The Luckenbooth is traditionally a Scottish love token. The Luckenbooth brooch design is an ancient symbol of Scotland, and a traditional token of betrothal as a symbol of affection, friendship, and fidelity gave as a loving gift for the past four hundred years.
Scotland is a land of exquisite highland beauty and is now synonymous with the popular TV series Outlander and its leading main heartthrob Jamie. During season 5 of Outlander Jocasta, Murtagh’s lover can be seen wearing a beautiful luckenbooth worn on a cord given to her by Murtagh as she and Jamie lament over his passing. The luckenbooth brooch is as traditional to Scotland as kilt pins are to kilts dating back to the 17th century.
History of the Luckenbooth
The earliest luckenbooth brooches are on display at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. The first brooches were remarkably simple hearts usually inscribed with romantic sayings such as “Wrong not the heart whose joy thou art” or “My heart you have and yours I crave”. They were mostly made of silver and given to a sweetheart or as a betrothal gift. It was known as a witch-brooch and used to save children from the evil eye as a talisman of protection for new parents to ward off witches and pinned to the newborn’s clothes. Nursing mothers also wore them as a magical charm to help their milk flow.
The Luckenbooth brooch or Scottish Love Brooch is a heart-shaped brooch, either a single or double intertwined heart with a crown. Historians believe the original design was created as a betrothal brooch for Mary Queen of Scots from the teenage Dauphin of France, whom she married in 1558, hence the two hearts and the crown.
Origins of the Luckenbooth Name
These Luckenbooth brooches often have a crown above one heart or two intertwined hearts. They are typically made of silver since it was affordable, easy to work with, and may be engraved or set with stones. The name comes from the Luckenbooths or “locked booths” of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, where jewelry and trinkets used to be sold, including this type of brooch.
Today you can find many variations of the traditional luckenbooth design from reputability online jewelers like The Irish Jewelry Company. Shop their selection Scottish Jewelry including their exclusive Thistle Heart Luckenbooth Pendant, Thistle Heart Luckenbooth Earrings, Luckenbooth Brooch, and their Luckenbooth Corded Necklace.