Anniversary Rings: What to Get (and Why) for Each Year

By Michael Fried

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Whether you’re celebrating your 10th, 20th or just your first anniversary, an anniversary ring can be the perfect way to mark and remember your special milestone.

The right anniversary ring commemorates the time, love and memories shared by you and your partner. It’s a unique memento that’s completely yours — a piece of jewelry that signifies how far you’ve come and what you’ve accomplished together.

Just like buying the right engagement ring, choosing the right anniversary ring for your partner can be a serious challenge.

Below, we’ve covered everything you need to know about shopping for an anniversary ring for your partner (or a matching set for the two of you). We’ll walk you through:

  • When you should consider buying an anniversary ring
  • What type of ring to get for each anniversary year (including minor anniversaries)
  • The best anniversary rings for your silver, pearl, golden and platinum jubilees
  • How to choose the best anniversary ring for your partner
  • The best ways to wear an anniversary ring

We’ve also listed example rings, earrings and other jewelry for every anniversary year to help you choose the best options, regardless of how many years of marriage you’re celebrating.

When Should You Give an Anniversary Ring?

There are no set rules on giving anniversary jewelry, meaning you’re free to gift your partner an anniversary ring or other jewelry whenever you feel like it.

Because giving an anniversary ring after every year of marriage can quickly become impractical, most couples opt to celebrate their major anniversaries with jewelry.

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The most common anniversaries for anniversary rings include your one year anniversary since it’s a major milestone for you as a newlywed couple. Most couples also celebrate their milestone years, such as their fifth, 10th, 15th, 20th and 25th anniversaries.

It’s also common to give anniversary rings in years in which you and your partner have added to your family. If you’ve recently discovered that you’re expecting, or if you’ve just welcomed a new member to your family, it’s completely appropriate to give an anniversary ring.

In general, there are no specific rules on giving anniversary jewelry. If you feel like giving a ring to your partner on your second, third or other “minor” anniversary, feel free. There’s also nothing wrong with only giving anniversary jewelry to celebrate major, milestone anniversaries.

The Best Anniversary Rings by Year

While there are no specific rules for when you should give anniversary jewelry, there are some established traditions regarding what type of jewelry you should give.

Each anniversary is associated with a different type of metal or gemstone, from gold and silver to pearls, sapphires and other gemstones. We’ve listed each anniversary year below, along with the traditional jewelry given out as each year’s anniversary ring.

1st Anniversary: Gold

For your first anniversary, it’s traditional to exchange gold jewelry. Most couples opt for a simple gold stacking ring, or a matching set for him and her.

There’s no customary gemstone for first anniversary jewelry, making this one of the least costly anniversaries to celebrate with jewelry. All in all, giving gold jewelry on your first anniversary is a great way to celebrate how far you’ve come, as well as how much further you can go together.

Recommended: This stunning and affordable Ultra Mini Diamond Pave Stackable Fashion Ring from Blue Nile.

2nd Anniversary: Garnet

While your second, third and fourth anniversaries aren’t considered major anniversaries, each has its own traditional gemstone.

For your second anniversary, it’s customary to give red garnet jewelry. With its deep red color, garnet has an eye-catching, beautiful appearance whether it’s set in a traditional yellow gold or in a white metal.

Recommended: This 14k Yellow Gold Garnet and Diamond Pavé Birthstone Ring from James Allen, or these beautiful Garnet Stud Earrings from Blue Nile.

3rd Anniversary: Pearl

Freshwater Cultured Pearl Drop Pendant

For your third anniversary, it’s traditional to give your partner pearl jewelry. As a fragile material, pearl isn’t something you’ll want to wear every day — instead, it’s better to think of pearl jewelry as a unique option for special occasions.

You can buy both natural and cultured pearls. Both look almost identical, with the same stunning color and natural luminescence, with natural pearls priced slightly higher than cultured pearls. If a pearl ring isn’t your style, it’s also fine to give other pearl jewelry.

Recommended: This beautiful 14k Yellow Gold Freshwater Pearl and Diamond Trio Ring from James Allen, or these classic Sapphire and Freshwater Cultured Pearl Stud Earrings from Blue Nile.

4th Anniversary: Blue Topaz

For your fourth anniversary, the tradition is to give jewelry that features blue topaz. Topaz is one of the more durable materials used in modern jewelry, making your fourth anniversary a perfect one to celebrate if you’re looking for jewelry your partner can wear on any occasion.

Recommended: This stunning 14k White Gold Blue Topaz and Diamond Pavé Birthstone Ring from James Allen, or this Cushion-Cut London Blue Topaz Diamond Halo Cocktail Ring from Blue Nile.

5th Anniversary: Sapphire

The suggested gemstone for your fifth anniversary ring is sapphire. Eye-catching and extremely durable, sapphire historically symbolizes truth and loyalty, making a sapphire ring a perfect way to celebrate your first major wedding anniversary.

Recommended: This incredible 18k White Gold Riviera Pavé Sapphire Eternity from Blue Nile, or this Blue Round Sapphire Solitaire Ring from Leibish.

6th Anniversary: Amethyst

An amethyst ring is a classic anniversary gift for your sixth year of marriage. With its red, purple and blue color profile, amethyst is a unique precious stone that looks particularly attractive when set in yellow gold.

Recommended: This unique and elegant 14k Rose Gold Round Trio Bezel Set Amethyst and Diamond Ring from James Allen, or this timeless 14k White Gold Riviera Pavé Amethyst Ring from Blue Nile.

7th Anniversary: Onyx

Dark, hard and immensely durable, jewelry featuring onyx is a classic seventh anniversary gift for both him and her. Thanks to its dark color profile, onyx jewelry is popular for both men and women, making this a great anniversary for exchanging matching rings.

Recommended: This elegant and timeless 14k White Gold Black Onyx Cushion Cocktail Ring from Blue Nile.

8th Anniversary: Tourmaline

Tourmaline jewelry, and especially tourmaline rings, are a popular gift for your eighth wedding anniversary. Since tourmaline comes in a huge variety of colors, this anniversary is the perfect opportunity to choose something unique that you know your partner will love.

Recommended: This stunning 14k White Gold Pink Tourmaline and Diamond Ring from James Allen, or these 18k White Gold Pink Tourmaline Stud Earrings from Blue Nile.

9th Anniversary: Lapis Lazuli

Lapis lazuli, a cobalt blue gemstone, is the traditional gemstone for ninth anniversary rings and other jewelry. If you can’t find suitable lapis lazuli jewelry (it’s a fairly uncommon gemstone), it’s also okay to substitute amethyst or green spinel.

Recommended: This incredible Cushion-Cut Amethyst and Diamond Halo Ring from Blue Nile or this White Gold Lapis Lazuli Ring from Amazon.

10th Anniversary: Diamond

Congratulations on celebrating 10 years of marriage. For your 10th anniversary, it’s customary to give a diamond anniversary band, which your partner can stack alongside her engagement ring and wedding band.

Recommended: This timeless French Pavé Diamond Eternity Ring from Blue Nile, available in 14k yellow gold, rose gold, white gold or platinum, or this 14k Rose Gold Diamond Anniversary Ring from James Allen.

11th Anniversary: Turquoise

Turquoise Yellow Gold Bezel Earrings

Most impressive when set in sterling silver and other silver metals, turquoise is the traditional gemstone for your 11th anniversary. If your partner prefers yellow to the blue/green color of a turquoise gemstone, it’s also okay to give a yellow beryl ring for this anniversary.

Recommended: This beautiful 14k White Gold Natural Turquoise and White Topaz Halo Button Ring from Blue Nile, or this 14k Yellow Gold Sleeping Beauty Turquoise and Diamond Bezel Set Cocktail Ring from James Allen.

12th Anniversary: Jade

For your 12th wedding anniversary, it’s customary to give a jade ring. Jade looks most stunning when formed into an oval-shaped cabochon, which can be set into a range of different metals. If your partner isn’t a fan of jade, it’s also okay to give a pearl ring, earrings or other jewelry.

Recommended: This stunning 14k Yellow Gold Jade Cabochon and Diamond Ring from James Allen, or this incredible 14k Yellow Gold Jade and Diamond Station Necklace.

13th Anniversary: Citrine

Citrine is the traditional gemstone for 13th anniversary jewelry. With its rich yellow-orange color, this gemstone looks best when set in yellow gold for an extra-warm look, or in sterling silver or other white metals for extra contrast.

Recommended: This warm and beautiful 18k Yellow Gold East-West Oval Citrine and Diamond Ring from James Allen, or this Pear-Shaped Citrine and Pavé Diamond Ring from Blue Nile.

14th Anniversary: Opal

Prized for its play-of-color, or ability to produce flashes of colored light when it’s turned in white light, opal is the traditional gemstone for your 14th wedding anniversary. Opal looks particularly impressive when it’s set in a ring with contrasting or complementary accent stones.

Recommended: This beautiful 18k White Gold Opal and Diamond Halo Ring from Blue Nile, or this 14k Yellow Gold Opal and Diamond Pavé Birthstone Ring from James Allen.

15th Anniversary: Ruby

Throughout the ages, rubies have long represented love and passion, making ruby jewelry an excellent choice for your 15th anniversary. Rubies look fantastic set in yellow gold and silvery metals, particularly alongside other precious gemstones in an anniversary band.

Recommended: These gorgeous Ruby and Diamond Halo Drop Earrings from Leibish, or this sleek and elegant 18k White Gold Riviera Pavé Ruby Eternity Ring from Blue Nile.

16th Anniversary: Peridot

With its unique olive-green color, peridot stands out from other gemstones. A traditional option for your 16th wedding anniversary, this gemstone looks best when set in a white metal ring but can also look fantastic with yellow gold.

Recommended: This unique and eye-catching 18k White Gold Peridot and Diamond Halo Ring from Blue Nile, or this warm and elegant 14k Yellow Gold Peridot and Diamond Pavé Birthstone Ring from James Allen.

17th Anniversary: Amethyst

Amethyst is a traditional gemstone for your 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries, with lavender to deep purple color that looks fantastic when set in yellow or rose gold. One of the world’s most treasured gemstones, amethyst has been used in jewelry since the days of Ancient Greece.

Recommended: This unique and elegant 14k Rose Gold Quadrifoglio Motif Halo Amethyst and Diamond Ring from James Allen, or this timeless 14k White Gold Riviera Pavé Amethyst Ring from Blue Nile.

18th Anniversary: Cat’s Eye

A cat’s eye gemstone — typically chrysoberyl, although other gemstones can also be used — is a traditional gift for your 18th anniversary. Cabochon cut quartz, sapphire, ruby and chrysoberyl all look stunning with this effect, especially when set in a white gold, yellow gold or rose gold ring.

Recommended: This charming Chrysoberyl Cat’s Eye Ring from Amazon.  

19th Anniversary: Aquamarine

With its stunning light blue appearance, aquamarine evokes images of the calm, tropical waters of the ocean. As a traditional 19th anniversary gemstone, aquamarine looks best when set in a white gold or silver colored metal ring.

Recommended: This incredible 14k White Gold Aquamarine and Diamond Floating Halo Ring from James Allen, or this elegant 14k White Gold Riviera Pavé Aquamarine Ring from Blue Nile.

20th Anniversary: Emerald

Petite Emerald Diamond Ring

Your 20th wedding anniversary is a major milestone — one that deserves an equally special and rare gemstone. Emerald is the traditional gemstone for 20th anniversary rings, with a stunning green color that adds style and sophistication to any engagement and wedding ring set.

Recommended: This beautiful 14k White Gold Alternating Diamond and Emerald Ring from Blue Nile, or these stunning 18k White gold Emerald and Diamond Halo Earrings from James Allen.

21st Anniversary: Iolite

With its shifting blue-violet hue, iolite is a stunning gemstone that’s a fantastic choice for a 21st anniversary ring. Quite rare in anniversary rings and other jewelry, iolite is rarely treated, giving it a natural appearance that many people appreciate.

Recommended: These Blue Iolite Earrings in Sterling Silver from Amazon. 

22nd Anniversary: Spinel

To many, spinel is best known as a gemstone that was often passed off as a ruby in European jewelry. Today, spinel — which comes in red, orange, pink, purple, blue and black — is a popular choice for 22nd anniversary rings and other anniversary jewelry.

Recommended: This incredible 18k White Gold Red Spinel and Micropavé Halo Diamond Ring from Blue Nile.

23rd Anniversary: Imperial Topaz

Imperial topaz gemstones range from light yellow to a rich gold, with a warm appearance that’s full of life. A traditional gemstone for your 23rd anniversary, imperial topaz gemstones look just as impressive on contrasting silver as they do on complementary yellow gold.

Recommended: This beautiful Handmade Natural Yellow Imperial Topaz Citrine Bracelet from Amazon.

24th Anniversary: Tanzanite

With its blue/violet color and relatively short history (it wasn’t discovered until the late 1960s), tanzanite is one of the most modern gemstones used in anniversary rings. Stunning when set on a white metal, tanzanite is a traditional gemstone for your 24th anniversary.

Recommended: This timeless 14k White Gold Tanzanite Cushion and Diamond Halo Ring from Blue Nile.

The Best Rings for Jubilees and Other Major Anniversaries

As you begin to move towards your silver, pearl and golden jubilees, anniversary rings change from being a fun, friendly gift into a special symbol of your love, memories and commitment to each other.

Beginning with your 25th anniversary, each jubilee is connected to a different traditional metal or gemstone. We’ve listed each jubilee below, along with other major anniversaries and each one’s traditional type of jewelry.

25th Anniversary: Silver Jubilee

Your first major celebration, your silver jubilee marks 25 years of marriage. As you’d expect from the name, the focus here is on silver. A silver sterling band with your partner’s favorite gemstone can be the perfect gift here, especially if it matches their engagement and wedding rings.

Recommended: Any silver jewelry is a good choice for this anniversary. Blue Nile offers a wide range of sterling silver pieces, from timeless pendants and lockets to bracelets, silver earrings, engravable silver gifts and more.

30th Anniversary: Pearl Jubilee

Pearls are a traditional gemstone for your third and 30th anniversaries, making this date a great time to consider a pearl stacking ring for your partner. Both cultured and natural pearls can look fantastic, particularly when set in yellow or rose gold.

Recommended: This beautiful 14k Yellow Gold Freshwater Pearl and Diamond Trio Ring from James Allen, or these classic Sapphire and Freshwater Cultured Pearl Stud Earrings from Blue Nile.

35th Anniversary: Emerald

Although your 35th anniversary isn’t considered a jubilee, it’s a significant anniversary that can be set apart with the right jewelry. Just like your 20th anniversary, the traditional gemstone for your 35th anniversary is an emerald.

Recommended: This classic 18k White Gold Emerald and Diamond Ring from Blue Nile, or these Emerald and Diamond Hoop Earrings from Leibish.

40th Anniversary: Ruby

The traditional gemstone for your 40th wedding anniversary is another repeat, this time of your 15th. Known as a symbol of passion and love, a yellow gold or silver-colored ruby anniversary ring is a classic 40th anniversary gift that’s sure to impress.

Ruby and Diamond Bracelet

Recommended: These diamond-lined Yellow Gold Earrings with Ruby Center from Brian Gavin, or this Platinum Riviera Pave Ruby and Diamond Ring from Blue Nile.

45th Anniversary: Sapphire

A classic blue sapphire is the traditional choice for your 45th wedding anniversary — your last major anniversary before your golden jubilee. As well as blue, sapphire is available in violet, pink and even white, giving you plenty of options to suit your partner’s tastes.

Recommended: This timeless and elegant Sapphire and Micropavé Diamond Halo Ring from Blue Nile, or this gorgeous Round Blue Sapphire Pendant from Brian Gavin.

50th Anniversary: Golden Jubilee

It’s called your golden jubilee for a reason — this important milestone is the perfect opportunity to commemorate your love with gold jewelry. From yellow gold to rose gold, an anniversary band is the classic option here, especially with inset diamonds and other gemstones.

Recommended: This beautiful 14k Rose Gold Riviera Pavé Diamond Eternity Ring from Blue Nile, or this classic 14k Yellow Gold Seven Stone Diamond Anniversary Ring from James Allen.

55th Anniversary: Alexandrite

A unique variety of chrysoberyl, alexandrite shines a rich green in sunlight but a deep red when observed under the light of a lamp. This stone is the traditional gemstone for your 55th wedding anniversary, with a unique tone that looks fantastic when set in white metals.

Recommended: This stunning 14K White Gold Pear Shape Alexandrite Diamond Pendant from Amazon. 

60th Anniversary: Diamond

60 years on from your wedding, this major anniversary is the perfect time to commemorate your love with a diamond anniversary ring. Like your 10th anniversary, feel free to get creative with a ring that complements or contrasts with your partner’s engagement and wedding rings.

Recommended: This elegant Scalloped Pavé Diamond Ring from Blue Nile, available in white gold, yellow gold or platinum, or this classic Five Stone Shared Prong Ring in White Gold from Brian Gavin.

70th Anniversary: Platinum Jubilee

Your 70th anniversary is your platinum jubilee — an important milestone that celebrates 70 years of love and commitment. As you may expect from the name, platinum is the traditional metal for this anniversary, especially in the form of a stackable anniversary band.

Recommended: This classic Platinum Alternating Round and Baguette Diamond Anniversary Ring from James Allen, or this elegant Platinum Riviera Pavé Diamond Ring from Blue Nile.

75th Anniversary: Sapphire Jubilee

Riviera Pave Yellow Sapphire Eternity Ring

While sapphire is the traditional gemstone for your fifth and 45th anniversaries, it’s not until your 75th anniversary that you’ll experience your sapphire jubilee. Since sapphire comes in a variety of colors, this is a great opportunity to buy a special ring that matches your partner’s tastes.

Recommended: This gorgeous 14K White Gold Sapphire Cushion Cable Halo Tennis Bracelet from James Allen, or this amazing 18k White Gold Sapphire and Diamond Halo Ring from Blue Nile.

80th Anniversary: Ruby Jubilee

A very special occasion, your 80th wedding anniversary is your ruby jubilee. Whether set on its own or surrounded by diamonds and other stones, this is the ideal opportunity to commemorate your love for your partner with a ruby anniversary ring.

Recommended: This timeless and elegant Oval Red Ruby and Diamond Ring from Leibish, or this Platinum Ruby and Diamond Nine Stone Anniversary Ring from James Allen.

How to Choose and Wear the Right Anniversary Ring

Choosing an anniversary ring isn’t always an easy process. From picking jewelry that matches your partner’s engagement and wedding rings to checking that they like the gemstone or metal for each engagement year, there are a variety of factors to keep in mind.

First, consider whether you’d prefer a complementary or contrasting ring. A complementary ring will have a design similar to your partner’s engagement and wedding rings, letting them wear it on the same finger as part of a matching set.

A contrasting ring features gemstones or a metal that contrasts with your partner’s engagement and wedding rings. Normally, your partner will wear an anniversary ring on a different finger than their other wedding jewelry.

Second, check that your partner likes the specific metals or gemstones recommended for each anniversary year. This can be as simple as asking your partner about their favorite gemstones, or taking them window shopping for jewelry and observing their comments.

There are no absolute rules when it comes to anniversary rings, meaning you don’t always need to choose the recommended gemstone or metal for each year.

Instead, it’s better to stick with an option that you know your partner will like. If a specific metal or gemstone has sentimental value to you, there’s nothing wrong with choosing it instead of a traditional choice.

Third, consider taking your partner shopping with you. Surprise isn’t always expected with an anniversary ring. By shopping together, you’ll be able to find the best option for the two of you, whether it’s a single anniversary ring for her or a matching set of rings for both of you.

Finally, there’s no “official” way to wear an anniversary ring. Your partner can wear their ring on any finger they like and on either hand — there’s no specific finger for anniversary rings as there is for a wedding band.

Need expert help choosing the right anniversary ring? Send a message to our experts and we’ll get in touch with personalized advice on the best rings for your partner and you.

About the author
Mike learned the diamond business from the ground-up at Leo Schachter Diamonds - one of the world's top diamond manufacturers. He has been recognized as a diamond industry expert by Time, PeopleMoney, The Daily Mirror, NerdWallet, The Times Herald, Yahoo Finance Australia, The Art of Charm, The Washington Diplomat, The Next Web, and more. See more
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