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 (opens in new tab). Today's tempered locket designs showcase the beauty of the materials and craftsmanship. 

Katie Attardo is the Accessories Editor at Marie Claire, covering all things fashion and jewelry-related.