They make the perfect gift for both Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, but where did lockets originate? We dive into the history of the locket and celebrate some of our favourite pieces!

What is a locket?

A locket is a pendant that opens to reveal a space used for storing a photograph or other small item such as a lock of hair. Today lockets are given a symbol of love and affection, but that hasn’t always been the case!

Thomas Sabo Family Tree Locket

Perfect for Mother's Day - Thomas Sabo Family Tree Locket

How long have lockets been around?

No one really knows when lockets were invented, but it is thought that they evolved from the amulets and pendants in the Middle Ages. The first lockets often were far from romantic keepsakes. Some of the earliest ones held herbs or medicine for the wearer, some held perfume to help mask odours and some even held poison! 

When people start putting pictures in lockets?

One of the earliest known examples of a locket with a picture in it, is the locket ring of Queen Elizabeth I. This ring, dating from 1575, contained a portrait of herself on one side and her mother Anne Boleyn on the other. She is said to have never taken it off, as it was so precious to her. 

Dower and Hall Cherish Lockets with Charms

Stunning Dower and Hall Cherish Lockets can be filled with beautiful charms...

Victorian Lockets

During the Victorian era, lockets became extremely popular and turned into the piece of jewellery we recognize today. 

Lockets were they were often given at funerals, in memory of the person who had passed away. Queen Victoria, who had a huge influence on the fashions of the time, had two lockets of her own. One was a locket bracelet given to her by her husband which contained locks of hair from each of their children and the other was a very special locket with a portrait of Albert, which Victoria wore after her dear husband’s death.

Thomas Sabo Nautical Star Locket

One of our favourites - the Nautical Star Locket by Thomas Sabo

Romantic Lockets

Over time, lockets became a romantic gesture. Soldiers gave them to their sweethearts as a memento in case they didn’t return home from war. During the World Wars, lockets became more cheaply available, as did photography, and they continued to grow in popularity. Lockets were even available in Post Offices during this time!

Lockets are still given as a token of love today. We love this historical, sentimental piece of jewellery!