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The historic origins of wedding anniversaries date back to the Holy Roman Empire, when husbands crowned their wives with a silver wreath on their twenty-fifth anniversary, and a gold wreath on the fiftieth. Later, principally in the twentieth century, commercialism led to the addition of more anniversaries being represented by a named gift. In the Commonwealth realms, one can receive a message from the monarch for 60th, 65th, and 70th wedding anniversaries, and any wedding anniversary after that. (Wikipedia) 

In the 1920s, Emily Post, an American author, published a book titled “Etiquette”. The book made a list of commemorative topics and what gifts to give for the anniversary. However, only a handful of Anniversary Years were included in the book, the first, the fifth, then the fifth every year until the 25th wedding anniversary.

In 1937, the National Association of Retail Jewelers of the United States has added additional years to the list, including all years up to 14 years of marriage and every 5th year up to 50 years of marriage. These are known as traditional themes associated with each year. More recently, a contemporary list was created, and today all anniversary years 1 to 30 are associated with a theme or document, and then every five years thereafter up to 75 years of marriage. 

Each of the themes has been chosen for a special reason and represents the various stages that you pass through in your marriage.. Let’s share the actual list of wedding anniversary themes by year. This is the list that most people consider to be traditional, and we’ve decided to compile a list that encompasses both UK and US traditions.

Traditional List of Anniversary Gift Themes by Year

Year 1 – Paper

Year 2 – Cotton

Year 3 – Leather

Year 4 – Linen/ Silk

Year 5 – Wood

Year 6 – Iron

Year 7 – Copper/ Wool

Year 8 – Bronze

Year 9 – Pottery/ China

Year 10 – Tin/ Aluminum

Year 11 – Steel

Year 12 – Silk/ Fine linen

Year 13 – Lace

Year 14 – Ivory

Year 15 – China/ Crystal

Year 20 – China

Year 25 – Silver

Year 30 – Pearl

Year 35 – Coral

Year 40 – Ruby

Year 45 – Sapphire

Year 50 – Gold

Year 55 – Emerald

Year 60 – Diamond

Year 65 – Blue sapphire

Year 70 – Platinum

Year 80 – Oak

Year 85 – Wine

Year 90 – Stone

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