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Anniversary Gemstones: What's Your Stone?

Traditional anniversary gemstones can be a great gift for your loved one on a special anniversary. If you enjoy following traditions, this is a fun one to follow.

You can give gifts that signify the traditional stones for each anniversary even without spending a fortune on a rock.

Here are the traditions behind some of these stones and ways you can incorporate them into your wedding anniversary gift giving.

Gemstone milestones

The main gemstone is listed in the table. Stones in parenthesis are alternative suggestions.

Year Stone
1st Wedding Anniversary Gold (Peridot)
2nd Wedding Anniversary Garnet
3rd Wedding Anniversary Pearl (Jade)
4th Wedding Anniversary Blue Topaz (Blue Zircon)
5th Wedding Anniversary Sapphire (Pink Tourmaline)
6th Wedding Anniversary Amethyst (Turquoise)
7th Wedding Anniversary Onyx (Yellow Sapphire)
8th Wedding Anniversary Tourmaline (Tanzanite
9th Wedding Anniversary Lapis Lazuli (Amethyst)
10th Wedding Anniversary Diamond (Blue Sapphire)
11th Wedding Anniversary Turquoise (Citrine, Yellow Zircon)
12th Wedding Anniversary Jade (Opal)
13th Wedding Anniversary Citrine (Moonstone)
14th Wedding Anniversary Opal (Agate)
15th Wedding Anniversary Ruby (Rhodolite Garnet)
16th Wedding Anniversary Peridot (Red Spinel)
17th Wedding Anniversary Wristwatch (Carnelian)
18th Wedding Anniversary Cat's Eye (Aquamarine)
19th Wedding Anniversary Aquamarine (Almandine Garnet)
20th Wedding Anniversary Emerald (Yellow or Golden Diamond)
21st Wedding Anniversary Iolite
22nd Wedding Anniversary Spinel
23rd Wedding Anniversary Imperial Topaz
24th Wedding Anniversary Tanzanite
25th Wedding Anniversary Silver (Tsavorite)
30th Wedding Anniversary Pearl
35th Wedding Anniversary Emerald
40th Wedding Anniversary Ruby
45th Wedding Anniversary Sapphire
50th Wedding Anniversary Golden (Imperial / Golden Topaz)
55th Wedding Anniversary Alexandrite
60th Wedding Anniversary Diamond
65th Wedding Anniversary Blue Spinel
70th Wedding Anniversary Sapphire (Opal)
75th Wedding Anniversary Diamond
80th Wedding Anniversary Ruby

The tradition of gemstones

Gemstones have been popular gifts for special occasions for centuries. Only since the nineteenth century or so, though, have specific stones been associated with specific wedding anniversaries. The traditional anniversary gemstones actually incorporate precious metals, too. In the Germanic region of Europe during the Middle Ages, women received wreaths of silver when they had been married for twenty-five years and wreaths of gold when they had been married fifty years.

Using this tradition, the Victorians crafted a complex hierarchy of gems matched up to wedding anniversaries. We don't usually follow this list closely now, but it can be fun to get anniversary gift ideas from this list.

Some gemstone lore

The list of gemstones for anniversaries usually goes in a hierarchical order. Later anniversaries use more expensive stones or larger gemstones. The very first anniversary, for instance, is the freshwater pearl. These irregular little pearls are cute and affordable.

Later on, gemstones start to get more complex and beautiful. The tenth anniversary gem is the black onyx. This particular gem is said to protect against injury, and it also is said to have a calming effect. After you've been through ten years of marriage, you certainly deserve such protection and calm!

Of course, the queen of all gems has always been the diamond. This multi-faceted beauty is strong enough to stand the test of time. This is why it's associated with the sixtieth anniversary as a general rule. It can also be used for the tenth anniversary instead of onyx.

For the twentieth anniversary, the emerald is the traditional gemstone. During Victorian times, this stone was also used for engagement rings. It was thought to symbolize fidelity and to lose its colour if either lover was unfaithful.

Of course, this is all just traditional wedding anniversary gemstone lore. You can always create your own gemstone based gift and come up with your own story to tie it to your life. For instance, maybe you went to the seaside or took a cruise for your fifth anniversary. You could give a sapphire gift in remembrance of the adventure.

Ideas for using gemstones

Sometimes you get to an anniversary and there just isn't room in the budget for lavish gifts. Other times your partner may not want a large piece of jewelry for every anniversary. If you can't or prefer not to use actual gemstones for your anniversary, you might still draw in the traditional list in a few different ways. Here are some ideas:

  • Take your wife or husband to the Tower of London on a weekend trip to see the crown jewels. Make sure you check out the ones that correspond to your anniversary!
  • Create a handmade anniversary card decorated with stick-on gems in the same colour as our anniversary stone.
  • Use the stone's colour to pick out a gift. For instance, on your fifth anniversary, which is turquoise, buy a turquoise scarf or shirt.

If you really want to go big for a major anniversary, you can do that, too. These gifts will take some planning, but they could be totally worth it. Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Plan a big trip to South Africa to handpick a diamond for a piece of jewellery on your tenth or sixtieth anniversary.
  • Design and make a piece of jewellery on your own by visiting one of the many jewellery workshops around.
  • Have an artisan create a custom sculpture for your bedroom that incorporates your current anniversary gemstone or all the ones to date.

Using gemstones that correspond with your anniversary year can be a romantic way to create a personalised anniversary gift. Anniversary gemstones are just traditions, though, and you don't have to stick to them like glue. Instead, use these anniversary gemstones as a way to craft personal, creative anniversary gifts for your loved ones.

More on wedding anniversaries:

Unique Anniversary Gifts
Creative Anniversary Gifts
Unusual Anniversary Gifts
Anniversary Symbols
Anniversary Gifts By Year
What To Do On Your Wedding Anniversary

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