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Vintage Photo Lockets

Updated on March 1, 2013

Buying Tips Vintage Photo Lockets

Vintage photo lockets are more then just a piece of jewelry to hold a picture. They can tell a part of history and have been around for many many years. Lockets are not just for photos they were also used to keep items like a small cut of hair, medicine, herbs, poison or other small trinkets.

Vintage photo lockets are can be very collectible pieces of jewelry. Many collectors make a living finding, refurbishing them and selling them back to others. However, unless your a pro its probably not the best business to get into unless you are just collecting them for the love of a vintage photo locket.

Vintage lockets can be found online, at yard sales, flea markets and in second hand jewelry stores. Before buying a piece of vintage jewelry make sure you understand if it is a real vintage piece or a new piece of jewelry made with vintage designs.

Vintage Styled Lockets On Amazon - Unique Remakes Of Vintage Lockets

To avoid the cost of a real vintage locket you can buy remakes of popular vintage lockets from many of the most popular designs. For example, there are many remakes of the popular heart shaped Victorian lockets decorated with gemstones and charms. Remake Victorian jewelry can be more affordable when they use cubic zirconia instead of diamonds or fake gems instead of real gems.

Victorian Photo Locket Vintage With Bird and flower
Victorian Photo Locket Vintage With Bird and flower

What To Look For When Buying Vinatage Lockets?

Vintage Photo Lockets

Vintage lockets can be found online, at yard sales, flea markets and in second hand jewelry stores. Before buying a piece of vintage jewelry make sure you understand if it is a real vintage piece or a new piece of jewelry made with vintage designs.

When checking out a vintage locket look for damage before buying. A little damage may even add to the charm of the piece but you should know what you are buying to make sure you are not over paying for the piece. Examine hinges and the necklace clasp. Look for scratches, wear or stress marks in and out of the locket. If chain show lots of wear you may need to consider repair in the price because you will need to fix it before you wear it. Its important to make sure a vintage necklace has a usable chain so it will not break while you are wearing it.

What Are Vintage Lockets Made From?

Vintage Photo Lockets

Lockets were made out of metals depending on the era. Gold, sterling silver, and copper is the most common type of metal used to make vintage lockets. Not all metals are marked but a jeweler should be able to tell. When buying an expensive piece, like a vintage gold locket make sure to get a detailed receipt from the merchant. You can take it to a different jeweler to make sure you got what you was expecting. If you did not get a detailed receipt it would be hard to get your money back.

Victorian Photo Locket Vintage With Birth Gem
Victorian Photo Locket Vintage With Birth Gem

Victorian Vintage Photo Lockets

Lockets Was A Popular Symbol Of Love In The Victorian Era

During the Victorian Era (Eighteenth Century) it was popular to wear symbols of love such as lockets. They was typically worn as a necklace or pined to a piece of clothing like a broach. Lockets were not just for holding photo but to hold things of sweet memories like a lock of hair.

The lockets from this time period is some of the most sought after vintage lockets because of their novel romantic designs, made with well made metals and colorful gemstones. High end lockets in the Victorian time era also had gemstones or pearls, ivory and were made of the finest metals available.

Art Nouveau Vintage Photo Locket
Art Nouveau Vintage Photo Locket

Art Nouveau Photo Lockets

Lockets With Lots Of Details And Curvy Lines

During the Art Nouveau period art ways strongly influence by natural forms. Art Noureau lockets generally had designs of things that would occur in nature such as flower and plants with other designs full of curved flowing lines.

Like the photo to the side, one of the most popular lockets during this time period was lockets with romanticized females with long flowing hair.

Edwardian Lockets

Photo Lockets With Gems and Lots Of Dazzle

Vintage photo lockets in the Edwardian Era was greatly influence by the Art Nouveau Era. The Edwardian lockets stood out because they tended to be a bit more flashy full of diamonds and pearls.

Because of the lockets are generally expensive due to the cost of diamonds an pearls there are a lot of remakes available that are made of look alike gems that are more like costume jewelry.

1940s Retro Vintage Lockets

Lockets Made From Fun Shapes Such As Fans And Stars.

Retro Lockets refer to lockets made between the 1940s and 1950s during the Retro Art Era. The lockets were bold and full of color with elaborate design's. This type of vintage locket is easily found in today's market and can even be found at yard sales and estate sales.

The photo to the side is a demonstration of a typical retro style locket. It is a fan shaped locket made of god and other colored gems made in the shape of a fan.

Retro Vintage Locket Fan Shaped
Retro Vintage Locket Fan Shaped
Art Deco Vintage Photo Locket
Art Deco Vintage Photo Locket

Art Deco Lockets

Lockets With Bright Colors And Odd Shaped

Influenced greatly by the Art Nouveau with lots of curvy lines, Art Deco is when costume jewelry started to become popular. Lockets became more chunky with bolder designs and painted bright colors. The Photo lockets in this time was more playful and masculine then dainty and feminine.

To the side you will see a classic example of a Art Deco Locket. It is a brightly panted odd shaped locket with a clock in it.

Do You Have A Vintage Photo Locket?

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have some lockets given to me very old. Can't tell exacly what era they're from but will like some info.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      wow, I was looking for something unique for my wife, I believe I found the right place to be at!


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