The History Lockets & Locket Necklaces

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 into a more sentimental item so of jewellery - they began to carry ashes and miniature portraits.

One of the earliest locket examples we know of is Queen Elizabeth's ruby, diamond and mother of pearl locket ring from circa 1575, in which her own portrait was set along with another woman's (possibly her mother, Ann Boleyn). Elizabeth's ring gives us an early glimpse into the human need to keep loved one's close. 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 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 aside from mourning, such as a love token or something in which to carry images of much loved family members, friends or pets. Locket are also worn purely as fashion items, and smaller lockets necklaces work great for layering. Other lockets may be engraved on the reverse with a special date, name or initials.

Solid Gold Lockets

Our solid 9ct gold lockets, such as our 9ct rose gold engraved locket are all hand made in Birmingham, UK by master craftsmen. 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!

Sterling Silver Lockets

Our silver lockets and gold plated lockets are a mixture of made in Britain (again, the mighty Birmingham) and made elsewhere in the world. Handmade, British lockets are the very best in the world in our opinion, but are not always the cheapest so we diversify a little. Some of our popular made in Britain lockets are our vintage style sterling silver engraved locket necklace and our oval Celtic knot locket necklace.

Can you print and insert my photo in the locket?

While we are great jewellers, we're not great photo printers! Unfortunately we cannot offer this service.

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 chains 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).