Wedding Anniversary

In most cultures, the wedding anniversary is thought to be an important occasion, and it is generally celebrated in meaningful and significant ways.

Couples are reminded of their marital commitment, and a lot of effort often goes into sourcing the perfect gift that will be symbolic and meaningful for one’s partner, or the happy couple.

Gift-giving on the occasion of a wedding anniversary has its origins in the medieval period. In the Holy Roman Empire, husbands would give their wife a silver garland to mark their 25th anniversary, and a golden wreath when they reached 50 years of marriage.

In the 1920s, Emily Post, an American writer, attempted to solve the issue of what gift to give on the occasion of an anniversary by drawing up lists of anniversary themes in a book titled Etiquette, published in 1922. However, only some anniversary years were included in the book, the first, fifth, then every fifth year up to the 25th wedding anniversary.

In 1937, the American National Retail Jeweler Association added additional years to the list, including all years up to 14 years of marriage, and every 5th year up to 50 years of marriage. These are known as traditional themes linked with each marital year.

More recently, a contemporary list was created, and today, all the anniversary years from 1 up to 30 have been linked with a theme or material, and then every fifth year up to 75 years of marriage

The gemstones associated with marital years 1 to 25, and then every 5th year up to the 60th anniversary, are published in the Information Manual on Gemstones by the American Gem Trade Association.

In some instances, other countries have suggested a different gemstone for certain anniversary years, so those alternate gemstones are outlined below.

So there are no definitive rules to choosing an anniversary gift, and suggestions outlined below is not set in stone 🙂

Just be guided by the recipient’s tastes and find a stone you know they would love and cherish.

Chart

Anniversary Traditional ThemeModern ThemeColourGemstone
1st YearPaper ClocksGold, YellowGold Jewellery
Stone: Peridot, Pearl
2nd YearCotton China RedGarnet, Rose Quartz
3rd YearLeather Crystal/GlassJade, WhitePearl, Moonstone, Crystal, Jade
4th YearLinen; Silk (UK)Fruit/Flowers (US) Appliances (electrical)Blue, GreenBlue Topaz, Blue Zircon, Amethyst
5th YearWoodSilverwareBlue, Pink, Turquoise Sapphire, Pink Tourmaline, Rose Quartz, Turquoise
6th YearCandy (UK)Iron (US) WoodPurple, White, TurquoiseAmethyst, Garnet, Turquoise
7th YearWool (UK)Copper (US) Brass; Desk Sets Yellow, Off-WhiteOnyx, Yellow Sapphire, Copper, Lapis Lazuli
8th YearSalt (UK)Bronze; Pottery (US) Linen; Lace  BronzeTourmaline, Tanzanite, Bronze, Aventurine
9th YearCopper (UK)Willow; Pottery (US) Leather TerracottaLapis Lazuli, Tiger Eye, Andalusite
10th YearTin (US & UK)Aluminum (US); Diamond Jewellery Silver; BlueDiamond, Crystal, Onyx, Green Tourmaline
11th YearSteel Fashion Jewellery, AccessoriesTurquoiseTurquoise, Hematite
12th YearLinen; Silk (UK)Home Décor (US) Pearls Oyster-WhiteJade, Agate, Pearl, Garnet, Tsavorite
13th Year Lace  Textiles; Furs  WhiteCitrine, Moonstone, Malachite, Opal
14th YearIvory or Elephant *** Gold Jewellery  IvoryOpal, Ivory, Gold, Kunzite, Moss Agate
15th YearCrystal Watches RedRuby, Rhodolite, Blue Sapphire
16th YearSilverware  SilverPeridot, Aquamarine, Golden Topaz
17th YearFurniture, Watch  YellowCarnelian, Amethyst, Citrine, Pink Tourmaline,
18th YearPorcelain BlueCat’s Eye, Opal, Aquamarine
19th YearBronze BronzeAquamarine, Topaz, Golden Beryl
20th YearChina Green, White Emerald, Platinum 
21st YearBrass, NickelOrangeIolite
22nd YearCopperGreenSpinel
23rd YearSilver PlateSilverImperial Topaz, Sapphire
24th YearOpal (US), Musical Instruments LavenderTanzanite
25th YearSilverSilverSilver Jewellery (no specific stone)
26th YearPicturesNANA
27th YearSculpturesNANA
28th YearOrchidsLavenderAmethyst, Orchid Tourmaline
29th YearFurnitureNANA
30th YearPearl GreenDiamondPearl, Diamond, Jade
35th Year           Coral, Jade Jade CoralEmerald, Coral, Jade
40th YearRubyRedRuby
45th YearSapphireBlueSapphire, Alexandrite
50th YearGold GoldGold, Imperial Topaz
55th YearEmerald Emerald-GreenAlexandrite, Emerald
60th YearDiamondDiamond-WhiteDiamond

 

Although ivory is the traditional material for a 14th wedding anniversary, it is a poor choice ethically due to the decline of elephant populations. Instead, gifts that feature an elephant theme are an appropriate alternative.

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