Gemstone Gifts for each Anniversary November 11, 2013 – Posted in: Jewelry Blog

There are some anniversaries which have become part of common language. Silver, golden, and even ruby and diamond anniversaries are probably the obvious ones. It’s probably also not unfair to say that most people understand that there is a different gift for every anniversary. And that it’s not just for the major events. But how many of those “minor event” anniversary gifts do you know? After all, if you intend to buy your spouse gift for a wedding anniversary, it’s nice to make an effort. And nothing says that better than the gift matching the appropriate anniversary.

Well, to confuse things a little, there is more than one type of list. There is the traditional list which includes things like paper, cotton, and China. There is also a flower list, which you have to admit is quite a sweet idea. Finally, for our purposes, there is a gemstone list. Just to confuse things a little more, however, within each type there might be several lists. As is often the case in such circumstances, different organizations compile different lists. We would, however, recommend you choose a single list early on and stick to it.

There are no “official” lists, as such, but some lists do attract more recognition, which makes things a little easier. Each country or region tend to compile their own and, whilst there is a lot of similarities, some years do differ. Our list is the one most common in the US, as compiled by the Chicago Public Library.

The Gemstone List

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the early years must be the ones for less expensive gemstones. After all, in the traditional list, we start with paper, move up through wood and silk, and finally through silver, gold, and diamond. With the gemstone list, it isn’t quite so clear-cut, however. To start with, there isn’t a gemstone gift for every year, once you reach the 15th anniversary. After that point, the list only contains gemstones for every 5th or 10th anniversary after that.

But, at least for the first 10 years, each year does have its own gemstone.

The Early Years

Amethyst Rings 6th Wedding Anniversary Gemstone

In the first 10 years, there are some very well known gemstones and at least one that isn’t quite so recognizable. Starting with mother of pearl, which isn’t actually a gemstone at all, many of these early years have wonderful gemstones associated with them. Moonstone, which was thought of by the ancient Romans to be solidified rays of the moon, might be one of the less familiar. Moonstone, although used for millennia, became extremely popular in the Art Nouveau period. With Art Nouveau’s natural motifs, almost pre-hippy if there can be such a thing, moonstone was ideal for the creators of the time. Although not quite so widely used in jewelry today, it is still a gemstone with slightly ethereal associations.

Amethyst might be a surprise to make an appearance so early on. For a long time, it was a precious stone, rather than semi-precious. New, large deposits saw a status change to semi-precious, but it still such a beautiful stone.

The 10th anniversary is the only one in the entire list which is shared. Both crystal and green tourmaline are acceptable as 10th-anniversary gifts. We still don’t know why this is the case. Both are worthy of their own place, however, tourmaline is also present for the 8th anniversary. For that reason, we’d probably be inclined to go the crystal route for your 10th anniversary.

The one which may be a new name is lapis lazuli. Although in the semi-precious stone list it is, actually, a rock. In fact, both lapis and lazuli mean rock in Latin and Persian, respectively. It’s intense deep blue color makes it extremely popular in carvings and art. The blue pigment ultramarine is made of ground up lapis lazuli, and is the finest blue pigment available.

The full list of Year 1 to Year 10

  1. Mother of Pearl
  2. Garnet
  3. Moonstone
  4. Blue Topaz
  5. Rose Quartz
  6. Amethyst
  7. Onyx
  8. Tourmaline
  9. Lapis Lazuli
  10. Crystal or Green Tourmaline

Anniversary Years 11 to 15

As we pass the 10 year mark, we get into some seriously wonderful gemstones.

Turquoise, one of the most stunning of all gemstones, gets its name from the country of Turkey. It is from here that the stone arrived in France, where the translation of “Turkish” is turquois. Possibly the oldest gemstone that is known to man, it is said to bring strength to the wearer and soothes troubles upon touching.

Jade is not an especially valuable gemstone, but it is important to probably more cultures than any other. In New Zealand, where the name greenstone is used, pieces are passed own through generations. With each passing, they are said to gain more power. It is common for visitors to the South Island to be given a small fragment of jade for good luck.

Another unusual gemstone is rhodolite. The name itself is actually an accepted trade name for rose-pink garnet. The stone itself can actually occur in many shades of red or purple,  but never with the deep red of a garnet.

The full list of years 11 to 15

  1. Turquoise
  2. Jade
  3. Citrine
  4. Opal
  5. Rhodolite

20 Years And Upwards

Sapphire Rings 65th Wedding Anniversary Gemstone

By now, the list only covers off every 5th or 10th milestone year.

Emerald might seem a little early in the list, at the 20th anniversary, but this is a very exclusive range of gemstones. Unusual in that it only occurs in either shades of green or colorless, emerald has been around for a long time. The oldest emeralds known, come from South Africa, and are up to 3 billion years old. It was revered by ancient Egyptians as bringing fertility and rebirth, and Cleopatra was a passionate devotee.

At 25, tsavorite is another less well-known gemstone, and is actually a type of garnet. Only known since around 1970, the stone has struggled to make an impact, despite its rich green color. In fact, tsavorite stones over 2 carats in size are very much rarer than emeralds, and yet attract just 1/10th of the price. This makes tsavorite an excellent buy at any time, but especially for a special anniversary.

Pearl is used to celebrate a 30th anniversary. If you plan to give a gift of pearl, do try and find natural pearls. Although cultured pearls can look as beautiful, there’s just something special about a natural, saltwater pearl.

Ruby weddings are wonderful milestones. So why not celebrate it with probably the most beautiful and striking of all gemstones? The color of the heart, with the eternal symbolism of passion, rubies deserve their place on the list at such a high number

For a 50th anniversary, the gemstone list actually follows the traditional list and uses gold. Not a gemstone, obviously, but a long time symbol of success and prosperity.

The 60th anniversary brings us diamond. You start with a diamond engagement ring, so why not mark 60 years with something similar. A diamond may well be forever, but there’s no harm giving one twice.

The last anniversary in the list is the 65th, marked by sapphire. Quite why sapphire got to be the end of the list is a puzzle, as one can’t imagine such a precious stone ever being an afterthought.

20 – 65 in full

  • 20. Emerald
  • 25.Tsavorite
  • 30. Pearl
  • 40. Ruby
  • 50. Gold
  • 60. Diamond
  • 65. Sapphire

Knowledge Is Power

So, now you have the full list of gemstones for marking your anniversaries. You can give flowers, if you like, but we can’t help thinking points might be added to your tally for a wonderful ruby necklace or diamond ring. Of course, after 40 or 50 years of marriage, it may also be that you have a little catching up to do!