Jewelry Mistakes at Airport Security That Are Wasting Your Time

Your airport look is important regardless of whether you are documenting your travel outfits-of-the-day on Instagram or not.

What you are wearing has an impact on how comfortable your journey is.

Accessorizing incorrectly, or committing common jewelry mistakes can leave you standing at the airport security line for longer than intended. Monetary losses and discomfort can follow suit.

“I’ll just quickly keep all my jewelry and accessories in the bin or bowl at airport security.

That’d make the process faster and smoother, right?”


Taking off your jewelry and putting it in the bin isn’t wise. It also isn’t necessary. In fact, it is a mistake that frequent flyers and seasoned tourists never make.

You shouldn’t do it because:

  • You spend time taking off and putting the jewelry items back on. This slows down the line behind you.
  • When you place small items in the tray at airport security, you risk losing them. Another flyer could accidentally (or deliberately!) take what’s yours.
  • Small earrings, delicate chains, rings, watches, and other tiny pieces of jewelry can fall from the tray and get lost.
  • You might forget to pick up all the jewelry items you put in the bowl.

Besides, airport security authorities do not want you to take off fine jewelry during screening. The metal detectors and scanners won’t even pick them up.

Yes. The metal detectors at the airport do not pick up jewelry items that are:

  • Made of non-ferrous metals like gold, sterling silver, platinum, diamonds, gemstones, or other fine jewelry.
  • Small in size.

You’ll only be required to take off bulky, metallic jewelry that classifies as oversized. This also includes watches with huge dials, and bulky bracelets.

That means you can keep your stud earrings, hoops, rings, delicate chains and necklaces, watches, and nose rings on.

Where do you keep the jewelry you take off at airport security screening?

In the bin or bowl for items that have to be scanned separately? No.

In your checked luggage? Definitely not.

In your pocket? No way. That would defeat the purpose of taking them off your person.

The only right (and safe) place to keep your jewelry is in your carryon luggage. That way, it will stay in front of your eyes during the entire trip, and you can rest assured about its safety while meeting the airport security requirements.

What about other accessories?

Your look may be incomplete without an array of small and substantial accessory items.

Below, we have listed the most commonly worn accessories, and whether or not you should remove them for the airport security check.

ItemWhat To Do at The Airport Security
BeltIf you have a belt with a huge metal buckle, remove it. Even if your buckle is made of plastic, you might want to remove it if it looks metallic. This will save the time you’d spend explaining the buckle’s material to security personnel. If your belt buckle is small, non-metallic, and not visible, you can keep it on and it won’t raise an alarm.
Bobby PinsBobby pins are small items that don’t make the metal detector go off. But, if you have a handful of them, take them off.
SmartwatchesSmartwatches don’t need to be removed unless you are specifically asked to do so by security personnel. (If you do have to take it off, keep it in your carry-on luggage)
Underwire BraThe metal in underwire bras isn’t a cause of concern for airport security. Though you may want to go for a sports or non-wired bra as they are more comfortable for travel.
WalletIf your wallet has a heavy metal buckle or chain, take it out. Otherwise, regular wallets can stay in your pocket or purse.
PursesPurses are usually big and have to be scanned separately. If you don’t want that, keep it in your carry-on luggage.
Chain in JeansIf your jeans have a chain as an accessory attached to them, the chain should be taken off and screened separately.
HatYou will have to take off your hat before you are screened. You can keep it in your hand for the time being and wear it again after the scan.
Religious scarvesReligious scarves don’t need to be removed. However, if there is an issue in the scan, a security officer might pat it with their hands to check. If the issue isn’t resolved, you might have to take it off in a private area for checking.
WigThe clips in a wig don’t make metal detectors go off, so you don’t have to take it off.
GlassesRegular glasses don’t have to be taken off.
SunglassesWhile there is no rule against sunglasses at the airport, it raises suspicion, and it is better to take your shades off.

Do I need to declare the jewelry I am carrying at the airport?

For international travel, you have to declare items worth $10,000 to Customs. This stands true for jewelry as well. If you have jewels worth more than $10,000 to take along, it is best to inform the airport staff or customs officers 24 hours before travel. (If you have gold or silver coins, they should be declared, too.)

Reporting expensive items beforehand can save you from last-minute hassles. You can also request a private screening of the items, so that you do not draw attention at airport security.

Tips for Going through Airport Security with Jewelry

The simplest way to go through airport security is to have no jewelry at all.

If you are on an adventure trip or taking a beach vacation, carrying expensive jewelry is not a good idea.

But you do need some accessories to complete your look for the fancy dinner at your destination or the event that you’d be attending, right?

Honeymoon trips and business travel may require you to have some jewelry. Your jewelry doesn’t have to be a hassle at the airport security, though. Here are a few tips to make the experience a breeze:

  • If you are wearing a necklace, you can turn it around so that it hangs on your back. This lets you avoid a chest pat-down.
  • Leave your engagement ring and other precious jewelry items that you have an emotional connection with at home. If it cannot be replaced with money, it is best to not travel with it.
  • Get travel insurance. When you are traveling, everything is unpredictable. There is no way to be sure that your jewelry will be safe. But you can definitely make provisions for recovering at least the monetary value of the jewelry. While buying travel insurance, you can add specific insurance add-ons for jewelry. This can help you be financially protected for a covered mishap during your trip. To buy a plan, visit Insubuy, where you can compare plans and buy with just a few quick clicks right on the website.
  • Take photos of each item of jewelry that you are carrying. This can help you make insurance claims if required.
  • Keep the receipts handy. You’d need them if you are asked to show proof of purchase for the expensive jewelry that you are wearing to the airport.

I purchased jewelry on my trip. How do I bring it back home?

While walking down the marketplace or crusading through the bazaars at your destination, it isn’t uncommon to have your heart set on a beautiful piece of jewelry. But, when you are making an expensive purchase abroad, here are some tips to bring it home safely:

  • Pay with a credit card so that you can stop the payment later, if required.
  • Make sure you take the proper receipt for your purchase.
  • Check on potential import taxes that you may have to pay in your home country.
  • Consider purchasing a reputed brand. Exclusive local brands may sound enticing, but when it comes to jewelry, you cannot blindly trust any brand.

All set to travel in style now? Don your jewelry, follow these tips, get insurance, and sail through airport security.

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