Buying jewellery for your anniversary

Buying jewellery for your anniversary

Spot a couple gazing adoringly into each other's eyes, clinking glasses and toasting life, and it's a good bet they're celebrating another year spent together.

We're traditionally a sentimental bunch, having felt it significant to celebrate wedding anniversaries since the Middle Ages. Of course the romantic side of us knows that another year together marks a deepening bond and an ever-strengthening love - but if we're being honest, it's also a perfect excuse to shower our significant other with lovingly selected personal gifts.

Exchanging anniversary presents is a tradition that’s observed around the world. And while there are specific gifts for each anniversary that are said to bring luck for years to come, the list of potential presents is limitless. From intricate diamond jewellery to wining and dining, or even the gift of an adrenaline-fuelled experience like a skydive, the present you choose to give on your anniversary depends entirely on what you and your loved one are like as a couple, as well as the interests you share.

If you have an anniversary coming up, we’ve put together this guide to explain all about the romantic tradition and offer tips for how you can celebrate the milestone and treat that special someone in your life.

Anniversaries through the ages

The tradition of celebrating wedding anniversaries is of Germanic origin. As we've mentioned, it dates way back to the Middle Ages. Back then, 25 years of marriage would see a husband present his wife with a silver wreath and after 50 years, a gold wreath. It's from here that silver and golden wedding anniversaries became a reason for great celebration, while others would mostly pass without comment.

By the early 1920s, times had changed and it had become common for other anniversaries to be marked. Since then, a list of symbolic gifts has become the traditionalist's go-to guide for wedding anniversary celebrations. But whatever gifts you exchange on the big day, the message is the same - congratulations on another year of love and joy and here's to many more.

What is each anniversary represented by?

There are some landmark wedding anniversaries that herald bigger celebrations than others - and tradition has it that for each milestone, certain presents should be exchanged by the couple or gifted by family and friends. What's more, the materials of the offering are said to represent the strength and quality of the marriage at that point in time.

You'll hear that paper is traditional for a couple's first wedding anniversary, for example. That's because it symbolises the delicate nature of this new relationship and offers a blank page on which to start their story together. An impressive 10-year marriage is celebrated with the gift of aluminium, while 15 years is signified by crystal.

But what do you buy for a 25th wedding anniversary? Here's where it starts to get extravagant. Silver is gifted to a couple who've been loved up for a quarter of a century. Think jewellery - opt for silver for its radiance and brilliance.

From here, important milestones then include the 40th anniversary (represented by ruby), the 50th 'golden' anniversary (for which gold jewellery is traditionally gifted) and the 60th 'diamond' anniversary. It’s a time for glorious celebration if a couple reaches their 70th wedding anniversary - in fact, this milestone is so special that tradition dictates the very opulent platinum is given as a present.

Modern anniversary gifts and trends

These days, absolutely anything goes when it comes to celebrating the ringing in of another year of wedded bliss. All the emphasis is placed on keeping the love alive with fun twists on traditional gifts and themes. Clocks are a modern first anniversary gift, so get creative and gift a wall clock or a gorgeous gold watch for a new piece of arm candy.

If you're about to celebrate 10 years and want a more modern idea, look to diamond jewellery. Diamonds aren't just a girl's best friend, though - a watch or an anniversary band embellished with diamonds would make a great gift for a deserving husband too.

If you're celebrating a 40th, 50th or 60th anniversary, modern gifts don't stray from tradition, with ruby, gold and diamond taking centre stage. After all, if you're celebrating a lifetime together, can anything other than these sophisticated gems really do it justice? Nowadays, big family parties or once-in-a-lifetime holidays often mark these massive milestones, too.

Choosing the right gift for a wedding anniversary

When you're buying an anniversary present, whether it's for your husband, wife or another couple, you should take a few things into account.

Firstly, ask yourself what are the stones for anniversaries and try to tie this in somehow. But more importantly, you need to consider the characteristics and interests of the person you're buying for - you probably know them better than anyone else. Base your gift on a sport, hobby or other interest like a cooking experience or car racing day. Other ideas might be to whisk your loved one off for a romantic weekend away or perhaps they've been talking about an event they'd like to attend? You could even pick an anniversary present together and enjoy quality time while you're at it.

Nothing declares romance better than a well-chosen piece of jewellery that perfectly matches your other half's personality and taste. At the same time, it can easily tie into wedding anniversary milestones and themes. Win/win. Whether you're looking for a specific gem or jewellery item, browse the H.Samuel range now.