How do I get an engagement ring past security/customs in an airport without alerting my significant other?

  • A related post, made me wonder how you can hide a ring from a "special one" traveling with you to a place where you will propose and yet get it legally through security or customs? You don't want the surprise to be killed by a bureaucrat.

    I saw that post and asked in a comment about it. I will ask here as well. If I buy a ring in the US, put it in my bag and do not declare the ring I am smuggling jewelry? How is that different from buying the ring, wearing it round my neck on a chain (or on my own finger for that matter) and not declaring it? Am I supposed to declare my own jewelry that I already paid for (including taxes upon purchase)?

    @BurhanKhalid Wouldn't such wishes be even *more* appropriate if the OP is hoping her (or his) companion is secretly toting the ring?

    @MikeV: That should be its own question.

    @Flimzy You think? I don't know... it seems kind of vague and unspecific as a general question. I thought it would make more sense within the context of these two existing questions.

    @MikeV: Asking new questions in comments is never the right approach :)

    Whatever you do, do NOT try to hide it from the security inspection! I mean, unless, y'know, you're really INTO body cavity searches... :-)

    Just wear it? If you're stealthy enough, she won't notice it.

    If you "just wear it," you'll either take it off and put it in a basket at security or you'll attract attention when it is detected on you. You won't get arrested for it, but the surprise will be ruined.

  • Mark Mayo

    Mark Mayo Correct answer

    7 years ago

    USAToday actually wrote an article on this a while back. The key points were:

    1. Keep it in its box, safe and secure. (It may actually make it clearer on an xray)

    2. Avoid wrapping the box. Security may ask you to unwrap wrapped packages.

    3. Attach a small note - eg "Engagement ring inside, please be discreet".

    4. Put it in a clean sock or similar, as an extra visual layer of protection, but will still be easily identifiable on an xray

    5. Put it in your carry-on (you don't want your checked luggage going missing with it)

    6. Fill the rest of the bag with books, magazines etc - but NOT toiletries or other items that may prompt a security search

    7. Keep an eye on security, and if they stop your bag, try and distract her with a task while they check it (get her to find something, or buy something)

    In terms of dollar value being a problem, it may be worth keeping a receipt to show value in case of any doubt (some countries limit the value of gifts or items you bring in).

    this answer seems to be all about security. Security does not care about rings - in your pocket, bag, whatever - and would not open a tiny little ring box to see what was in it if the xray clearly showed it was a ring. **Customs** is likely to care about rings, especially expensive ones in ring boxes, as actually happened in the linked question.

    @KateGregory yeah the article was about security, but I added the bit at the end about dollar limits etc. Seems to be what the OP was after, though, as it got accepted.

    @MarkMayo well, hopefully they didn't miss the point and are about to be ill-prepared for customs.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM