About Lockets & Locket Necklaces

Queen Elizabeth I's Chequers Locket Ring

Throughout history, wearing a protective amulet has been popular with humans, and it is believed that lockets evolved from these early pendants. The earliest locket necklaces did not carry pictures of loved ones, but instead herbs, powders, poisons, perfumes and later - as lockets morphed more into the sentimental item so of jewellery we know and loved today - they began to carry ashes and miniature portraits.

One of the earliest locket examples we know of was Queen Elizabeth's ruby, diamond and mother of pearl locket ring, in which her own portrait was set along with another woman's (possibly her mother, Ann Boleyn) - this is from circa 1575. The ring gives us an early glimpse into the human need to keep loved one's close, even after death. Queen Elizabeth, of course, did not have the luxury of photographs and so a portrait was the logical option. The trend would continue and later, following the

Charles I locket necklace

execution of Charles I, loyal followers would wear mourning lockets with a portrait of his image, some even including a lock of his hair. Lockets reached their peak popularity in Victorian times, and were particularly popular following Prince Albert's death when a trend for mourning jewellery took over the nation, lead by Queen Victoria herself.

Locket Necklaces Today

Today, and for the last 100 years or so, lockets have evolved to be worn for all sorts of reasons - of course, mourning those we have lost, but also as a love token or something in which to carry images of much loved family members still living. Locket are also worn purely as fashion items, with nothing held inside, and smaller lockets necklaces work great for layering. Other lockets may be engraved on the reverse with a special date, name or initials.

women's gold lockets

Gold Lockets

Our solid gold lockets are all hand made in the UK from 9ct gold. They carry full British hallmarks and where there is an engraved pattern on the front, including a gemstone star setting, this will all have been done by hand - an incredible skill!

Silver Lockets

Our silver lockets and gold plated lockets are a mixture of made in Britain and made elsewhere in the world. British lockets are the very best in our opinion, but are not always the cheapest so we do need to diversify a little. Some of our popular lockets are our silver tree of life locket necklace and our medium sized sterling silver hummingbird locket necklace.

Can you print my photo for me and insert it in the locket?

We get asked this a lot and while we are great jewellers, we're not so great photo printers! We'd recommend you get your photos professionally printed for this task as ours never come out looking that great (sorry).

women's silver locket

What chain should I purchase with my locket?

Lockets are particularly precious items, and that's not just in reference to their cost, but also their sentimental value. You really don't want to lose a locket, and that's why we always recommend you pair with a chain that is both heavy enough and sturdy enough to hold it. Always pair your locket with a chain that is at least half the locket's weight. Prince of wales and spiga chains, with their many woven links, are great for holding lockets. And other favourite locket chains of ours are figaro and belcher chains. It's wise to always ensure your locket chain is solid silver or gold, and not hollow (we only supply solid chains with our lockets).

We adore lockets and locket necklaces and are always sourcing and expanding our range. Please stop back regularly to see what lovely new pieces we have on offer. And please feel free to get in touch with any questions or queries: hello@sterlingwilde.co.uk or 0207 846 0254.