At one point in our lifetime, most of us have either owned or seen someone who had a traditional locket. A heart or oval shaped pendant hanging from a chain that closed together like a book and held a treasure inside. In the twentieth century, the treasure was most notably a photograph of someone special like a parent or children. It could have also been a lock of hair, good luck charm, or other item of significant emotional value. In earlier centuries, people even carried poison or powders in them. Today, we now have available to us what is called a “living locket”. What is it?
Before we get to that, let’s talk about charm bracelets. “Charms” have been known to have been used since the beginning of time. Anything of special significance to a person like a rock or piece of rope would be picked up and carried by a person who believed that carrying the item would somehow bring them good luck and protection. Early Christians used the “ichthys” or fish symbol to identify themselves to other Christians by wearing the symbol underneath their clothing. Skipping ahead, after World War II, soldiers returned to their loved ones with charms they had collected from their journey. Soon after that time was when it became most popular to give bracelets to young affluent women and add charms to it for special occasions of her life. As time went on we know that young girls began to give them to their best friends, loved ones would gift them to a grandmother with birthstone charms of all of her grandchildren, a husband would give it to his wife to commemorate their lives together and more.
A “living locket” is a way to blend both of these ideas together. Instead of having a treasure locked away, it is see through. It still opens and closes the same as a traditional piece, but the outside is made of glass, allowing you to see what’s inside. And what’s inside? Charms! Charms that mean something to you and tell a story. They “float”, “jump” and “dance” inside, so it makes it seem like they are “alive”. Your story is alive worn close to your heart. The wonderful thing is, because they are not stationary, you can change out your trinkets to tell a different story at another time. Or, get different sizes and lengths of chains and wear both stories at the same time. Tell the story of your wedding, of your children, of your favorite sports team, of becoming a mother, of your family history, your favorite childhood memories, your occupation, your favorite hobbies, your four legged furry family members… the list goes on and on.
Another wonderful thing about these new pieces is that they are available in so many different sizes and colors. Where a traditional piece is typically made of only gold or silver, you can get a living locket in black, silver, rose gold, chocolate, and gold. If you like the “blingy” style, you can opt for one with crystals around the face of it. No matter how many people own one (or two), it’s unlikely that you’ll meet someone who has one exactly like you. Oh, I almost forgot to mention, you can also add “plates” to the back. These are metal pieces that have strong words stamped on them like “believe”, “faith”, or “hope”. Some people choose to use two sizes of plates. Or one large plate, and a circle cut out of a photo in a smaller size plate. There’s so many things you can do. That’s not even all! There are dangles you can add. Other larger charms that dangle from the side of your necklace.
As you can see, the twenty first century has brought us a new level of charms, trinkets, and keepsakes. Everyone in the United States is simply falling in love with them. I know I love mine. I have my children’s birthstones, a treble clef, a “footprint in the sand”, and a lymphoma awareness ribbon. What story will your living locket tell?