Trendlet: Lockets

The Claire Bracelet, $329, a sterling-silver locket with mother-of-pearl and quartz doublet and white topaz stones on strands of freshwater pearls. (WithYou Lockets)

This spring, the stylishly sentimental are sporting a new twist on  the original keepsake jewelry - and it's right in time for Mother's Day.

The trendlet

Lockets are becoming more than the teeny, tiny picture frames crafted to hover over our hearts as necklaces. They are emerging this spring as rings, bracelets, brooches, and key chains, too.

Where's it come from?

In the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries, lockets held fragrant oils. During these more superstitious eras, they also held talismans and hid poison. Scary!

By the dawn of the Victorian era - a gaudy time in the history of jewelry and fashion - lockets, many of which now held such memories of loved ones as locks of hair or photographs, were chunky.

In the 1860s, lockets trumped rings as the preferred pieces of mourning jewelry. In fact, it was expected for a widow or widower to carry a locket in memory of a deceased spouse for the year following their death.

But by the 1890s, lockets lost their macabre-only status, and became associated with touching mementos.

Around 2005, dog tags engraved with names of loved ones ignited and propelled the popularity of keepsake jewelry. A few years later, as charm bracelets surged in popularity, sterling silver, heart-shaped lockets attached to bracelets became cool-girl must-haves.

Today, we have heirloom-quality costume jewelry. In 2014, Mikki Glass launched With You Lockets - hat pins, brooches, and rings - that can be ordered with digitally printed pictures of loved ones nestled inside.

Who's wearing it?

In keeping with the keepsake trend, lockets are a fave of moms - both the celebrity and the everyday kind. Ali Landry likes her locket as a key chain. Nicole Richie rocks her locket as a ring, and Michelle Williams prefers brooches.

Would Elizabeth wear one?

There is something about a locket nestled in rows of pearls on a bracelet that takes me from trendy to sweet.

Should you wear one?

Sure. A new twist on a classic style is always great, but when it comes packaged with things so dear to us, it's priceless. And we all deserve priceless.



Betty Bouquet Pin, $299; Jamie Keychain, $49; Esther Bouquet Brooch, $199; Georgie Ring, $329; Claire Bracelet, $329; all at