Your Gift Guide to Wedding Anniversary Metals

Tradition calls for specific items as suitable gifts for every wedding anniversary.

A smiling woman caresses the face of a man.

The practice of celebrating wedding anniversaries by giving specific items has its roots in medieval Germany. It is believed that certain substances bring some form of luck and so were paired with particular years. However, unlike today’s wedding anniversary gift lists, only the 25th (with silver) and 50th (with gold) years were celebrated.

The practice spread during the Victorian Era, where additional milestones were celebrated. However, it was during only the 20th century in 1937 when the gifts we now know were assigned to their specific year. Spearheaded by the American National Retail Jeweler Association, each year up to the 75th was assigned a special symbolic gift. Signifying the strength and longevity of the marriage, the assigned items increase in value as each year passes.

This article will focus on metal gifts. Use this as your guide when buying for your special loved one. (Note: We’re going for traditional gift recommendations, as modern wedding anniversary gift lists may feature different item suggestions for each year).

A table card with a "Happy Anniversary!" text, and surrounded by coffee, twine, gift box, and macarons.

For the 6th year: Iron

Iron represents the strength or strong bond between the couple. It is abundant in nature and when used in decorative pieces like iron jewelry, or in functional items such as a cast iron, gives off a sturdy and industrial look.

For the 7th year: Copper

Copper represents good fortune, as well as Venus, a.k.a. the Greek goddess of love. Copper is an essential ingredient in the making of rose gold, which is an elegant color and can be nicely paired up with your choice of gemstones.

For the 8th year: Bronze

Bronze represents the strength and durability of a union. For men, bronze cufflinks add sophistication to any formal attire. Ladies, meanwhile, can enjoy a little twist to the bronze motif with bronze eye shadow or bronzer used for contouring.

For the 10th year: Tin

Tin protects other metals from tarnishing, and so it has come to symbolize protection. Tin leaf earrings are excellent gifts for ladies. Add in a matching t-shaped earring display stand to create a lovely gift set. For car enthusiasts, a personalized license plate made from this metal is a great buy.

For the 11th year: Steel

It’s not easy going through life and all its challenges, and couples who have lasted this long will surely agree. The toughness of steel is a good metaphor for the strength it needs to survive trials that partners have faced throughout the years. A stainless steel watch makes for an excellent gift for him and her to celebrate this milestone.

For your 25th year: Silver

To celebrate a quarter of a century together, why not go for a whole new set of silverware? Whether you go for something personal like jewelry, or something to decorate the home with like a sculpture, silver is timeless and will never go out of style.

For your 50th year: Gold

Couples who’ve reached this incredible milestone has stood the test of time and deserves nothing but the best. A gold watch is always a good idea, but if you’re going to go for jewelry, you can choose from yellow gold, white gold, or rose gold.


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