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Guide to Modern and Traditional Anniversary Gifts By Year

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Traditional anniversary gifts by year started way back in the medieval period, and up until today, many couples still go with this tradition. You might not be aware of how these traditional gifts came to be, let me share some history with you as well as a list of modern and traditional anniversary gifts organized by year! 

During the Victorian era more and more folks were marrying for love instead of the arranged marriages of the past. Exchanging gifts quickly became a way to show affection and thus a list of gifts appropriate for each year of a relationship was created. The idea originally was that the gifts would increase in value over the years! 

Consequently, the modern gifts interpretations were officially published in 1937 by the American National Retail Jewelers Association. Although many things have changed through the years, one thing will always remain constant and unchanging — these gifts are all about showing love!  

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Lists of Modern and Traditional Anniversary Gifts By Year

Modern and traditional anniversary gifts by year come in different types, materials, gemstones, and colors in connection with the anniversary year’s theme. And to help you come up with the best anniversary gift for the most special person in your life, I’ve listed everything you need to know below. 

Whether you’re a newlywed couple or you’re a loving child looking for a sentimental gift for your parent’s anniversary, I’ve got you covered! 

1st Anniversary Gifts

Traditional Gift: Paper

A gift made of paper is the traditional first-anniversary gift. It’s fragile and can be torn easily, just like a new and vulnerable relationship. But if cherished and taken care of properly, it can last a lifetime. Paper also represents a plain canvas, which is a reminder that you have more blank pages to fill and stories to write together. Anniversary gifts that will speak a lot of these meanings can be a photo album scrapbook, a  paper rose flower, or a personalized portrait.

Modern Gift: Clock

The clock is the modern first-anniversary gift. It represents the first 12-months of your married life and can also be a symbol of your timeless love. 

Gemstone: Gold / Colors: Gold and Yellow

Technically, gold is not a gemstone, but since gold and yellow are the standard first-anniversary colors, it goes well with the anniversary theme. And who says no to gold jewelry? Personalized gold cufflinks and tie bars for him or gold bracelets for her would be the perfect gifts. 

2nd Anniversary Gifts

Traditional Gift: Cotton

Each fiber of cotton symbolizes the life of two people interwoven with one another. It shows how much you’ve grown closer and connected after two years of being together. A pair of personalized His & Her pillows, aprons, or bathrobes are excellent gift choices for your 2nd anniversary. 

Modern Gift: China

China represents the strengths and weaknesses of your relationship. It has unwavering beauty, but it has to be handled with so much care, or it might break.  

Gemstone: Garnet / Color: Red

Garnet is the traditional gemstone for 2nd anniversaries. If you want to give a piece of jewelry to your partner, look for stunning and fiery garnet pieces. You can also consider getting red-colored beddings and ceramic mugs to suit the overall anniversary theme and make your moments together extra special. 

3rd Anniversary Gifts

Traditional Gift: Leather

Leather is durable, strong, and dependable, just like the relationship and commitment you’ve built after three years of being together. Leather offers security and a sense of protection — that no matter what happens, rain or shine, you’ll be there to protect one another. And what could be a better gift than a personalized leather wallet and briefcase for him or a wonderful leather bag for her? 

Modern Gift: Crystal / Glass

This 3rd-anniversary modern gift reminds you to reflect and look at how far you’ve come after three years of being each other’s home. Crystal and glass are fragile, but they will last forever with the right amount of love and care. A personalized 3D engraved crystal photo or couples set wine glass will be a great gift to celebrate this milestone. 

Gemstone: Pearl / Colors: White and Jade

Pearls symbolize wisdom and beauty that glow even more through time. On the other hand, jade represents abundance, and white shows purity. If you are thinking of giving your partner a piece of pearl jewelry, you should take note of this.

4th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional Gifts: Fruit or Flowers

Congratulations on your 4th anniversary! By this time, your love and marriage have fully blossomed and ripened. And what’s better than celebrating this by giving your partner a bunch of gorgeous flowers and ripened sweet fruits? 

Geraniums are highly recommended traditional gifts for this celebration but if you want something that will last for a long time, you can also get your loving wife a handmade preserved flower.  

Modern Gifts: Appliances

After four years of being married, you should have been properly settled down. Adding new appliances to your home to make your married life easier is your next mission. Your fourth anniversary is just the perfect time to accomplish that. To start, you can look for an air fryer, coffee maker, slow cooker, oven toaster, and vacuum cleaner

Gemstone: Blue Topaz / Colors: Blue and Green

Blue Topaz is always known to be associated with deep emotions, love, affection, and romance. A piece of blue topaz jewelry or home decoration can surely put a smile on your dear wife’s face. 

5th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional Gifts: Wood

You’re already in your fifth year of being together, and you have successfully proven that your relationship is as tough as wood, and it’s growing even stronger each day like a tree. Your marriage is now rooted deep and firmly to the ground, and you can now endure whatever ups and downs life may bring.

Following these traditional gifts, some excellent gift ideas are a personalized cutting board, photo prints on a wood pallet, a wooden keepsake box, and a wood photo portrait

Modern Gifts: Silverware

This fifth-anniversary modern gift symbolizes and celebrates all the meals you have shared and will be sharing more in the future. Plus, a beautiful set of silverware also shows how much you make each other shine. 

Gemstone: Sapphire / Colors: Blue, Pink, or Turquoise

Sapphire is one of the most sought after gemstones. If you know that your partner would love to have a piece of sapphire jewelry in her collection, this is the perfect time to get her one. 

6th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional Gifts: Sugar or Iron

Six sweet years of being together! If you are celebrating your 6th anniversary, you have two choices: sugar and iron. Sugar, of course, symbolizes the sweetness of your six-year marriage, while iron represents the toughness and strength of your relationship. 

Some traditional 6th-anniversary gift ideas can be a gift tower of sweets or a breadsticks gift basket for her, and an iron art motorcycle or golf clubs for him

Modern Gifts: Wood

Wood represents strength and resilience, it’s only natural that it’s an all-time favorite gift, be it modern or traditional. You might want to give your partner a wood pen, a personalized wood picture frame, wooden artwork, or a customizable wood trivet

Gemstone: Amethyst / Colors: Purple, White, or Turquoise

Amethyst is known for being a strong stone that protects its wearers from harm. It symbolizes how your relationship provides you warmth and protects you. There’s no doubt that anyone would appreciate a piece of amethyst jewelry.

7th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional Gifts: Copper or Wool

Copper is known for being a great heat conductor. This represents the heat and warmth of your relationship. Wool, on the other hand, symbolizes the comfort and the peace you feel with one another. Your 7th anniversary is all about the great foundation and the home you were able to create through the years. 

A great way to stick to these traditional anniversary gifts is to look for items such as copper picture frames, copper-coated wine glasses, personalized copper penny keychains,  and wool socks. If you are looking for more, you can also try for a copper compass, a wool blanket, and a wool tray.

Modern Gifts: Desk Sets

Nowadays, working from home is essential for almost everyone. And if your partner is one of those who need this desk set , you might as well use this chance to give it to him or her. He/she will truly appreciate your concern for his/her professional well-being.

Gemstone: Onyx / Colors: Yellow or Offwhite

Onyx is often used in carving because of its hardness. This gemstone represents harmony and is known for protecting marriages against difficult trials. A piece of onyx jewelry will also be a good choice to celebrate your marriage’s milestone. 

8th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional Gift: Bronze

Bronze has always been a representation of strength. However, you might not know, bronze only comes to life because of the blending of tin and copper. Tin and copper are not the strongest elements but when combined, they create a resilient and enduring alloy. Bronze symbolizes the wonderful blending of two souls that creates a more powerful being.

To make your 8th anniversary memorable, you can prepare a bronze framed art print, bronze foil soundwave art, and nonstick pots and pans

Modern Gifts: Linen or Lace

Linen and lace don’t look much, but we all know that they are strong and durable. And just like your marriage, it only keeps getting better because both of you are helping and supporting one another. 

Gemstone: Tourmaline / Color: Bronze

This precious gemstone is also known for being tough. As your relationship gets longer it also just keeps getting stronger.

9th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional Gift: Pottery

Just like marriage, pottery starts with just a lump of clay, but after years of building and molding it together, you were able to create something so beautiful and authentic. Traditional gifts for the 9th anniversary include everything ceramics, from mugs to bowls and pots

Modern Gift: Leather

Leather is widely recognized for its versatility and exceptional durability. Just like your marriage that has been tested for nine years, it only gets better through time. Some leather gift ideas are watches, toiletry bags, and journals

Gemstone: Lapis Lazuli / Color: Terracotta 

Lapis Lazuli encourages honesty in marriage. Terracotta is an earthy color that fits pottery, and the 9th-anniversary theme very well. 

10th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional Gifts: Tin or Aluminum

Both of these elements don’t rust, which means that they will stay as they are forever. Tin and aluminum are just like your unwavering love and commitment for one another — they will stay forever. Some gifts that will make this day extra special will be a sweet wallet notecard, a tin rose, and a necklace with a daffodil pendant (since daffodil is the traditional flower of the 10th anniversary theme too). 

Modern Gift: Diamond Jewelry

Diamond is known to be the hardest gemstone, and no matter how many more years will pass, it will remain beautiful and unscratched. After ten years of being together, you were able to create this kind of relationship — firm, concrete, and as beautiful as a diamond.

Gemstone: Diamond / Color: Silver or Blue

You could never go wrong with blue or silver on your 10th wedding anniversary. Plus, a piece of diamond jewelry is a perfect gift for both parties.

11th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional Gift: Steel

Steel in love with your partner after 11 years of marriage? Steel is definitely the traditional gift perfect for couples like you. Exchanging gifts with this theme in mind is a reminder that you’ll stay stronger for one another. 

Steel might not sound fancy, but you’ll be shocked when you realize that steel is just all around us. You’ll have a variety of gift choices such as a stunning pieces of jewelry, cute keychains, and wall decors

Modern Gifts: Fashion Jewelry

Nothing will match diamonds, but a piece of fashion jewelry for your eleven years of being together doesn’t sound so bad either. It can be worn every day and can be your way of reminding them that you’ll always be there for your partner.

Gemstone: Turquoise / Color: Turquoise

Turquoise is believed to be a great lucky charm to attract fortune and chase devils away. This gemstone only promises more beautiful years of marriage ahead.

12th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional Gift: Silk or Linen

Silk and linen are two home decor staples. They symbolize the memories you have created and the bond you have built throughout the years. And aside from being very durable and dependable, silk also represents sexiness — that even after 12 years, you are still passionately in love with one another. 

Some of the best anniversary gift ideas for this occasion are necktie, silk robe, lingerie, and luxurious linen beddings

Modern Gift: Pearl

A real pearl is so rare to find. It’s like finding true love. And for sure, if you are celebrating your 12th anniversary with your partner, you know how lucky you are that you’ve found yours. A piece of beautiful pearl jewelry will make your partner feel how much you appreciate having her in your life. 

Gemstone: Jade / Color: Oyster White

Pearls come from oysters, and that practically explains this anniversary’s color theme. On the other hand, jades are known for being able to attract good fortune and love. 

13th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional Gift: Lace

This year is far from being unlucky. Why would you be when you are here looking forward to celebrating 13 years of a successful marriage? Lace is the traditional gift anniversary for this year. Aside from being elegant and daring, it also represents the delicateness of a steady and flourishing marriage. 

A meaningful gift that goes with this year will be a handmade lace card, a lace bottle wine cover, a scarf with lace, and a print UV paperweight keepsake with the 13th anniversary theme. 

Modern Gifts: Textile or (Faux) Furs

Thirteen years of sharing warmth, comfort, and peace —  just like textile and furs, your commitment to each other gives your soul the tranquility and solace it needs. The best way to celebrate this milestone is by sharing the comfort of a faux fur blanket on a romantic movie night. 

Gemstone: Citrine / Color: White

White is the most natural color for lace. It makes sense that it is the 13th-anniversary theme color.  On the other hand, citrine’s bright yellow color is believed to bring couples more joy and love in their marriage. 

14th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional Gift: Ivory

Fourteen years and still madly in love with each other? How lucky! Ivory symbolizes luck and protection according to Hindu mythology. Ivory comes from elephants, and these animals are known for being majestic creatures with overwhelming loyalty and wisdom. 

This reflects the loyalty and commitment you put into your relationship. When looking for gift ideas with this anniversary theme, opt for elephant-themed gifts such as room centerpieces, tealight holders, figurines, wood coasters, and artworks.

Modern Gift: Gold Jewelry

Gold is not easy to mine. It takes a lot of effort before it becomes a beautiful piece of jewelry, and it’s the same in marriage. You both need to work hard to see the real beauty and value of your relationship. 

Gemstone: Opal / Color: Ivory

Opal is a representation of romantic love — passionate and full of desire.

15th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional Gift: Crystal

Your crystal clear honesty and love for each other made your marriage even more stunning, beautiful, and most of all, powerful. The best gift ideas for this anniversary theme includes a beautiful standing ornament, a stunning bracelet, a fine crystal champagne flute, a crystal ring holder for her, and a crystal pen holder for him.

Modern Gift: Watch

Giving your partner a watch will be a great way of saying that you are thinking about him/her every single moment of the day. It also symbolizes that you value the time that you had together (past), you currently have (present), and you will have (future). 

Gemstone: Ruby / Color: Red

This anniversary’s gemstone and color are known for being a symbol of fierce and passionate love. Rubies come second to diamonds in terms of hardness, a strong representation of your marriage still going strong.

16th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional Gift: Wax

Sweetest 16 years and still counting! You have proven that what you have felt during the early years of your marriage was not just a simple spark! It is a passionate, warm, and genuine flame that never ceases to glow!  

If you’re searching for traditional 16th-anniversary gift ideas, you might want to consider getting romantic LED candles, classic scented candles, or candle warmers

Modern Gift: Silver Holloware

Silver holloware pertains to everything in a table setting except the silverware. Some gift ideas you can consider are teapots, coffee pots, sugar bowls, pitchers, candleholders, butter plates, and food covers

Gemstone: Peridot / Color: Silver or Emerald Green

Peridot is a lovely shade of green. It’s known to be a symbol of eternal love and faithfulness. This gemstone perfectly goes well with the anniversary colors — silver and emerald green. 

17th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional and Modern Gift: Furniture

Furniture brings beauty and comfort to your home. This reflects what you have been doing for each other for the past 17 years, as well. A great furniture gift idea to commemorate this occasion can be a pair of nightstands, a side table, an iron accent table, a lounge swivel barrel chair, and a steel patio bistro set

Gemstone: Carnelian / Color: Yellow

Yellow is just perfect to make your married life brighter and happier. Consider getting the above mentioned furniture with a shade of yellow. This theme color also suits the anniversary’s gemstone. Carnelian is a symbol of endurance and happiness. A piece of carnelian jewelry for your beloved means that you value her happiness in your marriage.

18th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional and Modern Gift: Porcelain

Porcelain holds a fragile beauty that needs to be cherished even more to last forever. You were able to spend 18 years of happy marriage, and this is a reminder that you should continue to take care of your relationship even more for it to last a lifetime. 

Gemstone: Cat’s Eye / Color: Blue

When looking for porcelain pieces, remember to take note of the blue details. Some of these porcelain pieces can be noodle bowls, luncheon plates, sandwich trays, and pitchers. If you want to gift a piece of jewelry instead, choose one with a blue Cat’s Eye stone to match the whole anniversary’s theme. 

19th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional and Modern Gift: Bronze

Bronze is both beautiful and sturdy — the exact definition of your marriage that’s still going strong even after 19 years. The perfect anniversary gifts for this year would be bronze keepsakes such as jewelry boxes, hand-forged metal roses, and compass keychains

Gemstone: Aquamarine / Color: Bronze

Aquamarine is believed to be a protection stone that keeps the bad energy away. At the same time, it is also a symbol of fidelity and hope. 

20th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional Gift: China

China is refined and gorgeous, but it’s also frail and breakable. It must not be taken for granted, or else it will break. Just like the fascinating married life you had for 20 years, you still have to take good care of your relationship if you want it to stay unscathed and beautiful. 

A set of elegant china dinnerware is undoubtedly one of the best gifts you can get to commemorate 20 years of your lives being together. Plus, isn’t it nice that you’ll finally be able to upgrade your kitchenware after how many years? Aside from this, if you have the budget, it would also be great to take the love of your life to China for a romantic getaway. 

Modern Gift: Platinum

Platinum has always been used to celebrate success and victory. Plus, it also symbolizes strength and durability. Some platinum gifts you can give your beloved are personalized keychains, gold/platinum plated ballpoint pens, and tennis bracelets

Gemstone: Emerald / Color: Emerald Green

Emerald is a special gemstone to the Goddess of Love, Venus. It is believed to preserve love so couples can enjoy more years of happy marriage together. 

25th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional and Modern Gift: Sterling Silver

25 years has always been known as the silver anniversary or jubilee. Halfway to the golden celebration, 25 wonderful years of being in love is an exceptional achievement that deserves a valuable present such as Silver. 

Aside from a piece of silver jewelry, other gift ideas you might want to prepare are silver and brass plated picture frames, silver-plated brass wine goblet, silver dipped roses and silver wind chimes.

Gemstone: Silver / Color: Silver

Although silver is not a gemstone, I bet you perfectly understand why it is considered as one for this anniversary theme. And just like a piece of silver jewelry, may the sparks of your marriage last forever!

30th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional Gift: Pearl

Just like pearls, a perfect relationship takes time to grow. It’s rare and difficult to find, but once you have it, you’ll know when it’s real, pure, and genuine. Your 30 years of being each other’s true love are absolutely worth something as beautiful and valuable as pearls. 

But aside from pearl jewelry sets, you can also take a look for more pearl-themed gift ideas such as a metal picture frame plated with pearls, a pearl jewelry box, a stunning pearl home decoration, and a mother of pearl necklace

Modern Gift: Diamond

Diamond’s hardness represents the firmness and durability of your persistent and resilient relationship. A perfectly cut diamond shows the beauty of a brave and consistent love that never fades even after so many years. 

Gemstone: Pearl / Color: Green

Green represents growth, while pearls are timeless. Combine these anniversary themes, and for sure, your love will grow until eternity. 

35th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional Gift: Coral

Corals can be found on the ocean floor. It’s difficult to obtain, but with enough passion and persistence, it’s obtainable, and the price is certainly worth it. It’s not a joke being someone’s constant for 35 years, but if you’re here and you are looking forward to celebrating this special day with your most beloved, congratulations. 

No more questions, you’re one lucky person to find the one meant for you. And what’s more meaningful than celebrating this romantic milestone with a coral-themed gift? Some gift ideas for this celebration are decorative coral stone boxes, coral stone candle holders, coral stone vases, wine glasses, and of course, pieces of coral jewelry.

Modern Gift: Jade

Green jade is meaningful, especially for Asian countries. They believe that this item is a symbol of luck, longevity, and wealth. A jade-inspired gift can mean that you are genuinely cherishing the years you have been together and that you want to let them know how lucky you are to have them in your life. 

Gemstone: Emerald / Color: Coral

While the shades of coral are vibrant and symbolizing warmth, emerald gemstone, on the other hand, represents eternal love. These anniversary themes when combined create a very romantic message — warm and comforting love that lasts forever.

40th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional and Modern Gift: Ruby

40th-anniversary celebrations are also known as Ruby Anniversary. Ruby is famously known for representing passion and love. Forty years of being married, there’s no doubt that you have an immeasurable passion and love for one another.

Some of the ruby-inspired gift ideas you can opt to give to your special someone for this heartwarming milestone are cufflinks for him, a necklace for her, a table clock, a pair of wine glasses, and a fantastic ruby standing ornament

Gemstone: Ruby / Color: Red

This whole anniversary theme is filled with nothing but red to emphasize your amazing 40 years of love. 

45th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional and Modern Gift: Sapphire

Sapphire is all about honesty, openness, and wisdom. Everything that your relationship surely has today as you celebrate your 45 years of being husband and wife.  

Some gift ideas for your 45th anniversary that goes well with this theme include a forever blue rose, a pair of toasting flutes, a gratitude globe, and a lotus flower home decor

Gemstone: Sapphire / Color: Blue

This whole theme is certainly just all about blue because, after 45 years of love, you are now content and peaceful in the married life you were able to build.

50th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional and Modern Gift: Gold

Congratulations! You’ve finally reached your Golden Anniversary! You have been very lucky to spend the 50 years of your life with your dearly beloved! Gold is a representation of abundance, wisdom, and power in your marriage. 

To celebrate half a century of being married, you can consider getting stunning gold couple rings, artificial gold rose, gold plated music box, gold plated double heart figurine, gold plated flower ornament in a vase, and an gift card in a premium gift box.

Gemstone: Gold / Color: Gold

Of course, the golden anniversary is composed of nothing but gold because nothing can compare to it. 

55th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional and Modern Gift: Emerald

You’ve passed your Golden Anniversary, and now on your 55th! You really are lucky in love! Emerald symbolizes true love and faithfulness, just exactly what you need to get this far! Some gift ideas to make your 55th year of marriage memorable include a couple mugs, a pair of wine glasses, a sundial, an anniversary plate, and of course, a piece of emerald jewelry.

Gemstone: Alexandrite / Color: Emerald Green

Alexandrite is known for chasing away bad omens and attracting good luck. A piece of alexandrite jewelry will surely delight your beloved. 

60th Anniversary Gifts

Traditional and Modern Gift: Diamond

Popularly known as Diamond Anniversary, it makes a lot of sense that 60th anniversary’s traditional and modern gift is diamond. If you are here looking for a gift idea for the love of your life, I want to sincerely congratulate you on your exceptional loyalty and love for your partner! You are both lucky for having each other throughout these years. 

To make your most special day shine bright like a diamond, nothing can beat giving your dear beloved a dazzling diamond necklace.

Gemstone: Diamond / Color: Diamond White

Of course, this anniversary’s theme will be all about diamonds. So make sure that you’ll get the best diamond anniversary present for the most special person in your life. 

Found the Best Modern and Traditional Anniversary Gifts By Year You’re Looking For?

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