When it comes to romantic and meaningful jewellery, you simply cannot beat a locket. It’s one of the few pieces of jewellery which can be truly personalized and it has a fascinating history. While lockets date back to the 16th century, they reached their peak of popularity in the Victorian era.
Queen Victoria was the Meghan Markle of her day – a trend setter whose patronage of a particular item of clothing or jewellery would send it into the stratosphere. She was also a great romantic. Madly in love with her Prince Albert, the pair would go to great lengths to exchange personalized love tokens.
When Albert gave Victoria a bracelet with eight lockets attached – each containing a lock of hair from one of their eight children – it caught the popular imagination. The Gold chain bracelet had nine enamelled hearts in diffent colours - turquoise for Prince Albert; pink for Princess Victoria; red for Princess Alice; dark blue for Prince Alfred;trnaslucent white for Princess Helena;dark green for Princess Louise; mid-blue for Prince Arthur; opaque white for Prince Leopold and dark green for Princess Beatrice. Each heart had the name of the child and date of birth engraved inside.
The bracelet was given to Queen Victoria by Prince Albert on November 24 1840 three days after the birth of their first child Princess Victoria. There is an inscription to this effect on the clasp. You can see the bracelet in Kensington Palace where Lily Blanche jewellery is also sold.
Queen Victoria was a great fan of charm bracelets and lockets and this bracelet combines both. She loved sentimental and meaningful jewellery and popularised the trend for lockets.
Lockets allowed the wearer to keep loved ones close at a time when people often endured enforced separation for work reasons and travel was a time consuming business. It was also a way to incorporate in jewellery the new fashion for photography.
At Lily Blanche we wanted to create a truly romantic locket – one which drew on the the history of this wonderful piece. We found inspiration in a number of vintage pieces. We incorporated marcasite and filigree work and decided to shape it as a heart and so the Lily Blanche Vintage Heart Locket came into being.
This is our most romantic locket. We originally made it with a garnet stone but have recently introduced it in blue topaz. We have also made it with citrine and emerald for special commissions for Lily Blanche customers. The different stones give it an entirely different feel.
The locket has a deep cavity and we can fill it with two photographs, or you can add a tiny keepsake or message. The locket comes with a Robert Burns quote from the poem Ae Fond Kiss – “To see her was to love her, love but her and love forever”.
There is no nicer way to say I love you than with the Vintage Heart Locket filled with photographs. It’s the perfect anniversary or birthday gift.
Available at www.lilyblanche.com
WHEN LILY BLANCHE designer Gillian Crawford wanted to create a really special family locket, she drew on the past – both her degree in archaeology and her family heritage.
“Family is everything to me and as my children grew up, keeping them close in a tangible way became incredibly important,” Gillian says. “In a fast-paced culture, we don't always take time to cherish memories. I wanted to create a piece of jewellery with heirloom quality which is deeply personal and meaningful.
"We Want Our Lockets To Surprise And Delight"
At the Lily Blanche studio, there is rarely a single inspiration for a piece of jewellery. Ideas come together, often in unexpected ways. But running through the collections are the themes of celebrating life and expressing love. The team loves designing and creating pieces with hidden secrets. We want our lockets to surprise and delight their wearers.
We know that what creating memories is more valuable than diamonds; that what makes your locket really precious are the photographs inside it. That a necklace is not just a necklace but a celebration of life and that the jewellery which is really treasured are the pieces that mark the moments on life's journey.
At the heart of the Memory Keeper Locket is the idea of family, of keeping them close to your heart, and of treasuring precious memories. But we also wanted the Memory Keeper Locket to be something that is passed on through the generations. Quality and craftsmanship are really important to us. We were delighted when the Memory Keeper Locket was selected for the shops at Kensington Palace and the Tower of London in the run up to the Royal Wedding.
"Jewellery Connects Us With The Past In An Intimate Way"
Lily Blanche Memory Keeper Lockets are made in small batches and take weeks to complete. The Lockets are made of sterling silver and the gold versions feature 18 carat gold in a traditional technique known as vermeil. You can read more about this on our website here.
Each Memory Keeper Locket uses seven times as much precious metal as it takes to make a £300 Tiffany Atlas silver pendant. After the Memory Keeper Lockets are given a final polish, they are sent to the Edinburgh Assay Office for hallmarking, which guarantees the quality and authenticity of the piece. This Locket is often bought to mark a special occasion – a birthday, anniversary, wedding or the arrival of a new member of the family. It makes a lovely gift from a bride to a mother of the bride.
" Judy Tweeted That The Memory Keeper Locket Was Her Favourite Piece"
We were delighted when Judy Murray, the tennis coach and Strictly star, bought the Memory Keeper Locket and wore it to Wimbledon to watch her sons Andy & Jamie become champions. We were even more thrilled when Judy tweeted that the Memory Keeper Locket was her favourite piece of jewellery and wore it on the finale of Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway.
However, every customer is special to us. Our Memory Keeper Lockets are our bestsellers and we often get to hear amazing stories. Some are heart-breaking; others are joyful but all are really personal and precious.
"They Are Precious Symbols of Life, Love and Memories"
Our jewellery is not for everyone. We are not interested in mass-producing these lockets. We ant them to remain special and we want people to feel special when they wear a Lily Blanche piece. They are precious symbols of love, life, and memories.
You can see what our customers are saying about the Memory Keeper below and you can read over 100 five star reviews on Trustpilot and on our Facebook page where we would love to connect with you. Please take a moment to discover the collection by clicking the button below.
Gillian Crawford, Founder and Creative Director at Lily Blanche
“Fabulous lady, fabulous jewels #gillian” Judy Murray tennis coach and Strictly Come Dancing star.
“I absolutely love it as do my family and friends. I’ve been singing your praises to anyone who will listen” Diane C.Our customer Diane's Memory Keeper.
“Love, love, love mine. It’s probably the best necklace I have,” Carole S.
“Excellent customer service, absolutely amazing delivery of a very special piece of jewellery and fantastic after care. Would definitely purchase again from Lily Blanche,”Emma L.
“I have the silver one for my birthday and absolutely love, love, love it,” Stephanie L.
“Amazing service and beautifully wrapped and packed. A joyful gift,” Lesley McP.
“I have bought for my 2 daughters and myself. Love them,” Pauline S.
You will need: A Lily Blanche Memory Keeper Locket Laptop; Printer; 15mm (0.6 inch) craft punch; 130gsm self adhesive photographic paper.
All the attention has been on Kristen Stewart's new bleached blonde hair which she unveiled on the red carpet at Cannes but at Lily Blanche we were interested in the way she nailed the layered pendant look. Long and short pendants in mixed metals, worn together are a key look for summer and the queen of tom-boy chic pulled it off effortlessly.
It has to be one of the most romantic gestures ever. When Brad Pitt married Angelina Jolie at their family home, Chateau Miraval in Correns France, he gave her a locket containing a photograph of her late mother, Marcheline Bertrand. Angelina's mother, whom she adored, died of ovarian cancer in 2007 at the age of just 56. Brad and Angelina had been dating for two years but Marcheline did not live long enough to see the couple marry or to meet their brood.