Milestone Anniversary Jewelry and Gemstone Gift Buying Guide (Traditional and Modern Gifts)
14 Minute Read
Knowing what to get for an anniversary can be tough. Jewelry is always a lasting, thoughtful, and sentimental way to commemorate an anniversary. We can help you wade through all the choices you face when shopping online and provide you with anniversary jewelry gift ideas so you can find the ideal piece.
Do you go classic or opt for something a bit more modern? How much do you have to spend? All of these are great questions and can help you to figure out what is the best gift for your anniversary. The first thing to decide on when shopping for an anniversary gift is whether you want to give your partner a piece of jewelry that is more for every day or a special occasion piece. In addition, if you have a bit of time before you choose a piece, pay attention to what styles or colors of metal that your partner wears. If they do not wear a lot of jewelry on a daily basis, it may be a better idea to find something that is geared more towards a special occasion piece. If they like to mix accessories from day to day, you can look at pieces that will incorporate well into their everyday wardrobe like a necklace or a stacking ring.
As for what is appropriate to spend, it is not necessary to break the bank when looking for an anniversary gift. It is typical to put a bit more into the milestone anniversary jewelry but how much you spend is entirely up to you. There are great gifts in a wide range of budgets so you can find the perfect choice to celebrate the special moment.
Here is our guide to the best anniversary jewelry gift ideas:
What are Milestone Anniversaries?
A milestone anniversary typically refers to the "big" anniversary dates like the 1st, 5th, 15th, 20th, etc. They are often extra special and gift guides typically reserve the finer jewelry items for these dates. Many couples try to follow the "traditional" or "modern" anniversary gift guides but did you know that there is also a gemstone or jewelry item associated with each date as well? It can come in especially handy when you just can't figure out how to gift your significant other something tin (the traditional gift for the 10th anniversary). From gold to diamonds, to emeralds, there are plenty of beautiful milestone anniversary jewelry options that will be sure to delight your partner and commemorate a very special milestone.
1st Anniversary: Gold
The modern gemstone or jewelry piece for the first anniversary is gold. However, if you are looking for a clever way to combine it with the "traditional" gift, paper, consider the popular "paperclip" design trend that is popping up all over in jewelry. You will find some beautiful options to suit your partner's style and the nod to the traditional gift of paper is especially sweet. James Allen in particular has quite a few options when looking for gold paperclip jewelry. This necklace below is 18 inches in length and has daintier links to keep the look feminine and easy to layer with others if she wishes. You can also pair it with a matching bracelet or earrings if you please.
If you prefer something a bit more traditional, though, these petite hoop earrings from Blue Nile are perfect. They are small enough to be worn every day and hollow to keep them lightweight on the ears. These hoops also come in a few extra sizes and all three gold colors so you can pick whichever color suits your partner best. These hoops are available for $250.
5th Anniversary: Sapphire
The gemstone for the fifth anniversary is sapphire. Sapphire has always been a symbol of elegance and the rich blue often gives off a royal feeling. Sapphire is absolutely beautiful on its own but is especially striking when it is paired with a diamond accent. The bright white of the diamond perfectly compliments the dark and moody blues of sapphires. This ring below by Angara is the perfect option for a 5th-anniversary milestone gift. It features 5 blue oval sapphires with diamond accents between each of the large stones. What is nice about this design as well is you can choose between two carat weights and the quality of the sapphire stones to fit any budget. This five-stone sapphire ring has both style and sparkle and is sure to beautifully commemorate an important milestone.
Did you know that sapphire comes in more colors than just blue? Sapphire is available in many colors of the rainbow. So, if your partner isn't keen on the dark blue, or you want a gift that is a tad more subtle, try out these oval sapphire earrings from Angara. The size is perfect for every day without being too overwhelming. This particular pair is shown with a pink sapphire and a diamond halo, but you can choose from a yellow or orange sapphire as well.
10th Anniversary: Diamond
A 10th anniversary is a big deal, and it is only fitting that the diamond is the gemstone for this big milestone. Diamonds are durable with tons of sparkle and a beautiful way to commemorate a marriage. A very popular and meaningful option for an anniversary gift is three-stone diamond jewelry. Three-stone jewelry typically represents the "past, present, and future" of a relationship, so it is perfect for an anniversary. Blue Nile has quite a few options when it comes to three-stone jewelry. This necklace below is from their Premier collection and features 1.5CTW of colorless diamonds set into a platinum chain. It can also be easily worn every day or for a special night out when you are looking for that extra pop of sparkle.
Another sweet representation of the three-stone "past, present, and future" are these diamond trio earrings. Anniversary earring ideas tend to focus on the traditional stud earring. Instead of just doing any typical diamond stud, though, these are a sweet alternative to play up your earring style a bit.
A nice pair of diamond hoop earrings are a classic staple in anyone's jewelry collection. If your partner does not own a pair, this may be one to strongly consider. The best part about a mid-size hoop like this one is that it can be worn for everyday or special occasions. In addition, the "inside-out" or eternity hoop style looks especially sparkly because you get 360 degrees of diamonds. This design also comes in a variety of different carat weights to suit your budget and style preferences.
One more diamond gift idea for your 10-year milestone is a diamond anniversary band. These bands are perfect as a right-hand ring, or for the ring finger when you do not want to wear your full wedding set. They are a classic design and are very popular anniversary gifts. This cushion cut anniversary ring is prong-set in platinum and is also available in a variety of different diamond shapes.
15th Anniversary: Ruby
The gemstone for the 15th anniversary is ruby. Most people do not know that a ruby is actually a very specific color of the sapphire family. The perfect combination of red and pink has been considered precious and revered for generations. Ruby, like sapphire, is reasonably durable and looks beautiful in earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. Ruby also looks particularly beautiful set into rose gold; the rosy tone of the gold perfectly complements the pink undertone of the ruby and is pretty flattering for all skin tones. This 14K rose gold pendant from Angara features a round ruby set into a bezel and surrounded by diamond pave. It also comes in multiple carat weights and ruby qualities depending on your budget.
Though diamonds provide a nice contrast to rubies, you can still make a vibrant statement without them. These round ruby studs are as classic as you can get and add a nice pop of color to whatever you are wearing. They are also customizable in multiple carat weights and metal colors to suit everyone.
If you have been in a relationship for a while and gone through a few anniversaries, there is probably a good chance that your partner has stud earrings. If they do and are happy with them, consider purchasing an earring jacket for the studs. Earring jackets slide easily between the diamond stud and earring to transform the original diamond stud into what looks like a larger, more stylized earring. Jackets are a great way to add a bit of flair to diamond studs, without having to commit to the trend 24-7.
20th Anniversary: Emerald
As years pass on from one anniversary to the next, it only makes sense for the gemstones to get more and more precious as you hit each milestone. The gemstone for a 20th anniversary is the emerald. Emeralds are recognized for their show-stopping green and are a very valuable stone. When shopping for an emerald, it is very common to have some sort of inclusions, or imperfections, in a natural stone; but, you do not have to worry about that taking the beauty away from it. Emeralds tend to be very soft, so if you are worried about the durability of the piece, opt for earrings or a necklace to minimize the impact the piece will receive. These emerald earrings below by Angara are the perfect go-to for any special occasion. The two pear-shaped emeralds are perfectly positioned between a diamond outline to ensure they are the center of attention. These earrings also give a little bit of movement so the gemstones catch the light for an extra touch of interest.
If you are looking for a more subtle way to add emerald into your 20th-anniversary gift, consider this pendant from Blue Nile. This emerald pendant is on the daintier side and perfectly compliments the elegance that emeralds exude. The east-west setting of the emerald and added extra diamond also bring a modern touch to the necklace. The necklace can be worn daily and is at a great price point of under $1,000.
25th Anniversary: Silver
The 25th anniversary year is known as the "silver year", thus making the gift for this milestone silver. Silver has been used for centuries to make jewelry and continues to be a very popular choice. Silver is very durable and easily cleaned; it actually can achieve the highest luster, or shine, out of any of the metals. So, it only makes sense to recommend pieces of jewelry that can really show off what this metal can do. This necklace from Blue Nile is made of Italian sterling silver and has two looks in one. Decorative hollow beads are stationed all around the necklace and cut specifically to catch the light. In addition, the chain is 36 inches in length so it can be worn as a long necklace, or doubled up for a layered look. The necklace also has almost all 5-star reviews for how well it shines and sparkles when worn.
Another beautiful silver option is this pair of sterling silver "love knot" earrings. These earrings are definitely a fan favorite among Blue Nile shoppers and it is easy to see why. The high polish silver creates a sentimental and classic design that will be loved for years. These earrings also have a matching necklace that you can add on if you want to gift them as a set.
It is very common to give a pearl necklace or earrings as an anniversary gift. In the traditional "anniversary gifts by year" list, pearls are listed for the 30th anniversary. However, you don't need to wait that long to gift this jewelry classic. Partners sometimes worry that pearls can feel a bit dated so the necklace above is a great option for a more modernized version of a strand of pearls. The station style is very popular right now and a style like this can be purchased for special occasions or everyday wear.
50th Anniversary: Gold
Last, but not least, is the "golden year", or 50th anniversary. Just like the first anniversary, the 50th is also a very important milestone and gold is perfect as a gift. Gold is by far the most versatile of all the precious metals and is very durable; which is why family heirlooms set into gold can be passed down from generation to generation. Picking a 50th-anniversary gift can be daunting because of the weight of the milestone, but Blue Nile definitely takes the cake for options within all budgets. Our favorite (and a Blue Nile favorite) is the byzantine bracelet in 18k gold. The bracelet is made up of a myriad of different woven polished and matte gold links to create a rich and luxurious look. In addition, the links are hollow to keep the bracelet from getting too heavy and helps keep the price down too.
Gold creates an elegant look all on its own so if you want to stay on the more classic side, you also have plenty of options to consider like this 14K yellow gold woven necklace. This 18in rope style chain has a high polish to catch the light and makes a statement all on its own with its subtle, yet luxurious look. Just like the byzantine bracelet, this necklace is hollow inside to keep the necklace from getting too heavy or expensive.
Stacking rings are a great option to consider if you are looking for a wide range of prices to choose from. They typically gear on the daintier side, with smaller diamonds, which can save you some money. Stacking rings also come in all metal colors and can be used for a variety of purposes. Your partner can choose to wear the ring on its own, with their wedding or engagement ring, or stacked with a few other bands. The stackable ring options are endless and will easily update a look.
Top Spots for Anniversary Gifts
We were pretty impressed with the variety of designs and budgets that Blue Nile has to offer. It sometimes can be difficult to find an online retailer that has fine precious metal jewelry worthy of an anniversary, but they provide a wonderful selection. You can even filter out what sort of jewelry item, be it a necklace, ring, earrings, or a bracelet, or gemstone type to guide you towards what you are looking for. The prices also seem to be fair as well. Gemstones like sapphire, emerald, and ruby can get pricey pretty quickly but Blue Nile lets you shop for jewelry in a variety of different qualities to stay within your budget.
Angara has the most options of online retailers when it comes to shopping for diamonds and gemstones. Each item ordered on Angara is custom-made, so you have some extra flexibility when choosing your metal type and gemstone combination. This especially makes a big difference when shopping for colored gemstones. They have a good, better, best, and heirloom rating system with small descriptions of each category to help you choose the right gemstone for your taste and budget. Add that with the different metal types they offer and you get a completely customized anniversary gift.
It sometimes can be difficult to decide what to get your partner or spouse for your anniversary. Some people follow the traditional anniversary gift guide but it isn't necessary. You can find a sweet and meaningful gift in any budget with these anniversary gift ideas. Though each anniversary is special, the big milestone anniversaries tend to call for some extra special attention. The gemstones, like ruby, emerald, sapphire, and diamond, are chosen for these big milestones not only because of their beauty, but they continue to represent the rarity and beauty that is marriage. There truly is an option for everyone when looking for that perfect milestone gift and companies like Blue Nile and Angara offer some great guidance when deciding what style and quality are best for you. No matter what you choose, it will be a beautiful way to commemorate that love that you and your partner share.
Katy Tezak is a Diamond Graduate from the Gemological Institute of America and a diamond and engagement specialist. She loves educating the consumer about all things diamond and helps them create anything from their dream engagement ring to everyday one of a kind jewelry.
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