The 24 Best Lockets to Accessorize All of Your Outfits With

The centuries-old locket has gotten a modern update.

best lockets
(Image credit: Jeffery Westbrook)

The history of the locket is perhaps more colorful than you realized. Lockets have been distinctly personal since becoming popular in the 16th century. But unlike modern lockets, which notably hold photos or are adorned with diamonds and gemstones, the most common contents of old-timey lockets were snippets of hair from a loved one; others held bezoars (small stones from animal stomachs, believed to protect the wearer). Legend has it that one locket even held the owner's amniotic sac—talk about personal.

While filling lockets with body parts has fallen out of favor, streamlined silhouettes and shapes are in vogue. "Antique lockets were typically ornate, often with elaborate hand-engraved patterns. Contemporary lockets are usually simpler in design," explains Elizabeth Doyle, jewelry historian and co-owner of antique and vintage jewelry boutique Doyle & Doyle. Today's tempered locket designs showcase the beauty of the materials and craftsmanship. 

Laura Lajiness Kaupke
Freelance Fashion and Beauty Writer

Laura Lajiness Kaupke is a freelance writer and editor covering fashion, accessories, fine jewelry, and lifestyle topics, including beauty, home, fitness, and travel. You can see her work across various outlets, including VOGUE, Harper’s BAZAAR, ELLE, Glamour, Town&Country, InStyle, Esquire, Women’s Health, Brides, Refinery 29, Coveteur, The Zoe Report, Popsugar, Byrdie, WWD, Footwear News, Well+Good, The Editorialist, among other titles and brands. Laura has worked in the fashion industry for over 11 years and held senior fashion editor positions at Popsugar and The Zoe Report, with additional experience as a copywriter and fashion publicist.