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First Year Anniversary Gift Guide: Gold Jewelry

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Your first anniversary is a truly special time, representing your first year together after making a lifetime commitment. Choosing the perfect first anniversary gift to represent your unique relationship and celebrate this new beginning can be a challenge, but we've created this guide to help you find the right gift for your partner. 

Paper is considered to be the traditional first anniversary gift, representing the blank page of your relationship and your future together. Clocks are also considered to be a more modern first anniversary gift and represent both the past year spent together and the future ahead of you. Gold jewelry is considered to be the first year anniversary gift, making jewelry a perfect gift and a great way to honor anniversary gift traditions while gifting something chic and wearable.

A simple gold necklace can honor first anniversary traditions and make for a fashionable gift.
Find this Necklace
at Blue NIle

The tradition of gifting particular materials as gifts for each year of marriage began in the Victorian Era when love marriages were beginning to become more popular than arranged or political marriages. Although it may seem outrageous in modern times, love marriages were quite controversial with conservatives and older generations during the Victorian Era. It was during this time that first anniversary gift traditions first began to come about in order to add a greater sense of tradition and celebrate these new forms of marriage. Anniversary gifts were exchanged between spouses and given to couples in order to promote good luck and celebrate reaching each milestone, and the first anniversary was especially important to new couples. 

Traditional First Anniversary Gifts


Paper is the traditional first anniversary gift, coming from traditions rooted in the Victorian Era. Paper symbolizes the blank page and journey that you and your spouse are embarking on together and leaves room for creativity to celebrate what makes your relationship so unique. It also symbolizes the delicate nature of your new relationship and the proper care it still needs. 

Paper Clip Blue Nile
A creative twist on the traditional gift of paper is this 14K gold "paper clip" style necklace that can be dressed up or is also perfect for everyday wear.
Find this Ring
at Blue Nile


Clocks are considered to be another modern first anniversary gift, representing both the time you've spent together and all of the years to come. 


According to first year anniversary traditions, the official flower celebrating this milestone in your marriage is the carnation. Carnations are also referred to as clove pink, representing the romance and bliss of your first year of marriage. While a bouquet of carnations would be lovely on its own, there are many opportunities to get creative with carnations to make a unique and long-lasting first anniversary gift. Carnation designs can be incorporated into jewelry, such as pendants or necklaces.

Incorporate the traditional flower carnation with gold in this fantastic floral motif diamond ring for a meaningful first anniversary gift.
Find this Ring
at Angara


While clocks and paper can make for creative and traditional first anniversary gifts, gold jewelry can be the perfect gift if you want to honor first year anniversary gift traditions while gifting something wearable and stylish. Gold is considered to be both the first year anniversary metal and color, whose versatility in any jewelry piece makes it a great way to honor your spouse's personal style. 

This 14K yellow gold "love knot" bolo bracelet can be worn every day to remind your partner of your love and the life you are building together.
Find this Bracelet
at James Allen

Gold has also represented wealth and good fortune since it was first discovered and traded for its stunning shine, representing both material wealth and the wealth of happiness brought into your life during the first year of marriage.

Gold is the most malleable of all metals, representing the flexibility of your marriage at this early stage. While this malleability allows for gold jewelry to be molded into exceptionally intricate and beautiful shapes, it also means you have to take extra care of your jewelry with large percentages of gold. 

The amount of pure gold in a piece is broken down into 24ths called karats. 24k gold is pure gold, while 18k, 14k, and 10k gold have smaller proportions of gold and are mixed with other, often stronger, metals. Although 24k gold is pure gold and comes at the highest price, it is much more malleable and susceptible to wear and tear than other gold alloys. If you are looking for a first anniversary gift suitable for everyday wear, 14k or 18k gold is recommended to make sure your gift is able to stand the test of time.

The 14k gold used to create this twist bangle makes it well-suited for everyday wear.
Find this Bracelet
at Blue Nile

Different Colors of Gold Jewelry

While gold is the traditional color for first wedding anniversaries, there are several different colors of gold jewelry to choose from. The different colors of gold come from different mixes of metals, which are called alloys. Unless it is 24k gold, which is pure gold, all other gold used in jewelry is mixed with other metals in order to give the piece more durability.

Yellow Gold

Yellow gold is the most traditional gold color and describes an alloy of pure gold mixed with varying amounts of silver, copper, and zinc. This makes yellow gold a great option if you want the classic style of gold jewelry but want a jewelry piece that is more durable and suitable for everyday wear. Although its color is closer to pure gold than white or rose gold, yellow gold of the same karat amount will be the same price as white or rose gold with the same proportion of pure gold. 

This paper clip bracelet from James Allen shows off a beautiful yellow gold color.
Find this Bracelet
at James Allen

White Gold

White gold is made of an alloy of pure gold with a mixture of nickel, palladium, and silver. Rhodium plating is then added to make the metal even more shiny and durable, making white gold an excellent choice if you are looking for a durable first anniversary gift or an alternative to platinum. Even though the plating makes the jewelry more durable, it may still need to be re-plated after several years of everyday wear so you can keep your first anniversary gift looking fresh for all of your years together to come.  

White gold beautifully compliments diamonds, as seen in these white gold and diamond earrings from James Allen.
Find these Earrings
at James Allen

Rose Gold

Rose gold is made out of a gold and copper alloy, which is sometimes mixed with other metals to further enhance its romantic pink color. Rose gold often has a lower karat amount than other gold colors, as high percentages of pure gold take away from its lush, pink color. Rose gold was particularly popular in the early 20th century after making its way to the United States from Russia, so it is an excellent choice if you are looking for a vintage-inspired jewelry piece with a rich history.

This rose gold locket from Blue Nile highlights this color's soft, romantic color.
Find this Locket
at Blue Nile

Types of Gold Jewelry for First Anniversary Gifts

Gold is a very versatile metal and can be used to make nearly every possible piece of jewelry. There are endless possibilities if you want to include gold in your first anniversary gift, and here are a few first anniversary gift ideas to get you started. 

Gold Bracelets

Gold can be a beautiful addition to any jewelry collection, adding a touch of elegance to outfits for any occasion. This makes gold bracelets a wonderful first anniversary gift, charmingly complimenting an existing wedding band or engagement ring. Gold bracelets can come in a very wide range of styles, ranging from bold bangle bracelets to delicate gold chain bracelets. 

A delicate gold bracelet will pair beautifully with any outfit or style.
Find this Bracelet
at James Allen

Gold Necklaces

If your spouse prefers a chic piece suitable for everyday wear, a gold necklace can be a wonderful first anniversary gift. A simple gold chain necklace can add a touch of style to any outfit and can be worn both for casual and elegant occasions. Many gold necklaces can also feature a gemstone as a centerpiece, which is an opportunity to customize your first anniversary gift to suit your partner. Some ideas could include a diamond, your spouse's birthstone, or their favorite gemstone. 

This interlocking disk necklace from James Allen makes for a symbolic first anniversary gift.
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at James Allen

Gold Earrings

Gold earrings never go out of style, making them a timeless first anniversary gift. Gold earrings can come in a large assortment of styles you may want to consider. Small gold studs are classy yet casual and can even be stacked if your spouse has multiple ear piercings. Gold hoops can also be an excellent choice if your spouse wants to make a bolder statement with their earrings, an ideal first anniversary gift to celebrate their personality. If you want to add a bit of extra color to your gift with a gemstone, dangle, teardrop, chandelier, or drop earrings can feature whichever gemstone you prefer. 

Gold teardrop earrings, like these from Blue Nile, are a classic choice for gold jewelry.
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at Blue Nile

Gold Rings

Gold stacking rings pair perfectly with engagement rings and wedding bands, making them an ideal first wedding anniversary gift to celebrate your commitment. Gold rings can come in a variety of designs to suit any style, ranging from a simple yet elegant stacking ring to an intricate, gem-bearing design. No matter your spouse's style, gold can commemorate your first year together and add greater meaning to an engagement ring or wedding band. 

This adorable "Mrs." ring from James Allen shows just how malleable gold is and would look great as a right-hand ring or paired with your engagement ring.
Find this Ring
at James Allen

Amanda Butcher

Amanda is a student of geological sciences and environmental studies at Tufts University. She grew up hiking and mountain biking in the Bay Area and continues to explore nature and learn about the beautiful gems and minerals it forms in her free time.

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