Picture Perfect

BY Taylor Rebhan

The romantic, nostalgic appeal of locket necklaces.

Long before there were smartphone lock screens to dedicate to your loved ones, there was locket jewelry. Back then, it was all about function: Lockets, by design, had small cubbies that could carry any number of personal protections: Good luck charms, perfume diffusers, poison, portraits of your mother.

In fact, Queen Elizabeth I wore a locket ring with a hand-painted miniature picture of her mother on one side. With elaborate artistry and flair, the Elizabethans turned superstitious amulets into fashion. And the rest is history.

Lockets we think of today are simpler. Made from silver or gold, they might be varnished with age and contain a faded-out film photograph of a loved one—a solider out to war, a beloved daughter, a mother. These are 40’s and 50’s-era lockets, with a particularly potent nostalgia to them.

Leaf through an antique shop, and you might find one that still contains a tiny love letter, a lock of hair, or a photograph. It tells a story you can’t help but be curious about.

Therein lies the lasting appeal of the heartfelt locket. No other heirloom can tell a story across generations quite like it.

It singles out the subjects of the portraits as uniquely loved—whether children, adults, even or man’s best friend.

And that’s something a phone screen could simply never do.

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