I found this piece at an estate sale recently, it’s a gorgeous vintage sterling silver prayer box, also commonly referred to as a wish box. This beautiful pendant is inscribed with an ornate four heart design and an “S” logo on two sides. Highly personal and inspirational, prayer boxes are exotic lockets that have been treasured for centuries. There has been debate over whether the prayer box originated in the Buddhist or Hindu faith, but these prized religious objects are treasured today by many faiths, and even by nonreligious individuals. Originally worn as a religious ritual object, prayer boxes are now used primarily as jewelry and worn for sentimental, not religious, purposes.

Prayer boxes were once used to place a small religious object inside. A follower of the Hindu faith, for instance, might place a sacred Rudraksha seed, also known as “Shiva’s tear,” inside the prayer box. But today, prayer boxes also have sentimental uses. For example, a spouse’s lock of hair, a small photo of mom, the first lost tooth of your child, and other cherished items can be placed in the box and worn throughout the day as a remembrance of a loved one, here or long departed. An inspirational thought might also be written down and placed in one’s prayer box, from which strength can be drawn throughout the day.