As long as humans have been getting married, we’ve been celebrating anniversaries. Each year of marriage is full of joy, new experiences and lasting love. It’s only right to mark this special occasion with a gift for your one and only.
Back in the Victorian Era, an official list of traditional anniversary gifts was compiled. Each traditional gift had a symbolic meaning behind it, meant to signify a particular marriage milestone. Then, in 1937, the American National Retail Jewelers Association published an updated list of modern, jewelry anniversary gifts to accompany (or replace) the traditional gifts.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at the gemstones and precious metals associated with milestone anniversaries. We’ll also share a little bit of history behind these gifts, and give you some ideas for gifts of your own!
Golden Anniversary: 1 Year
Yes, we know that gold isn’t a gemstone, but we still thought it fitting to give a shoutout to the traditional first anniversary gift. After all, gold is just as precious and beautiful as any gem.
The traditional first wedding anniversary gift is paper. While this may seem a little underwhelming, paper was carefully selected to symbolize the delicacy of a young marriage, as well as its endless potential. Paper can be a canvas, but it also must be handled with care–and you could say the same for gold.
Gold jewelry is versatile, offering an effortless way to accessorize and express oneself. It represents classic, eternal beauty. But, it also must be kept safe and treated like the precious gift it is. With its undying glow, we think it’s the perfect choice to symbolize the promise of your first year together as a married couple.
It’s hard to go wrong with anniversary jewelry for your golden year. Minimalist chain necklaces or timeless gold hoop earrings are practically foolproof picks. You can choose from the classic yellow gold, trendy rose gold, or shimmering white gold. If you’re not sure which color to pick, think of what your special someone typically wears. You can even take a peek at their jewelry box if need be.
Pearl Anniversary: 3 Years, 30 Years
A rare treasure, pearls are the only gemstone produced by a living creature. This makes them a truly meaningful gift for your third anniversary.
After three years, you and your spouse have probably been through a few ups and downs together. But life’s challenges have only made your love stronger, and you want to find a gift that will reflect that. Whether cultivated on an oyster farm or plucked from the deep sea, pearls take time to grow into their true beauty.
Interestingly, an oyster must reach three years of age before it’s mature enough to produce a pearl. It seems like the stars aligned to settle on pearls as the perfect third anniversary gift. They’re also the traditional gift for the 30th anniversary, because who can resist more pearls?
For 3rd anniversary jewelry, consider an elegant strand of pearls. These necklaces come in all lengths, so you can pick the style that suits your partner best. If they have a more understated style, a pair of pearl stud earrings or pearl drop earrings are a sweet way to show your love.
Sapphire Anniversary: 5 Years, 75 Years
An old legend says that a sapphire loses its blue color as a person’s affections diminish. So, the gift of a sapphire came to represent a love that was still going strong. Of course, this is just a myth, but the sapphire’s stunning beauty continues to capture hearts to this day.
We may associate the diamond with romance, but believe it or not, sapphires were once an incredibly common stone for engagement rings. These gems represent a love that’s just as true (blue) now as it was on your wedding day. In fact, sapphires are such an iconic symbol of love that they are both the traditional and the modern anniversary gift for two different anniversaries: the 5th and the 75th.
Whether you’re searching for 75 year or 5 year anniversary jewelry, show your soulmate how much they mean to you with a striking sapphire pendant. This is a classic statement piece, perfect to flaunt on a date night. Surprise her with an eye-catching new necklace and take her out on the town to say ‘cheers’ to five years!
Diamond Anniversary: 10 Years, 60 Years
Whether you’re celebrating 10 years or 60 years together, what better way to celebrate than with the most iconic gemstone of them all? A decade of marriage is a significant feat, and sixty years of marriage is truly something to be proud of.
When it comes to giving diamond anniversary jewelry, you have plenty of stunning, sparkling options to choose from. If your love doesn’t already have a diamond tennis bracelet or a pair of diamond stud earrings, it’s definitely time to get some. These versatile classics will make anyone feel like royalty.
But you don’t have to buy brand new jewelry to make this anniversary special. Another way to show your love and commitment is with a diamond upgrade. After ten (or sixty) years of marriage, it might be time to swap out the center stone in her original engagement ring for a bigger one.
Luckily, lots of jewelry stores offer diamond trade-in and trade-up programs, including Bradley Gough Diamonds in Fort Wayne, Indiana. You can bring in a diamond previously purchased at that jewelry store and receive that diamond’s value back in store credit, which you can then put toward the cost of a bigger diamond.
Ruby Anniversary: 15 Years, 40 Years
Red rubies have long served as a symbol of passion and devotion. Found in a whole spectrum of vibrant reds, rubies evoke all kinds of romantic imagery, and are a common Valentine’s Day gift. They also make a stunning anniversary stone for the 15th and 40th years of your marriage.
The traditional 15th anniversary gift was crystal, meant to symbolize not only the clarity you gain throughout your marriage, but its lasting beauty as well. Rubies make an ideal modern counterpart to crystal gifts, with the same timeless elegance and shine.
For your ruby anniversary jewelry, consider ruby drop earrings. Unlike swaying dangle earrings, drop earrings are designed to stay relatively still, giving them a refined, delicate style. If your spouse isn’t big on earrings, durable rubies are an excellent gem for statement rings. Not only do these vivid gems command attention, but they can stand up well to everyday wear-and-tear. Ranking at a 9 (out of 10) on the Mohs hardness scale, rubies are safe to sport on the hands.
Sweet and sentimental, giving a ruby is like giving a little piece of your heart. In the 1800s, French jewelers began referring to rubies as the ‘dearly loved stone.’ What a perfect gift for your own dearly beloved.
Emerald Anniversary: 20 Years
By your 20th anniversary, it’s safe to say that you’ve found your soulmate. You’ve taken on two decades together. You’ve shared plenty of beautiful moments, grown together, taken on life’s challenges and come out stronger. Whether you share a home and a family or simply support one another, you’ve accomplished something special. It’s time to celebrate with the gorgeous green emerald!
The traditional 20th anniversary gift of fine china or porcelain represents the careful attention and communication necessary to maintain a relationship for two decades. The modern emerald perfectly complements this traditional gift. Associated with truth and loyalty, emeralds symbolize two of the most important elements of a healthy marriage.
When it comes to selecting 20 year anniversary jewelry, you’re spoiled for choice. Emeralds stun no matter how you wear them. But of course, we always love an emerald eternity band, which features gems studded all the way around the ring. Some eternity bands are all emeralds, while others create contrast by including sparkling diamonds in the mix. A perfect circle of shimmering stones, the eternity band lets her know that your love is forever.
Find Anniversary Gemstones for Every Year at Bradley Gough Diamonds in Fort Wayne, Indiana
Anniversaries are a time to press pause on our busy lives and cherish the things that truly matter. You deserve a jeweler that will work with you to make this occasion as special as possible.
At Bradley Gough Diamonds, we offer a wide selection of diamond and gemstone jewelry to mark any anniversary. Visit us with a gift in mind, or let our experts help you find one. We believe that whether you’re commemorating year one or year sixty, love is always worth celebrating.