Your anniversary is a special day between you and your best friend, life partner, and other (better?) half. Whatever it is you may call them, your anniversary is your day to celebrate them and your union. Every year together is a milestone and an accomplishment. Some couples go all out with gift-giving. Others frequently forget their anniversary altogether. We get it. We have been there, but this year, let’s do better. In 2022, pull out all the stops and buy your favorite person something truly special. Whether this is your first anniversary or your 50th, the perfect gift is out there, and we are going to find it!
Did you know there are actually traditional gifts for every marriage anniversary? Now, we’ll admit, some of these gifts on the traditional list are a bit dated. Several years ago, someone created the “modern” list to help out. In this gift list, we’ll give you the traditional and modern anniversary gift ideas for each year. Just note, there is a lot of overlap between the two lists, so don’t be surprised if you get a little Deja Vous reading through. Let’s do some shopping!
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Anniversary Gifts By Year
1st Anniversary: Paper
The first year of marriage is the hardest they say, so if you have made it to the end of your first year, kudos to you! Make sure to celebrate your accomplishment. Traditional anniversary gifts should be made of paper on your first wedding anniversary. Paper is a blank slate, symbolizing the clean canvas you have in your young relationship and the endless possibilities of this life you will build together.
Flower: Carnation or Pansies
Gemstone: Mother of Pearl
Now is a great time to do something with those wedding photos. Have a few blown up for your new home, or have a desk calendar made for your significant other, so they can stare at your face all day long. Have your vows or wedding song transcribed and printed to a beautiful piece of art, complete with the date of your wedding day and a sweet note. The options are endless!
The modern equivalent is a clock to represent your endless love and all the time you have left together. Now that you have both gained the first-year fifteen, this is a great chance to snag your spouse that new smartwatch they have been coveting.
2nd Anniversary: Cotton
Flower: Cosmos or Lily of the Valley
Cotton is the traditional wedding anniversary gift for your second year. The interwoven fibers are meant to represent the strength of your interconnectedness as a couple. Traditionally, this would involve new bedsheets or a nice blanket. It still can. A beautiful new blanket embroidered with your initials is a great home decor staple. Other textile options are a hoodie from your favorite sports team, a plush bathrobe, a new hammock (imported from your honeymoon destination), or some new monogrammed throw pillows.
The modern equivalent for year two is china: beautiful, timeless, but also may have some weaknesses like your young relationship. While most people don’t use fancy china very often, that doesn’t mean you can’t invest in those whiskey glasses he has been eyeing or a new coffee bar setup.
3rd Anniversary: Leather
Gemstone: Pearl or Jade
This year you two are a little tougher in the traditional sense. You have seen some stuff now, and you have made it through. Leather is rich, strong, and can bear intense pressure. Think new purses, wallets, or belts. Pick up that fancy pair of boots that are too expensive for a normal Saturday, or pick up a stunning pair of leather armchairs, something you can both enjoy!
The modern option is a bit more fragile-glass or crystal. Wine glasses are great of course, but you could also go with that full-length mirror she has been asking for, replace the grimy shower doors with new fancy ones, or upgrade the windows in your home. Also, a new iPhone has a glass screen, right?
4th Anniversary: Fruit or Flowers
Color: Blue or Green
Gemstone: Blue Topaz
This one seems to go a bit backward to us, but whatever. The fruit or flower is meant to represent your ripened or full-blossomed love. That’s sweet. For a bit of reminiscing, have the florist recreate her wedding bouquet and snag some chocolate-covered strawberries and a bottle of wine. Better yet, head to Lowe’s or Home Depot and peruse the garden center together. Pick out plenty of new gems for your flowerbeds and finally do something with that yard!
The modern option is appliances, and honestly, it seems more useful. Now, we would not advise buying your wife a new dishwasher, unless she has asked for one, but now is a great time to buy the fun stuff. If your spouse loves to bake, hook them up with that giant mixer. If you love coffee, invest in a good coffee bar setup. If your partner is a DIYer, grab that new tool they have been aching for.
5th Anniversary: Wood
Color: Blue or Pink
Gemstone: Blue Sapphire or Pink Tourmaline
Wood reflects the durability of your marriage, able to take a storm and come out on the other side. Now is the time to hire a carpenter and finally get that built-in around the fireplace. It’s time for new bookshelves, to finally buy those shelves for the garage, or hang those barn-style, sliding doors on the bathroom. A new dining table is also a great option. Hang the window boxes, build those raised gardens. Hang the shutters. Fancy the place up. You have just made it to half a decade!
The modern option for the fifth anniversary seems more dated than the traditional in this scenario … silverware. However, the meaning is sweet. It’s meant to represent all the meals you have had together. That’s nice. We’ve got to admit these funny anniversary forks are pretty amusing! Or you can go with the fashion jewelry route on this one and snag a replica of Lady Diana’s gorgeous sapphire ring for your loved one.
6th Anniversary: Candy or Iron
Color: Purple, White, or Turquoise
Flower: Cala Lillies
Gemstone: Amethyst or Turquoise
Iron, we are seriously strong at this point. Candy is meant to remind you of your sweet dating days, and urge you to keep that childlike wonder for each other in the future. These beautifully engraved iron signs are a great idea. You could also have an iron jewelry dish forged and present it with a new piece of amethyst jewelry inside.
The modern option for year 6 is wood. Consider a wooden strap for their Apple Watch, or a new porch swing engraved with your surname and marriage date.
7th Anniversary: Copper and Wool
Color: Onyx or Yellow
Gemstone: Onyx or Yellow Sapphire
Year 7 is really the hardest year of marriage for many. By this point, you know each other pretty well. The new has worn off. Many of you are in the throws of raising families, and it’s hard to find time for each other. The seven-year itch is a real thing. If you’re still going strong at year seven, celebrate big. The traditional gifts of copper and wool are meant to represent the warmth of your mature relationship. The Aran Islands of Ireland are pretty famous for their particularly plush wool. Perhaps you should take your spouse to Ireland to find out for yourself. These self-heated copper coffee mugs are also pretty great.
The modern seven-year anniversary gift is a desk set or stationery. Show your partner that you value their ambition and honor their work ethic with a specialty set that showcases their style. If you really want to wow them, hook them up with a new piece of onyx jewelry or better yet, a new black diamond anniversary band.
8th Anniversary: Pottery or Bronze
Color: Tourmaline or Bronze
Gemstone: Tourmaline or Tanzanite
You made it past the 7-year itch. You’re going strong now at year eight, and your love is represented by the intense strength of bronze. Bronze is a metal alloy, made by the mixing of two separate metals to create one stronger product, just like your marriage. You could also have your child’s shoes bronzed as a sweet memento of the life you have created together.
If you choose to go the pottery route, this is a great chance to take a date night and sign up for a pottery or clay-firing class together. Make something new for your home. Heads up! You might want to consider the pottery option here, as you will see bronze show up again at year 18.
The eighth-anniversary modern option is linens and lace. It’s probably about time for some new bedding!
9th Anniversary: Willow, wicker, or pottery
Color: Purple, Green, or Terracotta
Gemstone: Lapis Lazuli, Amethyst, or Green Spinel
Fill a homemade terracotta vase with poppies, and place it in the middle of your new wicker porch furniture, looking out on your stunning, freshly-planted willow tree. Your marriage is rooted at this point, one year shy of a decade. Your life is strong, beautiful, and well-crafted. Get a gift that shows it.
The modern option for year nine is leather. If you didn’t do leather for the third anniversary, this is your chance. We hear there is a fabulous leather market in Florence, Italy … just saying.
10th Anniversary: Tin or Aluminum
Color: Silver or Blue
Gemstone: Diamond or Blue Sapphire
Tin for ten, how clever! Tin is another one of those strong metal alloys, and you guys are certainly strong if you have made it to the decade mark! Fill a tin vase with the traditional flower, daffodils, which symbolized happiness. Pair it with an update to your wedding bands with these 100% tin his and hers anniversary bands.
The modern gift option for year ten is diamonds! If you have always wanted to surprise your love with a bigger and better diamond engagement ring, now is the time! Conquering a decade of marriage is a big deal, so diamond jewelry is totally appropriate if you can swing it. Diamond necklaces, cuff links, and bracelets are also popular. If your spouse is sentimental towards their original ring, then upgrade the look with a nice diamond anniversary band.
Did you know that there is an active diamond mine in Murphysboro Arkansas? It’s the only one of its kind in the United States. For a unique weekend getaway, head for Arkansas, and you and your partner can spend your special day panning for diamonds together.
11th Anniversary: Steel
Color: Turquoise or yellow
Flower: Morning Glories
Steel is the strongest metal known to man. At this point in your marriage, hopefully, things are going pretty strong. It’s not the most romantic of items for sure, but hey, sometimes practical wins out. Plus, you can get something engraved with the oh so cheesy “I steel love you,” or “you’re steel the one.”
The modern option for year 11 is fashion jewelry, specifically with the gemstone turquoise. Turquoise has been used by shamans and the like for thousands of years for its healing and protective properties. Plus, it’s said to rekindle lost love, so if you’re feeling a bit blah in your relationship, a new turquoise piece might just do the trick. And, if all that turns out to be mumbo jumbo, at least you got pretty jewelry out of it!
12th Anniversary: Silk or Linen
Color: Oyster White
At the twelve-year mark, you may find yourself sinking into the same old routine. Life is consumed with work and raising kiddos… or dogs. It can all get a bit monotonous and you can lose your spark if you’re not careful. Now is a great time to add in some spice! Silk bed sheets are sure to spruce up your bedroom life. Just be careful, these suckers are slippery.
Added perk: at this point, the responsibilities of work, life, and family have probably started to give you a few wrinkles, and silk happens to be fabulous for your skin and hair. Also, it just feels so lux!
The modern option for year 12 is pearls! Pearls are a classic statement piece, and though they are timeless and can seem old-fashioned, many designers out there have given the pearl a serious update! The Tahitian black pearl gets our vote!
13th Anniversary: Lace
Color: Citrine or White
Reminiscent of the wedding dress and the delicate intermingling of your two lives, lace is intricate, yet refined. It adequately represents marriage. It takes a delicate touch and careful handling to keep the exceptional beauty intact. These stunning earrings are an updated twist on lace, and lingerie is always a winner for both parties.
The modern option for year 13 is fur. Nothing adds more comfort and coziness to a home than a fur rug or couch throw. If fur isn’t your thing, then any textile will work!
14th Anniversary: Ivory or animal items
The traditional gift for the 14th anniversary was ivory, but due to the intense cruelty and abuse of the ivory trade, it was later amended to include all animal-related gifts. So you could do something like faux fur, something ivory colored, etc. Or go out on a limb and get your love something that represents your dual best friend, like a pet portrait. We also love these adorable elephant pajamas.
Gold jewelry is the modern option for year 14, and let’s be real … gold is always welcome! It doesn’t have to be crazy expensive either. These custom engraved bar necklaces are sure to win her over, and faux gold works just as well! For him, a custom engraved wristwatch is time-honored, stylish, and useful.
15th Anniversary: Crystal
At this point, 15 years of marriage, your path is crystal clear. Your relationship is multi-faceted, and it’s time to toast your success! Champagne glasses are a no-brainer, but this whiskey decanter set is pretty fantastic too! In the traditional list, this year begins a more expensive gift-giving repertoire. Everything about the fifteenth anniversary is lush! We moved to traditional and expensive red roses as our flower and the incredibly robust (just shy of diamond-strength) ruby as our stone.
The modern gift is the watch! It’s certainly the more practical of the gifts for this year. With easy accessibility, it’s no task to score an amazing timepiece. If you’re a sporty crew, check out the Fitbit Versa 2.
16th Anniversary: Wax
Okay, let’s be honest … this one is a little … wax? I mean, perhaps in Victorian England, a new set of wax candles was the way to a woman’s heart. Well, come to think of it, we still kind of love our candles and Scentsies, don’t we?
Modernity calls for silver hollowware. What the heck is hollowware? Yeah, we had to look it up too. Hollowware is serving ware that is hollow or concave and usually made of silver. Makes sense. Basically, it’s everything for serving except the flatware. Think coffee serving sets, tea jugs, water pitchers, and sugar bowls. Traditionally, these are all those fancy embossed silver sets you used to see in jewelry stores, and likely have now seen at the thrift shop. So, if your love is a hostess, snag her one of these incredible silver serving sets, if not, go for a new jewelry bowl and fill it with wax candies or a new peridot piece!
17th Anniversary: Furniture
Flower: Red carnations
Traditional and Modern Option
This year, the two worlds overlap, with both the traditional and modern list calling for new furniture. Spruce up your living room with a matching set of side chairs, or create a backyard oasis with some new patio furniture! Another great option is to update that old mattress you have been suffering with for years at this point. Your husband(or maybe wife) probably snores by now, so treat both of you with an adjustable bed. Now, with one push of a button, you can sit him up and continue your sleep in peace!
18th Anniversary: Porcelain
Flower: Things start to get shifty here! There’s not really a designated flower for 18 years.
Gemstone: Cat’s Eye
Traditional and Modern Option
Another year where the two lists overlap. (We think the modern list makers were running out of ideas or something.) Porcelain is interesting. In its refined and finished condition, it’s smooth, shiny, and incredibly beautiful. However, it really is just a lump of clay that has been formed and subjected to extremely high temperatures. Perhaps like your relationship, you have walked through some fire together at this stage, and come out more beautiful on the other side.
Consider replacing all your dishware, as it’s likely chipped anyway. Other great options are to take a ceramics class together and create something beautiful for your home, or for the practical amongst you, replace those cold tiles in the master bath with some heated porcelain ones! Your partner will thank you every day that they exit the shower onto a warm heated floor instead of soul-shocking cold.
19th Anniversary: Bronze
Flower: Again, there isn’t a set traditional flower, but many suggest Chrysanthemums, due to their lovely autumnal coloring.
Traditional and Modern Option
They make it easy on you again for the third year in a row. Bronze is your only option. (Yes, bronze was also an option for the 8th anniversary, minus ten points for lack of creativity.) For a super romantic gesture, have the voiceprint of you reciting your vows or your wedding song etched into bronze to remember and memorialize your best day ever!
20th Anniversary: China
For the modern spin, platinum symbolizes the strength of your marriage. Emerald serves as the traditional 20th-anniversary gemstone, green is associated with the milestone, and daylilies are the typical flower because of their strong but playful nature.
Since once again, we are running into a lack of creativity, we say that you ditch the new dishware and celebrate two full decades of marriage in style! Book you and your partner a trip to the ancient land of China. Scope out the great wall, eat traditional foods, and celebrate your union that is also closing in on ancient! Seriously, twenty years, way to go guys!
Platinum is the modern option for the 20th year. A new emerald (or emerald cute diamond) platinum-set ring is sure to impress.
From here, we are going to hop to every five years! Otherwise, this list might go on forever!
25th Anniversary: Silver
Gemstone: Tsavorite Garnet
Traditional Option and Modern Option
Congratulations on reaching your silver anniversary! That is a serious achievement. You have officially spent 1/4 of a century together. Silver has a long-standing tradition as the 25th-anniversary gift. In medieval Germany, it was tradition for the husband to give his wife a laurel wreath of silver leaves to adorn her head for the day.
While your partner won’t likely want a silver wreath, sterling silver jewelry is not only beautiful but durable. Even better, Mexico happens to be the number one silver-producing country in the world. It’s a stunning country full of glorious cenotes, fabulous food, perfect white-sand beaches, and of course, silver markets. Book yourself and your spouse a couple of tickets to sunny Mexico.
30th Anniversary: Pearls
Pearls are the traditional option for the 30th anniversary. They represent purity and rarity, as a perfectly round pearl is rare (just like your love). You can always go with pearl jewelry, of course, but if you’re looking for something even more exotic, head for Japan. Japan is the world’s leading manufacturer of Akoya Pearls. You’re sure to find the perfect one in the bustling markets of Tokyo. Make sure to have a fancy oyster dinner to celebrate as well!
The modern option reverts to year 10 and reuses the diamond. If you were unable to upgrade your wedding set on year ten, perhaps look into a new anniversary band for year 30. You have certainly earned it!
35th Anniversary: Coral
Flower: Anything Coral-Colored
Gemstone: Emerald or Jade
This is the perfect year to hop a flight to Cozumel and finally get that scuba certification. Explore the incredible coral reefs, caves, and bluffs, hand-in-hand! Hawaii is a great option too! If you prefer to go the more traditional route, or travel is not in the forecast this year, there are a great many beautiful red coral jewelry pieces out there.
The modern option is jade. Jade is said to stimulate feelings of love and deepen friendship. While you could go with jewelry, many facial sets also include jade. The smooth green stone is said to stimulate circulation, calm irritated skin, and increase lymphatic drainage. Just don’t tell her you got it for her wrinkles!
40th Anniversary: Ruby
Traditional and Modern Option
It’s all ruby, all around, this year! Rubies are associated with passion and the never-ending flame of your love. They are also said to represent wisdom and power. Your marriage is certainly wise and strong to have made it this long. If ruby jewelry isn’t your thing, go for a nice pair of ruby-red shoes, or add some spice to your home decor with a giant ruby-red sweater throw. If your partner is a wine drinker, surprise them with a year’s subscription of ruby reds!
45th Anniversary: Sapphire
Color: Deep Blue
Flower: Blue Iris
Traditional and Modern Option
This is another one of those years where you don’t have any option. For year 45, it’s sapphire all the way! Sapphire represents sincerity and faithfulness, which you obviously both have a lot of to reach this milestone. You could do any manner of sapphire jewelry, but may we suggest a trip to the Isle of Capri. It just so happens to be surrounded by the darkest blue sapphire waters on the planet, and they’re stunning! Plus, the food is great, and the sunset can’t be beaten. Italy overall is a very romantic anniversary trip, and the Capri is the icing on the cake.
50th Anniversary: Gold
Gemstone: Golden Topaz
Traditional and Modern Option
Oh, we gold status now guys. Fifty years! You have officially lasted half a century. That is nearing the life expectancy of some nations. Major props to you! The traditional gift here dates back to the medieval German period as well, where wives were gifted with golden wreaths, although we can’t imagine many made it this far, given all the plagues running around.
Your spouse is definitely good as gold to have put up with you all these years, so get them something special. By this point, you know them pretty well. Your gift doesn’t have to be precious metal. Get clever. Perhaps he or she would love a new car in a soft golden shade. Maybe they would love a trip to the Gold Coast of Australia, or some fancy new gold flatware. If your spouse is a home decor enthusiast, consider replacing all your hardware and faucets with updated brushed gold.
55th Anniversary: Emerald
Color: Emerald Green
Flower: Calla Lily
Traditional and Modern Option
Fifty-five years is a major accomplishment. The gift for both traditional and modern lists is the emerald. Since we have already covered emeralds in this list a couple of times, we suggest you take your 55th anniversary trip to the “Emerald Isle.” We guarantee you’ll love exploring the ancient history, incredible architecture, and lovely landscapes of Ireland together.
If you want to do something a bit different this year, consider a donation to your favorite “green” NGO. Secure the future of our wilderness landscapes with a donation to an environmental organization like EarthJustice. You could also do a “green” makeover of your home, updating to more efficient appliances, lighting, etc.
60th Anniversary: Diamond
Color: Diamond White
Flower: White Orchids
Traditional and Modern Option
Sixty years is nothing to sneeze at. At this point, it’s safe to say that your marriage is indestructible … hence the diamond. Diamonds, like great marriages, are only created with immense pressure. You have surely endured that pressure at this point and come out sparkling on the other side. At this age, we begin to think of posterity. This is the perfect time to take those diamonds you have gotten over the years and have them repurposed as family heirlooms. Think timeless settings, simple pieces that can be worn by anyone and passed down over the generations.
65th Anniversary: Blue Sapphire
Color: Sky Blue
Gemstone: Blue Spinel
You have been married so long at this point that the list makers have run out of genuine ideas. The traditional option for year 65 is the Blue Sapphire, just like it was 20 years ago. We love these sapphire blue decorated commemorative coffee mugs!
The modern option for year 45 is a castle visit. Since sapphires do often represent royalty, it makes sense. There are plenty of amazing places to visit castles. England, Ireland, and Scotland are all great options. You could visit America’s Castle, Hearst Castle, or consider a virtual castle visit of the royal castles of England if travel is too hard at this stage of the game.
70th Anniversary: Platinum
Gemstone: Smoky Quartz
Traditional and Modern Option
Seventy years is just almost unimaginable. You’re probably nearing your 90s now, at least, and you have spent a huge majority of your lives together. You likely can’t even remember a day without your spouse. You have weathered the storm together, and you have earned platinum status.
These humorous mugs are a clever way to commemorate your success. We also love the idea of putting your wedding date and song on a “platinum record.” It’s a shout-out to your teenage days and a fun way to memorialize your love!
We are going to stop here at 70 because if you make it past this, you’re officially superheroes. We say any anniversary after the year of 70 entitles you to get whatever the heck you want, no rules apply!
Anniversaries are special occasions that deserve to be celebrated. In fact, it’s the only day we celebrate that is a personal achievement. Even your birthday isn’t really a personal accomplishment. Your parents are kind of responsible for that, but your anniversary is all you and your life partner. Each year added to your tally demonstrates your commitment and drive and commemorates your love, so make sure your SO knows how much they mean to you this year and snag them something meaningful.
If you made a pact to stick to the traditional gifts when you got married, we hope you’ll use this list to guide you. If you just found out about all this, and you have been missing out for twenty years, no problem, just hop on the train now!
Do you and your spouse follow traditional anniversary gift-giving? Let us know in the comments!
No matter how long you and your partner have been together, a nice Valentine’s Day Date is a good idea! Check out our list of “Valentine’s Day Date Ideas For Any Type of Couple.” And if you forgot about Valentine’s Day, it’s all good. We have you covered with our list of “Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Gifts That Are Sure To Please!”
Frequently Asked Questions
Each anniversary has a specific theme, color, and gemstone. Some even have traditional flowers! Consult a guide to anniversary gifts by year, and your partner is sure to be impressed by the initiative.
Major milestones in a marriage are often celebrated with traditional anniversary gifts. The 10th anniversary is often marked by something made of tin. The 25th anniversary is silver and the 50th is gold.