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Restoring a Locket That’s Been Passed Down for 4 Generations

Written by Annabelle
March 14, 2019

Alright- as jewelers, we can go on and on about how much we love sentimental pieces, but it's really the stories that make up the focal point of our work. This time was no exception; a client reached out to us about fixing the broken hinge of his antique locket just in time for his daughter's wedding in May. Once we fixed it up, he provided us with an amazing story that left us speechless.

The Locket:

locket-antique

The locket, before repair.

Mark, the client, was unsure how to even begin repairing the broken locket. The item was over a century old, he wasn't sure what the metal even was, and the photographs inside the locket were extremely old and brittle. The hinge was broken after decades of opening and closing, and the interior had patches of tarnish and grime. He contacted us to see if we were able to polish and clean the piece up without any damage, as well as repairing the hinge so it would function properly again.

The Repair

broken-locket-repair

Once Mark sent in the broken locket to us and we received it in our facility, our jewelers took a good long look at the piece. Much to their delight, the locket's hinge structure wasn't completely missing; most of it was still intact, and it needed a new component for the interior. With a deft hand, the jeweler was able to guide and fix the component within the hinge, threading it so that the two pieces were connected and functioning.

After the main work was complete, we moved the piece to polishing and cleaning. The pictures made the process slightly complicated, but most of the grime actually came off during polishing to reveal a beautiful gold-fill surface below. Polishing residue was gently hand-cleaned off, as putting the locket into an ultrasonic cleaning tank would have ruined the photographs.

The Story:

broken-locket-antique

Finished with the repair, we packed up the locket and sent it back to a delighted Mark, who was kind enough to share the incredible history of the locket.

“While we are not sure exactly how old the locket is, I do know that it was originally my Great Grandmother's. Her name was Annie Walters Kantner (born 1879 and died 1957) she married Asbury Kantner (born 1875 and died 1945).

They had two children. Agnes (my grandmother ) and William. Agnes was born in 1903 and her brother a few years later. These are the pictures that appear in the locket. I would date them to around 1910. Agnes had two daughters. Her oldest was named Annie (my mother). Since they all shared the letter “A”. the locket was passed down to each over the ages. I am 54 years old and my mother passed away nearly 30 years ago. The locket has been broken as long as I can remember. I have kept it in a desk drawer all these years. This May our daughter Annie is getting married and I wanted to have the locket repaired to give to her on her wedding day. I have seen the picture and cannot wait to get the locket and give it to her so she can have something from her great great grandmother on her special day! I am including a picture of the original Annie, Asbury and a picture of Annie Hecht and her groom to be Chad Barrick.”
broken-locket

The original Annie (1879-1957). What a portrait!

broken-locket

Asbury Kantner (1875-1945), the husband of Annie Walters Kantner

broken-locket

The soon-to-be bride and her lovely fiance!

At this point everyone in the office had a sudden case of cool-family-historical-heirloom envy. Imagine owning a piece that had been passed down from almost every woman in the family! Or imagine having a dad thoughtful enough to get something so meaningful and beautiful restored just for your big day…we admit it, we did get a little teary-eyed at the idea.
While we're on the topic of touching jewelry stories, hit us up in the comments below if you have any that you'd like to share! We wish Annie all the best for her wedding in May.
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Darryl Warren

July 2, 2017

Hello,

I too have an antique locket that is in need of repair. The locket that I have doesn’t close and I would to have some sort of latch put on it to keep it closed. Is this something that you can do for me?

Thanks,

Darryl Warren

Emily Casselman

Hi there,
I recently bought a locket from a vintage shop, the clasp promptly breaking the following night. I have thought about buying superglue and sealing it shut forever, but I want to see what I can do to repair it. I’d gladly accept any advice or offers you can give me.
Thanks, Emily.

Dominique Obregon

Hello, I have a locket and I’m trying to have it repaired or fixed because it doesn’t close anymore. Is there anything I can do that’ll help it stay closed ?

Ryan Moyneur

Hi I have an old locket and one side is missing the bezel insert. Is that piece replaceable?

Tira

I also have an antique locket and the bezel is missing on 1 side that I would love to have replaced. Please contact me!

Catherine

Hi Tira, please send us a picture via email! Our email is [email protected]

Susan Heeb

Hello, I inherited a locket from my mother who passed away a few years ago. She loved it and wore it all the time, making it a very special heirloom to me. It is a four-picture locket but unfortunately, the center photo holder has snapped off. I took it to a local jeweler for repair but all they didn’t even try to fix it. All they did was make it possible to close the locket. I would like to have the center piece (which is part of the hinge) repaired so that when it snaps shut, there isn’t a visible… Read more »

Catherine

Hi There, we’ll reach out to you via email with further details!