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By Prue Bell

The Ultimate Guide To Anniversary Gifts (By Year)

20 May 2022

The ultimate guide to anniversary gift ideas

The ultimate anniversary gift, sounds intimidating right? It shouldn’t. Anniversaries are about celebrating the joys experienced, the challenges overcome and the bond strengthened between you and your partner as the years pass.  It should be personal yes, intimidating, no.

I distinctly remember my grandparents’ 40th wedding anniversary. I was only a small child, but it was great fun and they had red heart-shaped decorations everywhere – forty years is the ruby anniversary after all.  It was a lovely family event that celebrated love in all its forms. While it was hard for me at about the age of six to comprehend that someone could be married for that long, it was also really wonderful to learn that with each anniversary there was a special theme to celebrate each year.

Now, while some will see these as old-fashioned, quaint, or even perhaps a little clichéd, this is a subjective interpretation of the symbols. They can be used more like a ‘cheat sheet’ or a ‘phone a friend’ for help, in choosing a meaningful, personal and special anniversary gift.

Many of us have heard of the traditional anniversary themes which date back to the middle ages, the ones which include paper for the first anniversary, cotton for the second year, leather for the third etc. These have also been updated to what is known as the modern list and there is also a list for colour, and these can all differ depending on where you read them. All these lists can make it really confusing to know which theme to choose and which to follow if indeed you do year-on-year or even intermittently. Do you stick to traditional or modern or switch between the two?

Ah, these themes were supposed to make life a little easier! Well, thankfully there is one theme list that has stood the test of time, is consistent across many cultures and it is arguably the most special and adaptable of them all – gemstones.

An element of surprise

As you read about the different gemstones and their meanings as to why they are chosen for each year, you will find common elements and principles of what they represent.

Gemstones are perfect to incorporate into the ultimate anniversary gift as they are strong, have their own characteristics and are a durable material that can stand the test of time like the union they symbolise.

While some would say particular gemstones are most associated with love, romance and affection and others with joy, protection and prosperity, it would be sad to say that this is limited to just these gems but rather a thoughtful, personal anniversary gift, is a gesture encompassing all these elements.

Sophisticated fine jewellery is a beautiful anniversary gift as there are a vast array of options including rings, pendants, earrings, and bracelets. All of these are designed as statement pieces and everyday wear giving flexibility for budget and style.

Incorporating tradition with personal style


If your partner loves diamonds or has been lusting after a certain piece, a beautiful way to recognise the years of your partnership could be to purchase diamond jewellery with the carat weight associated to the numbers of years. As an example, for seven years instead of onyx, diamond stud earrings which total 0.70ct would be stunning and very wearable. Or for fourteen years instead of opal, a stackable fine diamond band with fourteen diamonds would be very elegant and work back with other pieces in her collection.


Simple, seductive, and very special, diamond tennis bracelets are an incredible anniversary gift. This classic piece of jewellery is made in a variety of settings, with round or fancy-shaped diamond cuts, it is a beautiful, versatile, and forever elegant piece. A delicate floating diamond pendant set in 18ct white gold is another stunning and wearable piece. For an added touch, match the carat weight to the number of years.

A 0.25ct diamond pendant set in 18ct white gold recognises the 25th wedding anniversary tradition of silver, however, it will not tarnish and can be worn every day as a timeless classic piece of jewellery.

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Thinking outside of the box


The ultimate anniversary guide would not be complete without one of the scarcest, most stunning, and beautiful stones of them all – Australian pink Argyle Diamonds. Mined in the Kimberley region until the end of 2020 and with only 5% of all Argyle diamonds being of gem quality, they are an exceptional way to celebrate a special partnership. Argyle diamonds are often purchased and given as a loose stone, allowing the recipient and their partner to choose together how it is to be set. Sublime in a range of jewellery settings, they make for a truly rare and exceptional anniversary gift.


For those with a distinct romantic sensibility yet would still like to give a gift with a nod to tradition, a stackable ring alternating with diamonds and gemstones such as tourmaline or sapphire compliments most engagement rings and wedding bands. Or a diamond eternity band with the gemstone for that year set inside the band is a subtle and very personal way to celebrate an anniversary and is as unique as the one who wears it.

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Playing with colours and styles


Rubies, sapphires, and emeralds are all striking gemstones. They may share a character or nuance, but each stone is one of a kind, making it an exquisite way to celebrate a momentous occasion such as a wedding anniversary. While they are often associated with royalty, they are a splendid gift as a pair of drop or stud earrings, a dress ring or a pendant. An emerald pendant in a delicate setting with a fine halo of brilliant cut diamonds on a trace link chain is a perfectly elegant anniversary gift for one to wear close to their heart. For those looking to mark a milestone anniversary with a statement piece, there is no doubt a gemstone dress ring in a trilogy or with diamond halo setting will be a stunning gift that celebrates your partnership.


Ole Lynggaard has a striking range celebrating the exceptional beauty of natural gemstones. From lapis lazuli studs, blue topaz lotus rings and turquoise nature bracelets, Ole Lynggaard is an expression of understated luxury. One of our favourites – the Love Link bracelet, a modern charm bracelet, the Love Link is a combination of satinised 18ct yellow gold and 18ct rose gold. It can be added to over time with precious gemstone sweet drop charms or worn alone, adding sophistication to any outfit. The organic style of Ole Lynggaard jewellery is a fabulous keepsake to offer someone very special.

Anniversary and gemstones by year













Custom jewellery design

At Paul Bram, we delight in the art of making custom-made jewellery and it is a joy to be creating these individual pieces for you. The enduring nature of gemstones and diamonds is a shining example to those who also aspire to remain in love for so many years. A hard and durable material that can withstand the test of time just like your relationship, so what better way to celebrate you and your partner’s triumphs and tribulations than a timeless piece of handcrafted fine jewellery?