Every wedding anniversary is a milestone to be celebrated, and it has become tradition to mark the occasion by presenting your partner with a symbolic gift. For this reason, people often decide to give jewellery featuring the stone or metal for that year. There's a different anniversary stone or metal to represent every year of marriage, and the gifts often increase in value as the years go by, reflecting the lasting happiness of the couple.
In this guide, we'll talk you through the wedding anniversary stones for each year. We'll also explain the meaning behind each gem, along with a few suggestions on how to give each stone as a gift.
1st anniversary: Mother of pearl
Sometimes called nacre, mother of pearl is a smooth, iridescent material found inside seashells. It’s used in all sorts of jewellery, including watches, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces so, if you want to mark your first year of marriage with a mother of pearl accessory, you'll have plenty of options to choose from. Plus, mother of pearl tends to be more affordable than a gemstone, which makes it a great choice during the first year of marriage when you're still likely to be finding your feet.
2nd anniversary: Garnet
Usually bright red in colour, garnets are traditionally given on the second wedding anniversary. The name comes from the Latin 'garanatus', meaning 'seedlike', probably because of the stone's resemblance to the bright red seeds found inside a pomegranate. In Greek mythology, pomegranates were associated with marriage and gifts of love, which makes garnet jewellery an ideal gift for a wedding anniversary.
The bright red colour looks especially beautiful with warm colours, so we'd recommend choosing gold jewellery rather than silver for this gift. While garnets are typically red, they come in a variety of other colours too, so you could also gift your loved one a piece of garnet jewellery in a different shade if red isn't really their thing.
3rd anniversary: Moonstone
Moonstone is a light blue stone that is prized for its pearly opalescent sheen. It’s considered by many to be a feminine stone, with a very ethereal look. The light, almost smoky blue shade looks especially beautiful with silver or platinum metals — you could choose a piece that also features diamonds to make your gift even more special.
4th anniversary: Blue topaz
Blue topaz has a vivid, aquamarine colour and lots of sparkle and fire. it’s often associated with peace, loyalty, and love, which makes it a beautiful and meaningful anniversary gift. The cool blue shade looks best when set in a silver-toned metal, so we'd recommend going for some sterling silver or platinum jewellery. Topaz is also a hardy stone, which makes it a good choice if you want to give a piece that can be worn day in, day out.
5th anniversary: Rose quartz
Rose quartz is a romantic soft pink colour with a cloudy, opaque quality. It's traditionally seen as a stone of the heart, which is why it makes such a great gift to celebrate the fifth year of marriage. Rose quartz has a warm hue, and looks lovely when paired with rose gold metals, so it’s the perfect gift if your partner loves all things pink.
6th anniversary: Amethyst
A member of the quartz family, amethysts range from light to deep purple, with darker transparent stones being the most highly valued. Amethysts look especially beautiful when paired with another contrasting gem in a triple stone ring, or in the centre of a cluster ring. Or, you could gift your partner an amethyst and diamond eternity ring as a symbol of your everlasting love.
7th anniversary: Onyx
Onyx is a smooth, gleaming jet-black stone, often finely marbled with white or grey lines. It has a very sleek, sophisticated feel, and works well when paired with flashier gems like diamonds. The understated colour makes this stone a good choice for cufflinks, especially if you'd like to buy your partner something they can wear every day.
8th anniversary: Tourmaline
The eye-catching tourmaline is one of the most colourful gems, and may have varying shades of yellow, green, pink, red, and even blue within a single stone. Pink tourmaline can look deceptively similar to rubies: in fact, for hundreds of years, one of the stones in the Russian Crown jewels was believed to be a ruby, but it was actually a Burmese tourmaline. And, if they're fit for the monarchy, they must be a worthy anniversary gift for your one and only.
9th anniversary: Lapis lazuli
Lapis lazuli is a metamorphic rock that has been coveted for centuries thanks to its intense royal blue colour. It’s thought that it may have been the first gem ever worn as jewellery in ancient times. Flecked with gold, the stone is often said to resemble a starry sky, and what anniversary gift could be more romantic than that?
10th anniversary: Quartz crystal and green tourmaline
Two stones are traditionally given for the 10th wedding anniversary: quartz crystals, and green tourmalines. Quartz is typically transparent, while green tourmalines — sometimes called 'verdelite' — come in lots of different shades of green, and the darker stones are often said to bear a close resemblance to emeralds. You don't need to choose between the two, however: the clear crystal and green tourmaline look great together, so you could go for a piece of jewellery that includes both.
11th anniversary: Turquoise
Prized for its distinctive vivid blue-green colouring, turquoise has been worn as jewellery for thousands of years and was especially popular with ancient Egyptian Pharaohs and Aztec noblemen. The brighter and purer the blue, the more valuable the stone is considered. It's not just beautiful, either: it's also thought to bring health, happiness, and good luck, so it makes a very meaningful gift for an 11th wedding anniversary.
12th anniversary: Jade
Jade — or jadeite, to give the stone its proper name — is a smooth, opaque stone that ranges from light to dark green in colour. The brightest, greenest stones are called 'imperial jade', and have been considered divine gems in China for thousands of years. A simple string of jade beads can look wonderful, and the gem also looks great set in a golden ring or bracelet.
13th anniversary: Citrine
Citrine is a yellow variety of quartz which takes its name from the French word for 'lemon'. The stone comes in a wide variety of rich, cheerful shades, from golden yellow to a reddish orange. Some sunny citrine jewellery is sure to brighten your 13th anniversary: look out for gems with fancy and designer cuts, as these help to showcase the warm yellow glow of the stone.
14th anniversary: Opal
Precious opals are highly valued for their glittering play-of-colour and iridescence. While the most common variety is a creamy white with colour-changing flecks that catch the light, opals can also be darker in colour. Rare fire opals, which are brown, orange, or red, can look as though a fire is burning within the stone.
15th anniversary: Rhodolite
Rhodolites are a type of garnet. They come in light pink to deep red, and generally have a more pink or purple hue than other types of garnet. The name derives from the Greek word 'rhodon', meaning rose-like, in honour of the gem's pink colouring. The warm shade works well with both silver and gold metals, so you really can't go wrong when choosing a rhodolite anniversary gift.
20th anniversary: Emerald
Emeralds are the most famous green gemstones. They come in a variety of shades of green, and many have a bluish or even yellowy undertone, although stones with an intense, rich green colouring are the most valuable. Emeralds are usually sold in the rectangular 'emerald cut', because the large, flat table helps to shows off the vivid green colouring. They make very eye-catching cocktail rings, and are perfect for celebrating two decades of marriage.
25th anniversary: Tsavorite
Tsavorite is a highly valuable, striking green gem that is found in East-Africa. It has a rich green colouring that closely resembles that of an emerald, although it’s actually part of the garnet family. They also have slightly more sparkle and brilliance than emeralds and look exceptionally beautiful when cut into fancy shapes. They make a truly dazzling anniversary gift, especially when paired with diamonds in an eternity ring.
With their understated lustre, pearls are effortlessly elegant. While they're not technically a gemstone, they're still one of the most prized and sought-after jewellery materials. Pearls are beautifully versatile, and look wonderful in earrings, bracelets, and brooches but, for a milestone like your 30th, it’s got to be a pearl necklace or choker. It doesn't have to be white pearls, either: they come in lots of colours, so you could go for pearls in blush pink, pale golden yellow, or light silvery blue.
40th anniversary: Ruby
Typically a deep, intense shade of red, rubies are part of the corundum mineral species, which also includes emeralds. Fine quality rubies over one carat are exceedingly rare, and larger rubies tend to be very valuable. But, if a huge ruby is out of your price range, you can always celebrate your 40th anniversary with a more delicate piece of jewellery. Rubies also look very striking when paired with a contrasting gem — as part of a triple stone ring, for instance.
50th anniversary: Gold
Half a century of marriage is certainly something to celebrate, and what better way to mark the occasion than with gold? Whether it’s cufflinks, a watch, earrings, a necklace, or a pair of matching bands, gold jewellery is timeless and endlessly versatile, so you’re sure to find an option that your partner will love. We recommend buying the best gold you can afford, preferably 22 carats or more — after all, you don't celebrate your 50th wedding anniversary every day!
60th anniversary: Diamond
The gem for marking your 60th wedding anniversary is the classic diamond. A timeless, iconic gemstone that has been given as a token of love and devotion for centuries, a diamond ring or necklace is perfect for expressing your eternal love for one another — after all, diamonds are forever, and so is your marriage. One gift traditionally given on a 60th wedding anniversary is a diamond eternity band, which signifies everlasting love. Go for one with a platinum band for added dazzle and shine.
65th anniversary: Sapphire
One of the most precious and valuable gemstones, sapphire is a very special gem for a very special anniversary. They're usually (but not always) blue, and the finest sapphires display remarkable sparkle and a brilliant saturation of vivid colour. We love the way they look in a cluster ring: a famous example of this is the Duchess of Cambridge's famous blue sapphire engagement ring. The 65th anniversary is an incredible milestone, so why not go all out with a matching earrings and necklace set?
Here at Est.1897, we stock a very extensive collection of the finest pre-owned jewellery, including rings, necklaces, earrings, and watches, so take a look to discover the perfect anniversary gift today. You can also find more tips for choosing the perfect gift in our knowledge hub and over on our blog.