What differentiates a pendant from a necklace?  A pendant will hang freely on a chain whereas a necklace is complete.

Even back in the Stone Age, pendants were worn which featured shells and stones, and were worn as a symbol of protection. As you can imagine, the Ancient Egyptians designed more elaborate pendants with symbols they considered sacred like gods, snakes and scarabs.

Pendant design changed from being a religious symbol to being worn as jewellery as we know it in the 16thcentury being crafted in gold or enamel but still representing love and protection.

I am fortunate to see many examples of the most beautiful Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian pendants when I am valuing heirlooms for a client. These are typically very delicate in design and feature popular gemstones of the time including seed pearls, peridot, amethyst and tourmaline.

Queen Cleopatra was said to have gifted lockets with an image of her inside to her favoured courtiers. Queen Elizabeth 1 did the same. Wearing images of the monarch of the day was a sign of loyalty

In the 17th century, lockets became popular, initially as mourning jewellery. Here the pendant opened to reveal a place to keep a loved one’s hair or picture, and was worn close to the heart to signify eternal love. We now associate lockets, often in a heart shape, with Valentine’s Day and they are given as a token of love, especially if they are engraved with the name of a loved one or words and dates that are significant to the person.

Whether you choose a pendant or locket, they make charming jewellery with a lot of meaning.