The Meaning of The Scottish Luckenbooth

Photo of a Luckenbooth Brooch

The Luckenbooth is a traditional Scottish symbol worn on Celtic jewelry that has been around for centuries as a traditional gift.

It is a heart shaped symbol that was once sold from a small shop or “lock booth” in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, which is where the symbol gets its name from.

History of the Luckenbooth

The history of the Luckenbooth goes back to the sixteenth century in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, where it was commonly worn by Scottish women as a charm for protection from harm and evil spirits.

The Luckenbooth was commonly given as a gift from a mother to her daughter. Alternatively, the Luckenbooth could be gifted from a man to his sweetheart as a token of love and loyalty.

According to Scottish history, this love token was a lucky charm called Mary’s Brooches due to its association with Mary Queen of Scots. 

The Luckenbooth’s Design

The Luckenbooth’s heart shaped design is often worn as heart shaped brooches, adorned with intricate patterns as a common decorative symbol.

For an additional meaning of loyalty and fidelity, a crown is sometimes added to the design, sitting atop the heart. 

These heart shaped brooches may have two intertwined hearts, which represents the union of two people in love.

When the Luckenbooth design is adorned with thistles, it is a nod to Scotland’s national flower. It represents bravery, loyalty, and strength with thistles.

Most Scottish manufacturing jewelers work with silver Luckenbooth brooches and work as mainly silversmiths.

Symbolism of the Luckenbooth

It is a popular symbol choice for jewelry due to the Luckenbooth meaning. The Luckenbooth meaning is that of love, loyalty, and protection.

The symbol of the Luckenbooth is often given as a gift to a loved one or worn as a symbol of Scottish heritage and pride. It can also be worn by those who want to embody the virtues that it represents, such as love, loyalty, and protection.

Wearing the Luckenbooth

By the eighteenth century, the Luckenbooth was popular as a ring brooch or other brooch, worn on a woman’s petticoats, and more.

Today, Luckenbooth jewelry is a popular way to incorporate the symbol into your life. It can be found in various forms such as necklaces, brooches, earrings, and rings. 


One of the most popular ways to incorporate the Luckenbooth into your jewelry is on a brooch. Known as the “Love Brooch,” the Luckenbooth brooch was - and still is  - given as a betrothal gift.

The Luckenbooth brooch was worn as kilt pins and to fasten plaids, and were often passed down from generation to generation.

Today, the Luckenbooth brooch is often worn as a piece of jewelry that is popular for formal events such as weddings or Scottish ceremonies.

The Luckenbooth was particularly popular in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, where it was commonly used as a witch brooch to save children from witches and the evil eye.

In the Highlands, Luckenbooth brooches were pinned to a baby’s shawl to make sure it was not a changeling that had been swapped by fairies.


The Luckenbooth is also popular in the form of a pendant. Because pendants can be attached to necklaces, this is a great way to keep the Luckenbooth symbol close to one’s heart.

Because the Luckenbooth can be incorporated into pendants of all sizes, designs, and materials, this is an incredibly versatile piece of jewelry commonly made of silver.