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Which heart locket necklace is best?

A heart-shaped locket takes jewelry up a notch by adding a unique sentimental component. Whether you’re buying a heart locket for a lover, friend, family member or even yourself, the picture or message placed inside makes the necklace one of a kind. Getting a photo to be just the right size and shape for the locket shows you’re willing to go that extra mile. For the best of the best, take a look at the Macy’s I Love You Heart Locket Necklace in Sterling Silver.

What to know before you buy a heart locket necklace

When you’re buying a locket online, it’s easy to forget that it might not include the picture. It’s also important to keep in mind the locket’s size and whether there is a clear stencil to protect the photo. The metal you choose matters, too, as silver will have to be cared for with silver polish to keep from tarnishing.

What goes inside the locket

Online ordering makes it easy to simply click a button and have a photo added to a locket when you purchase it, but having the seller put the picture in isn’t always an option, and if it is, it might cost extra. Some sellers offer to print the photo directly onto the metal, while others will print and cut photo paper to fit the size of the locket. If the installation is not included, you’ll have to put the picture in yourself. 

Alternatively, you may forego the photo and have the locket engraved inside with a meaningful name or message.

Metals and stones

The type of metal a locket is made from will affect both its price and durability. Gold is one of the most expensive options and comes in three colors, while silver generally costs less and comes in one color. Some pieces of jewelry are gold- or silver-plated on the outside with a less expensive material such as stainless steel or nickel on the inside to help lower the overall cost. If you want the locket to feature diamonds or precious stones, this will also raise the price.


The smaller the locket, the smaller the photo or engraving has to be. It’s also important to remember that photographs aren’t heart-shaped, so you will need to select a picture with a big enough background to be cropped accordingly without cutting off the main subject(s). The average locket size is somewhere around 3/4 of an inch by 3/4 of an inch, which doesn’t provide a lot of space.

What to look for in a quality heart locket necklace

When it comes to jewelry, quality can be found in durability and design. Since a locket opens and closes, it is subject to more handling than most pendants, so you’ll want a piece that won’t break after a few opens.

Sturdy craftsmanship

Whether the locket closes using a magnet or a metal mechanism, you’ll want it to stay shut. Often, cheap lockets start to fall open over time and in some cases come loose and separate at the hinge. A high-quality locket can stand up to repeated opening and closing without signs of wear.

Stamped metal

A way to determine if an item is made from real gold or silver is to check for the stamp. Authentic sterling silver is stamped with the number 925. Gold is often stamped with its karat number, such as 10K or 14K.  

A matching chain

A quality locket comes with a chain as good as the locket. A cheap chain might not look bad all by itself, but it stands out next to a high-quality pendant. A quality chain is also important to ensure that the clasp doesn’t break.

How much you can expect to spend on a heart locket necklace

A heart locket necklace can cost between $25-$600 depending on the metals used. One way to lower the cost is by opting for a vintage locket instead of a new one.

Heart locket necklace FAQ

Are lockets waterproof?

A. It’s best to take a locket off before showering or swimming. Even if the closure is secure, you run the risk of the water harming the picture inside or even affecting the metal.

How many pictures will fit inside?

A. This depends on the locket’s design. Lockets will generally fit at least one picture, sometimes two. There are lockets, however, with additional framing that fit four or more photographs, viewable when you fold the locket all the way out.

What is this plastic piece inside my locket?

A. Some heart lockets come with heart-shaped plastic inserts you remove before placing the photo(s) inside. These “stencils” help you to figure out what size your photograph needs to be, then they are reinserted in the locket to serve as protective covers for the photo(s). 

What’s the best heart locket necklace to buy?

Top heart locket necklace

Macy's I Love You Heart Locket Necklace in Sterling Silver

Macy’s I Love You Heart Locket Necklace in Sterling Silver

What you need to know: This heart-shaped sterling silver locket features the engraving “I love you” on the front beside a pink rose and comes on an 18-inch chain.

What you’ll love: The design is classic and beautifully detailed with floral engravings around the edges. The locket is well-made and the touch of pink and green in the rose adds a little color without the flashiness or expense of stones.

What you should consider: You will have to insert the picture yourself and it can be a little difficult.

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s

Top heart locket necklace for the money

Harper Silver Four-Photo Locket Necklace in 925 Sterling Silver

Harper Silver Four-Photo Locket Necklace in 925 Sterling Silver

What you need to know: This heart-shaped sterling silver locket is an inch high and an inch wide, with four spaces for photographs on the inside.

What you’ll love: The locket is well-made and holds twice as many pictures as the average locket. It’s available in three front patterns and several chain lengths, all sterling silver. Photo insertion is available for an additional fee and clear stencils are included if you’d prefer to do it yourself. 

What you should consider: The middle frame makes it a little delicate to handle.

Where to buy: Sold by Etsy

Worth checking out

Bella Ipsa 14 Karat Gold 925 Anatomically Correct Heart Locket

Bella Ipsa 14 Karat Gold 925 Anatomically Correct Heart Locket

What you need to know: This anatomically correct heart-shaped locket is made from 14-karat gold-plated sterling silver measuring a little over an inch wide and an inch high.

What you’ll love: The finely detailed anatomical heart shape is a unique twist on the classic heart locket. It is well made and there are three chain lengths available. 

What you should consider: There’s only space for one photo and you have to insert it yourself.

Where to buy: Sold by Etsy


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Emily Verona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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