Packing a stem for shipping takes less care than packing a vase. Of course we don’t want dings and nicks in the metal of the stem but we also don’t have to worry about them shattering.
The basic process is fairly similar but you can pack the stem with very little protection so long as it does not move around much in the box. I have had some stems sent to me that were simply packed in a plastic bag and that’s it. I don’t suggest that but it should be fine so long as the box is the roper size and the shipping method is gentle.
In my opinion, the best way to ship a stem is to get a long and thin box that is a little longer than the stem. I keep the boxes that my hookahs are shipped to me in for just this purpose. What you want to do is wrap the ends of the stem in enough bubble wrap so it fits snugly into the box. If you do this properly you should have the stem suspended in the middle of the box like a sample of a deadly virus in a scifi movie. This level of care shouldn’t really be necessary but it’s a great way to make sure that the stem won’t get bouned around and beaten up.
I didn’t have room to do this in my car for my drive across the country. I packed my stems on the floor of my trunk, surrounded the with boxes and put soft goods on top of them. They all came out fine and without a scratch. So, as you can see, stems aren’t as big of a hassle as vases and bowls.