Engagement Ring

Mar 6th, 2013, 07:08 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Engagement Ring

I am flying to Cancun, leaving Newark with a layover in Atlanta (ATL). I plan on proposing to my girlfriend while on vacation and am taking an engagement ring with me to obviously surprise her. I'm concerned about going through security with the ring. I know I have to go through security in Newark, but will I have to go through security for customs in Atlanta again, or will that be when I arrive in Cancun? Is it better to keep the ring in my pocket and slip it in a shoe or slip it in the carry-on? I know either way they are both going through the scanner. At advice?

Thank you in advance!
jtrump24 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2013, 07:42 AM
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From pocket to carry-on immediately before security in Newark, back to the pocket after that scan. Same in Atlanta if you have to go through a security scan there for whatever reason. Immigration and customs would be done in Mexico and I would just keep it in my pocket there.
mrwunrfl is online now  
Mar 6th, 2013, 07:46 AM
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Another question you might ask would be if there was any customs duty for importing that ring. I would suppose not.
mrwunrfl is online now  
Mar 6th, 2013, 07:50 AM
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I assume immigration and customs in Mexico don't require you to empty your pockets too?
jtrump24 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2013, 08:22 AM
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You don't go through customs on an outbound flight. Customs deals with the importation of goods into the US. Connecting in Atlanta, you probably will not even go through security if you're flying Delta as it appears Cancun flights leave from the domestic gates.

As others have said, I doubt there will be a problem arriving in Mexico. When returning to the US, your fiancée will presumably be wearing it, so it shouldn't raise any questions there either.

It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to take a copy of the receipt with you. If you do have to prove the value of the ring to border agents, or if (heaven forbid) it goes missing and you need to file a police report, you'll have something to prove you had it and what it was worth. With a copy of the receipt, you'll still have the original safe at home.

Lastly, you may want to stash it in the hotel safe until the appropriate time to prevent it falling out of your pocket or your girlfriend accidently coming across it in your luggage while looking for something.
Citylghts is offline  
Mar 6th, 2013, 08:28 AM
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Maybe I'm just a Nervous Nellie but with the changes in flights, TSA, scanners, etc I would bring a fake ring to propose with and leave the real one at home.
newtome is offline  
Mar 6th, 2013, 09:23 AM
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Thanks for the advice. I do plan on bringing a copy of the receipt for proof of purchase. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't customs arriving in Cancun where you get your passport stamped and bags scanned? I've flew into Cancun a long time ago but didn't have an agenda like I do now. I don't really recall the process. It was also a direct flight from Newark, not a layover.
jtrump24 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2013, 11:18 AM
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Customs is interested in goods you might be importing to the country (contraband or merchandise for resale), so they will not be interested in you. You will go through passport control, though.
kayd is offline  
Mar 6th, 2013, 07:55 PM
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Okay, let make this clear.

In EWR, you go through security. Everything carried-on will have to go through X-ray scanner. You can put the ring in any of your bags or shoes. The danger is there's a rogue TSA agent who notice the ring from the scan and then steal it. So, keep your sight on that item for as long as possible and check it soon after.

After you get to Cancun, you'll go through Mexican immigration where your passport get stamped and then customs. I haven't flown into CUN, but if it's like 99% of the airports around the world, you only have to empty your stuff if you declare to be bringing more than the allowance, or if you are stopped for random screening. I don't believe Mexico has value limits you bring into the country for your own use and is bringing them out (i.e. you're not gifting it to a local in Mexico).

On your way back, you will go through security at CUN, where your fiance won't be asked to take the ring off. And then you through US immigration and customs after you arrive, where again, it won't be an issue unless they suspect you're brining more than US$800 worth of goods obtained abroad and not declaring it - this is where the receipt may be helpful, but everyday people wear jewelry worthing thousands and tens of thousands in and out of airports in the US with no problem.
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 7th, 2013, 09:52 AM
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Yes you go thru both Immigration + Customs when arriving Mexico. They do not care about a ring.

I worry more about it potentially setting off a metal detector at TSA when initially boarding at your home airport and ruining the surprise.
suze is offline  
Mar 7th, 2013, 10:19 AM
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Metal detectors do not usually ping for small items of gold. At least I've never removed rings, gold chain with dime-sized pendant, or earrings for TSA.
kayd is offline  
Mar 7th, 2013, 12:45 PM
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I believe customs is concerned with illegal items (drugs), prohibited items (fruits, vegetables, plants), cash in excess of $10,000, and items you intend to sell. As rkkwan pointed out, people travel wearing jewelry everyday, and we're assuming your GF will be wearing it on the journey home.
tenthumbs is offline  
Mar 7th, 2013, 05:39 PM
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The ring won't set off a metal detector, but the OP will be asked to empty all items from his pockets if they notice a bulging ring box. Of course he can NOT use the box, but if he gets the full body scanner - not sure if those are still used or not at EWR - they he'll be scolded (if not worse) for not removing all items from his body when they see the ring in the scan.
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 10th, 2013, 04:34 PM
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Carrying receipts for expensive jewelry, cameras, and such is always a good idea. It used to be possible to register the items with Customs at the departure airport so there was no chance of duty's needing to be paid on return to the U.S.
Underhill is offline  
Mar 16th, 2013, 06:15 AM
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Can you possibly wear the ring on your pinkie? If it won't fit, then put it in a chain and ear it around your neck prior to going through TSA. AfFTER clearing, take it off pinkie or chain and put it back in box, in a very safe place. I would not put it in a pants pocket, but rather in a zipped pocket or shirt pocket. Congrats!
DebitNM is offline  
Mar 16th, 2013, 02:34 PM
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Agree with debit...take it out of box and wear through the scanner...just turn it around so diamond is underneath. That will be safest for you...
kmowatt is offline  
Mar 16th, 2013, 05:00 PM
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And how can you make the GF not notice it?
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 16th, 2013, 05:28 PM
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LOL! For some reason , I forgot the GF would be traveling with him. Forget the pinkie, put it on a chain, wear it inside your shirt and head to men's room right after clearing security. Hide it back in box, wherever you were going to carry it before.
DebitNM is offline  
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