In 1848, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert purchased Balmoral Castle in the Highlands of Scotland. Victoria, enchanted with Scottish design, began wearing tartan plaids to royal events. She also commissioned jewelry like this piece, made with four varieties of indigenous Scottish agate. Once HRH - the arbiter of 19th century style - was seen wearing these Scottish jewels in London, fashionable Victorian women would have high-tailed it to the nearest jeweler to get a piece of Scottish "pebble" jewelry of their own. Most 19th century Scottish jewelry is made in silver, this gorgeous padlock with a locket back is a rarer example of the style because it's made in gold.
10k gold (tests), agate, glass
1 1/2" x 7/8"
1837 — 1901
It’s hard to pinpoint when modern-day lockets were invented, but it’s believed that they evolved from ancient amulets.