Lockets have a long history as a form of adornment that has served the dual purpose of adding beauty to the appearance as well as providing a keepsake associated with pleasant memories or feelings. Generally, a locket will include some element that is of special significance to the owner. There are several different types of lockets that are constructed to support various types of keepsakes.
Mourning lockets were very popular during the 19th century and still retain a great deal of popularity in some circles. Essentially, a mourning locket will contain some material that is closely associated with the deceased. The locket may contain a lock of the hair of the deceased, or a piece of fabric from a treasured article of clothing, such as a hair ribbon or a small section from a favorite shirt. Mourning lockets are considered a means of keeping a small reminder of a loved one close to the heart. Both men and women would often wear mourning lockets in remembrance of a deceased spouse, with men wearing a simply designed locket under the clothing, and women often opting for a more stylish locket worn outside the clothing.
Closely associated with the mourning locket is the cremation locket. Cremation lockets are often sealed tightly and will contain a small amount of the cremated remains of a loved one. Many people consider this as an alternative to retaining an urn of cremated remains in the home, or as a way of keeping the deceased nearby when most of the ashes are scattered during a memorial service. Cremation lockets may be constructed with clear crystal or any precious or semi-precious metal, depending on the individual tastes of the wearer.
Remembrance lockets may encompass lockets that help the wearer to remember a deceased loved one or just a cherished individual who is currently far away. Lockets of this type may contain photographs of the loved one, a lock of hair, or some other remembrance that is of significance to both parties. During the 1970’s, a line of lockets involving two sections of a heart was very popular. Each party would wear a section of the heart as a reminder that a loved one possessed a portion of the love or the heart of the other party. The sets were usually designed with a larger version for males and a more petite version for females.
Friends or relatives sometimes present wedding lockets to a newly married couple. Essentially, the wedding locket will include a photograph taken at the wedding ceremony or reception that includes the happy couple. In some variations, the locket is configured to open and reveal individual photographs of the two people who have chosen to commit to one another.
Other forms of the locket may be employed for both aesthetic purposes and as a reminder of a favored location, social cause, or other concern that is important to the wearer. Lockets may be constructed using a wide range of materials and may serve a temporary purpose or one that is more long term.