklace around your neck. No matter what material it’s made of, it’ll rarely cause problems at airport security as such items are usually light. If it does, you can simply take it off.

However, you need to pay extra attention when traveling with multiple pieces. You can’t wear them all, and improper packaging may result in tangling. In such a situation, an ideal thing to do would be to use a travel jewelry box.

Travel jewelry boxes have exclusive compartments where you can place your necklaces. Alternatively, you can use plastic wraps or a Ziploc bag or carefully place the necklace in a small cloth.

Ensure your jewelry box is with you at all times while traveling. You can hold it in your hands or put it in a carry-on bag within reach. Valuable necklaces, like other jewelry items, should not be packed in checked luggage.

Related Read: How to Choose an 18x 14×8 Bag

Where Should You Keep Jewelry on a Plane?

According to the TSA, you should always keep your jewelry items with you. In particular, you can wear your jewelry or put it in a carry-on bag. Unfortunately, some people mistake keeping their jewelry in their checked baggage. 

The chances of losing your jewelry are higher with check-in baggage than with a carry-on bag. However, losing valuable jewelry can be painful, so the TSA advises travelers not to put such items in checked baggage.

If you’re traveling with many jewelry pieces, the best place to keep them is in a travel jewelry case. While you can wear your jewelry, keeping the heavy ones in your case or bag for more comfort is better.

Some fights last long hours, and you may need to take a nap. You’ll agree that an airplane is not the best place to sleep, and having heavy jewelry on may increase discomfort.

Can You Bring an Engagement Ring Through Airport Security?

Yes, you can bring an engagement ring through airport security. The engagement ring may be on your finger or in its carrying case if you’re yet to propose. 

Usually, the metal detectors won’t pick up the ring, especially if it’s pure gold or silver. In addition, the boxes these rings come in often have cushions, which can further reduce the possibility of them getting detected.

You can request a private search if a TSA officer performs a manual search. A private search is ideal if you’re traveling with your girlfriend and don’t want to ruin the surprise before you propose to her.

In situations that call for it, you can discreetly explain to the officer that you have an engagement ring in your bag. Consequently, the officer will be discreet while searching the bag. You can also leave a note around the box so any officer that sees it knows what’s inside.

How Do You Travel With Expensive Jewelry?

Traveling with expensive jewelry requires extra preparation. Generally, you should only travel with overly expensive jewelry if you must. You may need to alert officials if it’s worth more than $10,000.

Make sure the expensive jewelry is with you, in your carry-on bag, and not in your checked luggage. While going through airport security, you should request a private screening.

When traveling with multiple pieces of expensive jewelry, you should make a visual inventory. Then, when you get to your destination, you can cross-check your inventory to ensure everything is intact. If not, you should contact the airline immediately.

For safety, it’s best to conceal such jewelry items during your flight and not wear them. You never know who the next person is.

Furthermore, it’s always safe to have insurance on expensive jewelry. That way, you can get compensation if it is lost, stolen, or damaged while traveling.

How Do You Pack Jewelry for a Flight?

Here are some tips you can follow when packing jewelry for a flight:

  • First, purchase a high-quality jewelry travel case. Depending on the jewelry type, you can go for a hard-sided case or a soft-sided roll-style organizer. Most jewelry holders feature separate compartments for your different jewelry pieces, preventing them from tangling.
  • Keep your earrings, rings, and other small jewelry pieces in a pill organizer. Pill organizers have small compartments that are perfect for storing such items. To avoid mix-ups, you should only store one type of jewelry in each compartment.
  • Keep your jewelry case in your carry-on bag. There’s much less risk of losing a carry-on bag, so your valuable jewelry will be safe. On the other hand, packing jewelry in a checked bag is risky when taking a flight.
  • Protect the jewelry inside the bag by wrapping it in a soft blanket. That way, your jewelry will be safer inside your bag if it is dropped or tossed around.

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