We’re in Love with Lockets

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There was a time when you would store pictures of loved ones not in your Instagram feed but over your heart. Lockets took off with the birth of photography in the Victorian era. During World War II, so many GIs were buying the keepsakes for their sweethearts (to stay fresh in mind on the home front), even post offices sold them. These days, when we’re all drowning in digital images, the locket is making a comeback. Dozens of jewelers are offering their interpretations, from timeless styles at Tiffany & Co. to modern versions by London’s Astley Clarke. Here in Los Angeles, Venice’s Irene Neuwirth puts a chic-bohemian spin on the memento with her signature emphasis on oversize precious and semiprecious stones. San Marino’s Single Stone sources authentic vintage pieces from the late 1800s, while Sherman Oaks jeweler Arman Sarkisyan is known for one-of-a-kind pendants that look as if they’ve been in your family for decades, maybe centuries. Embellished with Byzantine and Gothic influences, hand engraving, and Liz Taylor-level gems, some of Sarkisyan’s more elaborate creations cost upwards of $80,000, though simpler designs start around $2,000. “You need to leave behind something for people to enjoy,” he says. “That’s the meaning of life.” Think of them as tangible tokens in the age of virtual memory.

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Photograph by Joseph Shin

Above, from left: Arman Sarkisyan lockets in rubellite ($19,910), turquoise ($6,340), lapis ($15,840), and tanzanite sapphire ($42,500) at Single Stone, San Marino, 626-799-3109 or shopsinglestone.com

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