Un­lock Suzanne’s Ad­vice:

Flea Market Décor - - Expert Advice -

THE SE­CRET IS IN THE HINGE. Early lock­ets do not have a large, ex­ter­nal hinge, whereas mass-pro­duced con­tem­po­rary lock­ets will. “You start to see the ex­ter­nal hinge in the 1950s and be­yond,” says Suzanne. “So if you are at a flea mar­ket and find a piece you like, and see the hinge is in­vis­i­ble, you can tell that the locket is over 100 years old. And I would buy it! If the price is rea­son­able. They are get­ting harder to find.”

LEARN HOW THEY OPEN. It can be con­fus­ing, so find the hinge, and on the op­po­site side there will be a lit­tle di­vet or open­ing. Open from that ridge. “If a fin­ger­nail doesn’t do it, I use the screw­driver from an eye­glasses kit; it’s ex­actly the right size,” says Suzanne. In­side, there is usu­ally a frame to hold a photo, “Most of the ones we sell have the orig­i­nal frame, and you can also use the screw­driver to pop that out. If it’s miss­ing, just use a lit­tle dou­ble-sided tape to hold in the photo.”

CARE IS SIM­PLE. They are made with gold fill, not gold plate, so the gold doesn’t wear off. “It looks ex­actly as it did 100 years ago. And it will look like that in 100 years,” says Suzanne, who ad­vises us­ing a soft cloth to buff it. “Or a tooth­brush, and a lit­tle dish soap and a lit­tle wa­ter. It’s not un­com­mon to find it is a lit­tle dirty in­side.”

DON’T WORRY ABOUT A MISS­ING STONE. The stones are usu­ally Vic­to­rian paste, sim­i­lar to a mod­ern Swarovski crys­tal, so you can re­place one stone with­out chang­ing the look or hav­ing it clash with the other stones.

LAYER PHO­TOS. “A locket feels so spe­cial be­cause it comes with its own his­tory,” Suzanne notes. If you’re lucky enough to find a locket with a photo in­side, place your cho­sen pic­ture on top in­stead of toss­ing out the older im­age.

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