by Lisa Coen, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®
It's believed that as far back as Medieval Germany, wedding anniversaries were celebrated by husbands and wives. After 25 years of marriage a woman received a silver wreath. After 50 years she'd receive a gold wreath. While we're all wondering how people in Medieval Germany lived long enough to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary, let's review the gift tradition ...
The creation of structured gifting for milestone anniversaries has been credited to the American National Retail Jeweler Association and etiquette expert Emily Post. Though it may vary in some countries, the customary anniversary gifts are: paper for the 1st anniversary, wood for the 5th, tin for the 10th, china for the 20th, silver for the 25th and gold for the 50th--with plenty of other choices for all the years in between. Today, many rely on the "modern list" for anniversary gifts: clocks for the 1st anniversary, china for the 2nd, crystal glassware for the 3rd and so on with silver and gold still representing the 25th and 50th years.
Not only do the traditional and modern gift lists exist for inspiration, but there is a gemstone, flower and color associated with each anniversary year as well. This is exciting news for designers who'd like to branch out into a guaranteed market--similar to birthstones, anniversary gemstones are sure sellers. With these gemstone gift options, designers can create entire lines of anniversary jewelry (or supplement handcrafted designs with finished jewelry) to offer meaningful gemstone anniversary gifts throughout the year.
The widely recognized gemstone and metal list is as follows: