Wandering JCK Las Vegas, LUXURY, and Couture earlier this month, it was difficult to miss the many beautiful locket pendants created by jewelry designers for the coming seasons.
My JCK colleague Amy Elliott first spotted the comeback of lockets in February 2017, and they’ve only grown in popularity since then.
At the time, Elliott asked Diamonds in the Library blogger Becky Stone why she felt lockets were returning, and Stone said, “A locket is like a tiny, secular reliquary. I think that in uncertain times, people turn to what comforts them…. I think that times of fear make people nostalgic and sentimental.”
More than a year later, that sentiment still feels spot-on. As we all wrestle with our ongoing political divisions and questions that cause us to grapple with our very identity as Americans, it makes sense that we’d gravitate toward material possessions that have meaning and celebrate the personal.
Because lockets were built to hold meaning—specifically reminders of (and mementos from) the people we love.
According to The Ribbon in My Journal, lockets evolved from ancient amulets (and few things are hotter than talismans and amulets in fine jewelry right now!).
Locket designs date back to the 16th century, “when small pendants were worn to conceal good luck charms [and to carry] small fabric squares soaked in perfume to ward off the poor smells on public thoroughfares, painted portraits, and even, on occasion, poison,” according to the antiquities website. The style, as we know, hit its apex of popularity in the Victorian era.
This season’s lockets are largely a stripped-down bunch. J. Hannah’s chic new signature locket is a plain gold circle that resembles a gleaming dome, while Zoë Chicco used a symbol of ancient armor (a shield) as a motif for locket necklaces in her latest collection.
Here are a few of my favorite fresh-on-the-market locket looks, for your consideration.