In general, heirloom jewelry is safer in a safe deposit box at a trustworthy bank rather than a home safe. However, precautions are still necessary when storing jewelry in safe deposit boxes. These boxes also make the jewelry less accessible.
Safe deposit boxes are more reliable than home safes. They are less susceptible to fire or other damage and are also less susceptible to theft. However, they are not completely free from these risks, and typical homeowners or renters insurance may not cover items in a safe deposit box. People choosing this form of storage for heirloom jewelry should make sure their insurance policy covers it and may need to add a special rider.
Home safes are less safe but more convenient than safe deposit boxes. Home safes are ideal for jewelry that is worn regularly or may need to be accessed on holidays or other times when the bank is closed. A fireproof jewelry safe can provide a good compromise between protection and convenience.
Regardless of where the jewelry is stored, it should be placed in acid-free storage containers with dividers to keep tangle-prone jewelry separate from other pieces. Plastic and metal containers are poor choices for storage, since plastic causes corrosion and metal can scratch delicate pieces. Heirloom jewelry must be cleaned periodically.