Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts List

Traditional wedding anniversary gifts come from a list of materials or themes that are associated with every year of marriage. Each year may have different themes or materials associated with it. Other popular lists include the the Modern, Gemstone or Flower lists. The idea is so that you can select a gift with a theme or the material mentioned for the year thus aiding you in selecting and giving gifts.

The Traditional Gift List

The traditional wedding anniversary list has developed over the generations into the one shown below. Some of the years have variations in the theme depending upon who has published the list. More history of how the wedding list evolved is available on our Traditional Wedding List History page.

Knight and his Lady with flowers

In Short, it is called the traditional list because it is the oldest gift list in existence. There is evidence that before the modern anniversary list was produced the list was known just as the wedding anniversary gift list.

If you select the anniversary year you are interested in below you’ll be taken to a page with details on the anniversary. What’s more, if you select the material/theme link we’ll give you ideas for gifts relevant to that theme.

Furthermore not every Wedding anniversary has a traditional theme. Some years have no material or theme. Below the 50th these anniversaries will have a theme in the Modern Anniversary List. Above the 50th they have no theme or material.

Traditional Anniversary Gifts List

1st Anniversary giftPaper
2nd Anniversary giftStraw or Cotton
3rd Anniversary gift Leather
4th Anniversary gift Fruit & Flowers or Books
5th Anniversary gift Wood
6th Anniversary gift Candy or Iron
7th Anniversary gift Wool or Copper
8th Anniversary gift Pottery or Bronze
9th Anniversary gift Willow or Pottery
10th Anniversary gift  Tin or Aluminum
11th Anniversary gift Steel
12th Anniversary gift Linen or Silk
13th Anniversary gift Lace
14th Anniversary gift Ivory
15th Anniversary gift Crystal
20th Anniversary gift China
25th Anniversary gift Silver
30th Anniversary gift Pearls
35th Anniversary gift Coral
40th Anniversary gift Ruby
45th Anniversary gift Sapphire
50th Anniversary gift Gold
55th Anniversary gift Emerald
60th Anniversary giftDiamonds
70th Anniversary gift Platinum or Diamond
75th Anniversary gift Diamonds

Anniversary Gift List Variations

We’ve listed the most popular traditional gifts first in the list above. If there are other themes or gift ideas mentioned it’s because we have found references to these in different publications. Certainly there is no one definitive list.

What’s more, there are a few variations with the traditional anniversary gifts list above which we’ve not included. Possibly the largest one being that for the first wedding anniversary. In the United Kingdom and Europe, the 1st anniversary traditionally used to be Cotton with the second year being Paper themed. This has now been reversed to follow the American traditional theme of Paper for the 1st year and Cotton for the 2nd year. We think the reason behind this is down to the world becoming a smaller place with the use of modern technologies.

There are other variations on the traditional and modern gift theme. Again these tend to be local traditions, for example in Germany there is also a tradition to celebrate the Copper Wedding Anniversary which, there, occurs at 12 and a half years or halfway through a Jubilee (which is 25 years.) There is also a Vinyl Anniversary for when you have been married 33⅓ years. If you’ve not guessed already this is based upon the old gramophone records which played at 33⅓ revolutions per minute (rpm)

Important traditional wedding anniversaries

All the important and major anniversaries originate from the traditional anniversary gifts list. Indeed the 25th wedding anniversary and 50th wedding anniversary are the oldest known anniversaries being celebrated with symbols and gift-giving. With the 25th formally being called the Silver Wedding and the 50th called the Golden Wedding. They are often referred to (incorrectly I might add) as the silver anniversary and golden anniversary respectively. These can be traced back to early European history. The Husband would present his with with a silver garland headdress for the 25th Anniversary. For the fiftieth anniversary he would have presented her with a Gold Wreath to mark the occasion.

The Modern Wedding Anniversary Gifts List

The Modern wedding anniversary gift list was first launched in 1946 by the American Jeweler’s Association and has developed into the one shown below. What’s more some of the anniversary years have variations on the theme depending upon who has published the list.

Modern Anniversary Gift List

Anniversary YearModern Gift Theme/Symbol
1st anniversaryClocks
2nd anniversaryChina
3rd anniversaryCrystal or Glass
4th anniversaryElectrical Appliances
5th anniversarySilverware
6th anniversaryWood
7th anniversaryDesk Sets
8th anniversaryLinen or Lace
9th anniversaryLeather
10th anniversaryDiamond Jewelry
11th anniversaryFashion Jewelry
12th anniversaryPearls or Coloured Gems
13th anniversaryTextiles or Furs
14th anniversaryGold Jewelry
15th anniversaryWatches
16th anniversarySilver Holloware
17th anniversaryFurniture
18th anniversaryPorcelain
19th anniversaryBronze
20th anniversaryPlatinum
21st anniversaryBrass or Nickel
22nd anniversaryCopper
23rd anniversarySilver Plate
24th anniversaryMusical Instruments
25th anniversarySilver
26th anniversaryOriginal Pictures
27th anniversarySculpture
28th anniversaryOrchids
29th anniversaryFurniture
30th anniversaryDiamond Jewelry
31st anniversaryTimepieces
32nd anniversaryConveyances
33rd anniversaryAmethyst
34th anniversaryOpal
35th anniversary Jade
36th anniversaryBone China
37th anniversaryAlabaster
38th anniversaryBeryl
39th anniversaryLace
40th anniversary Ruby
41st anniversaryLand
42nd anniversaryImproved Real Estate
43rd anniversaryTravel
44th anniversaryGroceries
45th anniversarySapphire
46th anniversaryOriginal Poetry Tribute
47th anniversaryBooks
48th anniversaryOptical Goods
49th anniversaryLuxuries, any kind
50th anniversaryGold Jewelry
55th anniversaryEmerald
60th anniversaryDiamonds
70th anniversaryPlatinum
75th anniversaryDiamonds

What are the symbols for anniversaries?

As shown above, the traditional and modern gift themes are the symbols used for each anniversary year.

What are the anniversary gifts by year?

We’ve grouped all the anniversary gifts by year below so you can see for each anniversary year not only the traditional and modern gifts but also the appropriate flowers and also the anniversary gemstones that are listed as appropriate for each year.

Anniversary YearGift themesGift Suggestions
1st year Anniversary GiftsPansiesFlowers
ClocksModern
PaperTraditional
Fresh Water PearlGems
2ndStrawTraditional
CosmosFlowers
CottonTraditional
GarnetGems
Rose QuartzGems
ChinaModern
3rdFushsiaFlowers
CrystalModern
LeatherTraditional
GlassModern
CrystalGems
4thFlowersTraditional
BooksTraditional
GeraniumFlowers
AmethystGems
FruitTraditional
TopazGems
Electrical ApplianceModern
5thDaisiesFlowers
TurquoiseGems
SilverwareModern
WoodTraditional
6thCandyTraditional
AmethystGems
WoodModern
IronTraditional
GarnetGems
Calla liliesFlowers
7thWoolTraditional
Desk SetsModern
Lapis LazuliGems
OnyxGems
CopperTraditional
Jack-in-the-pulpitFlowers
8thBronzeTraditional
LaceModern
AventurineGems
LinenModern
PotteryTraditional
ClematisFlowers
Multi-coloured TourmalineGems
9thPotteryTraditional
Tiger EyeGems
WillowTraditional
LeatherModern
Lapis LazuliGems
PoppiesFlowers
10thDiamond JewelryModern
Black OnyxGems
TinTraditional
DaffodilsFlowers
AluminumTraditional
11thSteelTraditional
Fashion JewelryModern
TurquoiseGems
Morning GloriesFlowers
HematiteGems
12thLinenTraditional
PeoniesFlowers
Colour GemsModern
PearlsModern
SilkTraditional
AgateGems
HollyhochFlowers
TextilesModern
FursModern
MalachiteGems
CitrineGems
LaceTraditional
MoonstoneGems
14thJewelryGems
Moss AgateGems
DahliaFlowers
IvoryTraditional
Gold JewelryModern
15thRosesFlowers
CrystalTraditional
WatchesModern
16thSilver HollowareModern
PeridotGems
AquamarineGems
17thAmethystGems
CitrineGems
FurnitureModern
18thPorcelainModern
OpalGems
19thBronzeModern
AquamarineGems
Blue TopazGems
20thBone ChinaModern
PlatinumModern
ChinaTraditional
Day LilyFlowers
21stNickelModern
BrassModern
IoliteGems
22ndSpinel (all Colours)Gems
CopperModern
23rdImperial TopazGems
Silver plateModern
24thMusical InstrumentsModern
TanzaniteGems
25thSterling SilverGems
IrisFlowers
SilverTraditional
SilverModern
26thOriginal PicturesModern
27thSculptureModern
28thOrchidsModern
29thFurnitureModern
30thDiamond JewelryModern
PearlsTraditional
Sweet peaFlowers
31stTimepiecesModern
32ndConveyancesModern
33rdAmethystModern
34thOpalModern
35thJadeModern
CoralTraditional
36thBone ChinaModern
37thAlabasterModern
38thBerylModern
39thLaceModern
40thNasturtiumFlowers
RubyGems
RubyTraditional
RubyModern
41stLandModern
42ndImproved Real EstateModern
43rdTravelModern
44thGroceriesModern
45thSapphireTraditional
SapphireModern
AlexandriteGems
46thOriginal Poetry TributeModern
47thBooksModern
48thOptical GoodsModern
49thLuxuries, any KindModern
50thGoldTraditional
VioletsFlowers
Gold JewelryModern
55th55thTraditional
EmeraldTraditional
EmeraldModern
AlexandriteGems
60thDiamondsGems
DiamondsTraditional
DiamondsModern
65thStar SapphireGems
70thPlatinumModern
PlatinumTraditional
DiamondsTraditional
75thDiamondsModern
DiamondsTraditional
80thPearlsModern
DiamondsModern
85thSapphireModern
DiamondsModern
90thDiamondsModern
EmeraldModern
95thRubyModern
DiamondsModern
100thTen Carat DiamondModern

What’s the most popular anniversary gift?

This does vary by anniversary year. The most popular anniversary gift is often the traditional gift. If the wedding anniversary year does not have a traditional gift then the modern gift would be chosen to select anniversary gift ideas from.

Do wives buy husbands anniversary gifts?

This is something that should be discussed in the early years. A sign of a successful marriage has always been good communication. So understanding each other and when there are gift occasions and when not. For example, we did not tend to buy gifts in our early years choosing to celebrate with meals and days out. When children came along gift giving was more appropriate as priorities shifted to care of children. As they have left home we’ve moved onto joint experience type of gifts.

What are the different anniversary milestones?

Originally there were just the two anniversary milestones; silver at 25 years and golden at 50 years, these being the jubilees that a couple may experience in marriage. This has moved with time and now several anniversaries are considered a marriage milestone, these being:

  • 25th Wedding Anniversary (Silver Wedding)
  • 30th Wedding Anniversary (Pearl Wedding)
  • 40th Wedding Anniversary (Ruby Wedding)
  • 50th Wedding Anniversary (Golden Wedding)
  • 60th Wedding Anniversary (Diamond Wedding)
  • 70th Wedding Anniversary (Platinum Wedding)
  • 75 Wedding Anniversary (Diamond Wedding)

For more information check out our other pages below: