Antique Silver Chain & Locket: Intro to the Past

Image of an antique silver locket and chain
Silver Locket.

Some jewelry such as antique silver chain, lockets and other old and vintage items can make interesting gifts. Antique jewelry is often extremely collectible, meaning that items represent a good investment. In addition to this, antique items in particular lockets, bring a little bit of history with them.

Antique Silver Lockets

It is not known exactly when lockets were first worn as decorative items of jewelry. It is certain that locket-type items would have been worn in ancient civilizations, where they would contain symbols and trinkets often believed to have special powers. Children in ancient Rome wore a pendant with a pouch called a Bulla.

Over the centuries the locket as we know it today evolved, with its height in popularity being during the Victorian era. The locket was popular as the strong family values which were so important during this time, meant that pictures, locks of hair and other mementos were able to be carried close to someone's heart.

Antique lockets are made from a variety of materials, with gold, filled gold and silver being the most popular. The style and decoration of the locket would reflect that family that owned it. For instance a well to do family would reflect their wealth in their jewelry, which would be likely to be jewel and gem encrusted. Families who were not so wealthy, would own less ostentatious pieces, perhaps in plain silver.

The assay or hallmark will give an indication of what material the item is made from, and often this will include a date and makers mark.

Antique Silver Chain and Clasps

When buying an antique silver locket today, it may come complete with its original chain, or it might be necessary to buy a chain to go with it. Antique silver chains are widely available in different styles and sizes.

Clasps attached to chains using different fastening methods. Antique clasps are available in a variety of styles with what we know now as toggle clasps being popular as well as hook-style clasps.

Tips for buying Antique Silver Chain, Lockets and Other Vintage Jewelry

When buying a chain to go with the locket there are a few things to bear in mind.

  • Check the clasp; old clasps might need repairing, or at the very least fit a safety chain for peace of mind.
  • Make sure that the chain is robust enough for the locket. Lockets can sometimes be fairly large and substantial items and therefore need a chain that reflects this. This is not only for practical reasons, but also aesthetically important. A large locket can really be displayed well on a thick chain, with the chain enhancing the way the jewelry hangs and is displayed.
  • Pick the style or type of chain which you prefer. There are very plain chains available, as well as more ornate chains. It is very often down to personal preference.

Where to Buy Antique Jewelry

Antique jewelry can be bought from a variety of outlets. Specialist antique dealers, auction houses or collectors offer a reliable and reputable source. In addition, there are many online antique jewelry stores and of course, online auctions such as also often feature antique lockets for sale. As with any other purchase of antique or valuable goods, do check out the seller first and make sure you are happy with what you are buying.

Reasons for Buying an Antique Silver Chain, Locket and Clasp

There are many reasons for buying antique silver chain, lockets, and more as a gift:

  • This is a highly original and personal gift. A locket is a lovely way to mark a special occasion such as the birth of a baby, and when a relevant photo is inserted can make a wonderful memento for grandmothers and aunties.
  • Lockets are a special way to carry photos of loved ones around, to keep their memories or thoughts close to the heart. A locket would make a great gift when parting from a special person for any length of time.
  • Antique jewelry represents a good investment, so as well as providing a lovely item of jewelry, there is always the chance that this will increase in value over the years.
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Antique Silver Chain & Locket: Intro to the Past