Can I Wear Or Carry My Jewelry Through Airport Security?

By EoRdE6 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Fine silver, copper, gold and platinum, are non-ferrous materials, meaning they are not magnetic. The security system at airports detect for magnetic metals. The detectors are primarily set to detect base metals such as would be used in weapons. Since gold, sterling silver and platinum are not magnetic, they can easily be worn.

Silver, copper, Gold and platinum do not set them off unless you are in the habit of going around literally dripping with the stuff. You are more likely to set off airports detectors wearing costume jewelry, because it is made with magnetic metals, such as steel, nickel, and iron, etc.

Large pieces may alarm, though small ones like a ring or two, or a thin chain will not. One way to check your jewelry is to see if it reacts to a magnet. Depending on the mix of metals it may set off the alarm.

Why? It's because most jewelry is made of an alloy. An alloy is essentially the mixture of two (or more) elements taken from the periodic table. Alloys make the metal more durable for everyday use. Jewelry alloys can zinc, copper, cobalt, palladium, iridium, ruthenium, or nickel.

Plated, gold fill, silver fill, or costume will also set off the detectors. “White gold” may because it is rhodium plated and will have a nickel undercoating. Gold watches will alarm, due to the base metals inside the case.

I advised you leave your silver, gold, and platinum jewelry on because it’s highly unlikely to cause the security system to react. And it is much safer than putting it in your suitcase, or even your handbag where it may become scratched or damaged.

Large sterling silver pieces should be removed and placed inside a protective padded case then put in your carrying case.

I usually tuck my necklace under my shirt so it doesn’t show, and turn my rings around so the stones do not show, or place them in a separate padded jewelry bag in my purse and keep my purse zipped closed.

Did you know you can also use a magnet when buying silver, gold or platinum to detect fakes?

Happy travels!


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