by Suzanne Sachs • 5 min read
THE BASICS --
An anniversary is a very symbolic and celebratory occasion, and the perfect gift can commemorate such a special date in a meaningful and heartfelt way. Jewelry is an especially popular gift for each anniversary, but what types of vintage jewelry can best match up with the traditional gift choices for each year?
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW--
In this guide, we will explain the following:
- Traditional anniversary gifts by the year
- 1st Anniversary – Paper (Clock)
- 2nd Anniversary – Cotton (China)
- 3rd Anniversary – Leather (Crystal)
- 4th Anniversary – Fruit/Flowers (Appliances)
- 5th Anniversary – Wood (Silverware)
- 6th Anniversary – Iron (Wood)
- 7th Anniversary – Copper (Brass)
- 8th Anniversary – Bronze (Linen/Lace)
- 9th Anniversary – Pottery (Leather)
- 10th Anniversary – Aluminum (Diamond)
- 15th Anniversary – Crystal (Watches)
- 20th Anniversary – China (Platinum)
- 25th Anniversary – Silver
- 30th Anniversary – Pearl
- 40th Anniversary – Ruby
- 45th Anniversary – Sapphire
- 50th Anniversary – Gold
- Which anniversary gift is right for you?
Traditional Anniversary Gift by Year?
In 1922, etiquette expert Emily Post published the first list of suggested anniversary gifts as a guideline for proper and thoughtful gift giving. In 1937, the American National Retail Jeweler Association expanded the list to include more years, and offered jewelry suggestions as options for the most significant milestone years. While these suggestions have continued to be updated through the years, the classic suggestions and more modern alternatives have remained popular gift options to commemorate anniversaries.
The traditional and (modern) anniversary gifts for each year are….
• 1st Anniversary – Paper (Clock)
These may not seem like jewelry selections, but choosing a monogrammed paper to wrap the anniversary gift, vintage ring or a vintage brooch with a watch in the design can be a stunning way to honor the classic gift options.
• 2nd Anniversary – Cotton (China)
A creative gift option for the second anniversary is to opt for a lint-free cotton bag to hold special jewelry and keep it in good condition, or a china jewelry box or jewelry holder can be a great accessory for all one’s jewelry.
• 3rd Anniversary – Leather (Crystal)
A leather travel case to keep jewelry safe or a crystal jewelry holder for an added bit of bling can be great options to celebrate the third wedding anniversary.
• 4th Anniversary – Fruit/Flowers (Appliances)
Fruit and flowers can be stunningly intricate work on a Victorian ring or other vintage jewelry, when such nature motifs were most popular. For a fun twist on the modern gift recommendation, hide the jewelry in an appliance!.
• 5th Anniversary – Wood (Silverware)
A hand-carved or engraved wooden jewelry box can be a lovely anniversary gift to celebrate five wonderful years, or opt for a vintage silver or platinum ring engraved with woodgrain accents, floral motif or a nature motifs that mimic wood.
• 6th Anniversary – Iron (Wood)
Iron is one of the first metals used for ancient wedding rings, and an anniversary gift that incorporates iron as part of a wooden jewelry box or a rustic wedding ring design can be a meaningful and symbolic gift.
• 7th Anniversary – Copper (Brass)
Both copper and brass can be lovely metals incorporated into a blended ring, such as rose gold – which uses copper to give yellow gold its reddish tint. These distinctive metals can be a fun anniversary gift option.
• 8th Anniversary – Bronze (Linen/Lace)
Bronze isn’t often used in modern jewelry, but can be found as an accent in some vintage pieces. Open metalwork such as in Victorian and Edwardian jewelry has a lace-like appearance very meaningful for this anniversary.
• 9th Anniversary – Pottery (Leather)
A unique locket-style ring evokes heritage pottery, or a small decorative pot can be a lovely and unique way to store favorite jewelry pieces. Alternatively, a soft suede or leather bag for storing jewelry can be a nice anniversary gift.
• 10th Anniversary – Aluminum (Diamond)
A silver or platinum ring mimics the look of a traditional aluminum gift but with more longevity and flair, and adding the sparkle of diamonds to the piece honors both the traditional as well as modern gifts for the tenth anniversary.
• 15th Anniversary – Crystal (Watches)
Any colorless gemstone is reminiscent of crystal, especially with a unique cut that highlights stunning facets. A watch or ring studded with gems or diamonds along the face is a great “timeless” gift for this anniversary.
• 20th Anniversary – China (Platinum)
A jewelry holder engraved or painted with the numeric anniversary is a popular gift after 20 years, and platinum accents add a modern touch as well. Better yet, add a piece of platinum jewelry to be the first jewelry in the holder!y.
• 25th Anniversary – Silver
Silver is the classic gift option for such a momentous year, whether you are considering traditional or modern gifts. Silver or white gold jewelry that has the delicate patina of time is a gorgeous choice, and vintage rings are always in fashion even after so many years.
• 30th Anniversary – Pearl
The rich luster of pearls evokes the richness of three decades spent together, and any pearl jewelry is ideal as a gift for this fine anniversary. Rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, chokers, and other pieces are all available showcasing pearls.
• 35th Anniversary – Coral (Jade)
Both coral and jade are stunning and unusual gems, but are often highlighted in vintage pieces. A coral ring or a jade pair of earrings can be a lovely addition to any jewelry collection, especially one that needs more variety after 35 years.
• 40th Anniversary – Ruby
The brilliant, fiery passion of a ruby is the ideal symbol for a love that burns just as brightly after four decades of commitment. Any ruby piece, from vintage rings to lustrous earrings to a stunning pendant, is sure to showcase ongoing love and devotion.
• 45th Anniversary – Sapphire
The elegant blue of a classic sapphire is a time-honored choice for the forty-fifth anniversary, but sapphires of other colors, such as yellow, pink, or even white can be stunning options for a classic gift that still exudes modern flair and personal style.
• 50th Anniversary – Gold
Anniversaries come full circle after fifty years, with the classic gold being the traditional gift choice – just as gold is the most popular choice for engagement rings and wedding bands. What better time for a matching eternity band or anniversary ring?.
Which Anniversary Gift Is Right For You?
Regardless of the anniversary to be celebrated, whether it’s the first, fifth, twenty-fourth, thirty-second, or any other number, the very best gift is one that is thoughtful for the couple and takes into account the individual preferences of the recipient. This could be choosing a favorite gemstone or type of jewelry, regardless of the convention for symbolic stones or gift options, or taking steps to augment existing jewelry with beautiful accessory pieces for even more style.
While it can be nostalgic to adhere to classic gift recommendations, starting one’s own tradition can be even more meaningful and symbolic as the years pass. So long as the gift is a thoughtful and heartfelt one, it will be the perfect gift for any anniversary.
Antique Engagement Rings For Everyone:
No matter which era is your favorite, these time-honored rings have a rich history and individualized character and will continue to have a timeless beauty and elegant appeal that is part of a legacy to pass on to future generations.
Find The Perfect Engagement Ring:
Antique diamond cuts are prized not only for their beauty but also for their exquisite attention to detailing and faceting. If you’re looking for a ring with a sense of glamour, sophistication and vintage charm, explore our collection of promise rings today!