Displaying Jewelry in a Gallery: How Do We Avoid Theft?

by Nancy Bailey.
(United States)

Cornflake Carnelian

Cornflake Carnelian

We have our jewelry in a local gallery, and each month we showcase an artist in the gallery. We have a corner set up where we display their work.

The gallery owner wants to showcase our work in April, but we are having a tough time trying to come up with an interesting display, but still keeping our jewelry secure from possible theft.

Currently all our jewelry is in a locked glass case just as you walk into the gallery.

Tyrone Azurite, Chrysocolla, Cuprite

Tyrone Azurite, Chrysocolla, Cuprite

Does anyone have any ideas to share?


Nancy Bailey
Silver and Stone Works

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  • Sheila Davis says:

    If you don’t want to leave it in the case, try the plastic zip ties and secure them to the display in the back of the piece. There is no sure-fire way to prevent theft, but it might help. Keep a good inventory and make the owners responsible if there is any theft.

  • Leslie Schmidt says:

    I LOVE your work, it’s so clean and uncluttered for wire wrapping. I prefer less fussy wrapping myself.

  • suneeta says:

    What works for me is to attach the type of price tag/description tag, which is hard to rip and then pin it very snug. This way people can have a good look of the piece and even touch and feel if it is permissible, but they can’t pull away the jewellery. Sheila Davis’ advice is also fantastic and seeing that you use props to display, it will be great idea to use fragile types props (like that coral/shell you have) which bears the risk to make a noise and create chaos if falls. Will deter people from touching or being too close.

  • Cat says:

    Here’s a thought…have the gallery owner come up with something! Why is it always up to the artisan to provide all the props, etc., when it comes to these “galleries”. A reputable gallery owner will take every precaution if they value their name. They, I assume, get a cut of whatever sells, right? Do you have it in writing that they will be responsible should something get stolen?

    I know this sounds harsh, but so many stores, galleries, etc., who profit from the labor of handmade artisans, act like it’s beneath them to take any part in the display of, or security for, the work. If they’re showing it out of the goodness of their hearts, well…guess it IS up to you to come up with something..lol. Can’t look a gift horse in the mouth, right? But, if they get a fee for you to show, or a cut if/when it sells, they should shoulder some of this responsibility. I’m at a loss as to how to present the work without making it look hokey…not a fan of the zip it down thing unless it’s completely hidden. Then you have the issue of having to cut it and reattach it every time someone wants to see it/touch it.

    Are you going to be at the gallery with the jewelry? If so, you could just be there and not secure them at all. If not, I vote the glass case…it’s classy, and if someone wants to see something, they can ask. After all, this isn’t WalMart, right? lol.

    Good luck!

  • Kim Atkins says:

    I see jewellery attached to a fairly long piece of fishing line that goes through a small eyelet. Then has a sinker joined on the other end. It allows the work to be picked up safely and when it’s put down the fishing line”disappears because of the weight of the sinker

  • Carolyn Pelletier says:

    I thought of doing this with rings. They can still be tried on for size . Removing after purchased.

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