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.
Adina's Jewels Cubic Zirconia Heart Locket Pendant Necklace
This heart locket, featuring a cubic zirconia star center, will add a feminine touch to your look.
Mejuri Croissant Oval Locket Necklace
Yes, of course you need a croissant-style locket in your collection.
Madewell Hexagon Locket Pendant Necklace
This hexagon-shaped locket stands out amid a sea of oval, heart, and round shapes.
Soko Rectangle Medallion Necklace
Pair this locket-inspired necklace with shorter gold chains for a cool layered look.
Wanderlust + Co North Star Necklace
Let this locket serve as your guiding star when layering necklaces.
Catbird Jewelry Dollhouse Locket
A classic script locket deserves a place in every jewelry collection. Plus, it makes a great gift.
Missoma Engravable Heart Locket Necklace
Hop aboard the enamel trend train with this heart-shaped locket by Missoma.
Stone and Strand Diamond Initial Locket Necklace
Double up on the personalization with an initial locket adorned with a diamond.
Kinn Maison Oval Locket Necklace I
Kinn's minimal lockets are the ultimate modern heirloom. Customize yours with a rolo, box, or Figaro chain. Plus, an engraving, of course.
Lace By Tanaya Heart Locket
A silver heart locket is a staple in any jewelry collection.
Baublebar Turtle-y Cute Locket Charm
Turtle, turtle. This playful locket charm is too cute.
Jennifer Zeuner Eliana Locket Necklace
This round locket has a delicate gold vermeil chain that will add a slight shimmer to your look.
Sarah Chloe Charli Oval Large Locket
Choose an oversize locket you can wear front or back for a bold look.
Monica Rich Kosann 18k Gold Vermeil Blue Sapphire White Enamel Locket Necklace
This blue sapphire and white enamel square locket is a standout worn solo or layered.
Zoë Chicco 14K Yellow Gold & Diamond Round Locket Necklace
We love the thicker chain on this diamond-accented locket by Zoë Chicco.
Ben-Amun Heart Locket Necklace
Try this heart-shaped locket from Ben Amun for a style that comes in under $100.
Colette Astro Book Locket Charm
Make a print of your horoscope and slip it into this astrologically-inspired gold and diamond locket. Susan Miller would be proud.
Rokus London Le Coeur Necklace
Inspired by filigree sculptures from the Akan heritage, there's nothing else like this gorgeous geometrical locket on the market.
Larkspur & Hawk Illustrated Arbor Eyelet Aromatic Locket
The perforated pattern on this necklace is designed so that you can add a fragrance to the locket that will last all day.
KatKim Boob Locket Necklace
Lovingly referred to as the "boob locket," 30-percent of proceeds from this necklace is donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Doyle & Doyle Victorian Locket Pendant Necklace
This vintage locket's lattice pattern and braided motif will add a unique textural element to your neckline.
Jessie VE Every Cloud Locket Necklace
With hanging pear-shaped diamonds, this cloud locket will be one of your most standout pieces.
Temple St Clair 18K Dragonfly Locket
There's plenty of room for an inscription in this gorgeous locket adorned with pav&ea