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Which padlock necklace is best?

The padlock necklace is a dynamic symbol, and it can be as edgy or as sentimental as you’d like. With roots in the punk movement, the padlock necklace remains a well-worn accessory of the counterculture, but it also has found a place in the contemporary fashion scene. These days, a padlock necklace can represent security, protection and even love. The Caitlyn Minimalist Boho Padlock Necklace is a customizable, travel-inspired addition to any wardrobe. 

What to know before you buy a padlock necklace

Pendant vs. necklace

A padlock pendant can be taken off a chain and placed on a new one at any time. A necklace with a built-in padlock design is a little different. Here, the padlock is connected directly to the chain links. Tools are required to alter the chain and any change to the length of the necklace could result in the padlock no longer resting centered at the neckline.


When it comes to padlock jewelry, stainless steel is popular This can mean solid stainless steel or stainless steel plated in a more expensive metal, such as gold or silver. If you’re looking for something a little fancier, sterling silver is more high-end but still affordable and has a great shine to it. Silver tarnishes though, so you’ll want to keep a good silver cleaner on hand. Platinum and gold are the most expensive with durable platinum becoming more valuable these days than gold. 

Chain style

There are dozens of chain styles, but a few in particular are most commonly associated with the padlock necklace. 

  • Paper clip: This chain is made from elongated oval or rectangular links that resemble the shape of a paper clip. The links can be thick and chunky or thin and delicate.
  • Curb: This is a flat linked chain known for its thick appearance. It is designed to look heavy and is very durable.
  • Cable: This classic chain features connected oval or round links. It’s one of the more standard chain styles across all types of jewelry.
  • Box: This one uses square links for a sleek design with little room for gaps in between each link. 
  • Layered: This is when a necklace has multiple strands — sometimes mixing strands from different styles — to create the look of wearing more than one chain. A layered padlock necklace sometimes comes with additional charms, such as a key on one of the other strands. 

What to look for in a quality padlock necklace


Even if a padlock necklace doesn’t come with a functional key, the keyhole detail adds authenticity and provides visual interest. The keyhole can be on the bottom of the lock or incorporated into the design on the front. Faux keyholes are either heart-shaped or key-shaped.

Can it be engraved? 

An engraving imbued with special meaning customizes any necklace and makes it feel special. Popular padlock engravings include a first initial, full initials or a word of your choosing. Others feature fun or meaningful symbol engravings, such as hearts, the sun, the moon, stars or the evil eye.


A good padlock won’t fade in color or turn green in the shower. Gold, platinum and titanium are usually safe to get wet. Silver can get wet but might tarnish faster if it does. Metals like copper, brass or bronze should be taken off before showering and are the most likely to discolor over time. 

How much you can expect to spend on a padlock necklace

A silver- or gold-plated padlock necklace costs about $10-$50. A sterling silver padlock necklace costs $20-$60, and a solid gold padlock necklace costs $100-$800.

Padlock necklace FAQ

Does the padlock open?

A. Small padlock pendants usually don’t open. A larger padlock can be decorative or work as a functional lock. Check to see if the padlock necklace you want comes with a separate key — that will let you know if the lock works. 

How long is a choker necklace?

A. A choker is a short necklace worn against the throat and is very popular with padlock necklaces. A choker chain measures about 15 to 17 inches long, and many are adjustable.

What’s the best padlock necklace to buy?

Top padlock necklace

Caitlyn Minimalist Boho Padlock Necklace

Caitlyn Minimalist Boho Padlock Necklace

What you need to know: This small sterling silver padlock is engraved with a wanderlust-inspired symbol and is attached directly to the links of a matching chain.

What you’ll love: The pendant is made from sterling silver but can be finished in 18-karat gold or rose gold. There are 18 symbols to choose from for an engraving, including suns, moons and compasses. The chain comes in 11 sizes ranging from 14 to 24 inches.

What you should consider: The padlock cannot be removed from the chain.

Where to buy: Sold by Etsy

Top padlock necklace for the money

Los Angeles Minimalist 18-Karat-Gold-Filled Padlock Necklace

Los Angeles Minimalist 18-Karat-Gold-Filled Padlock Necklace

What you need to know: This small 18-karat padlock is gold-filled and finished in gold-tone stainless steel. It’s attached directly to the links of a matching 15.7-inch paper clip chain. 

What you’ll love: It can be left plain or engraved with a letter or symbol for a few dollars more. There are several fonts from which to choose. The paper clip chain is bold while still looking delicate, and the chain is adjustable up to 2 inches.

What you should consider: The padlock cannot be removed from the chain.

Where to buy: Sold by Etsy

Worth checking out

Beneath My Veil Designs Engraved Padlock Necklace with Key

Beneath My Veil Designs Engraved Padlock Necklace with Key

What you need to know: This large, stainless steel padlock really works and comes directly attached to a matching chain made from tarnish-resistant aluminum. A key is included, but it is not featured as part of the necklace. 

What you’ll love: The lock comes in silver, gold, rose gold and gun metal tones. There are two chain styles and 14 chain lengths ranging between 15 and 28 inches. You can choose from eight fonts for an engraving. The chain and lock are very durable.

What you should consider: If the chain doesn’t fit over your head, then the key will be required to put the necklace on and take it off.

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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