Princeton Capital Blog

Anniversary Gifts

July 24th, 2013

Anniversary GiftAnniversary Gifts

Do you have an anniversary coming up? And did you wonder how the first wedding anniversary became the paper anniversary? Read on to find out how to figure out what to get this year.

Traditional versus Modern versus…

First off, click here for a list of all types of anniversary gifts from year 1 through year 100. Traditional wedding gifts were created to help the couple build up their home over the years. Modern couples are more affluent and go into marriage with a lot more household goods. So the Modern list was created and shifted away from practical gifts to more luxury items.

The History

Anniversary gift giving dates back quite a long ways. There was evidence of anniversary gifts from the middle ages. Originally, there were the big anniversaries:

  • 25 – Silver
  • 50 – Gold
  • 75 – Diamond

From Elegant Anniversary:

“The practice of giving peculiar gifts on various wedding anniversaries originated in Central Europe. Among the medieval Germans it was customary for friends to present a wife with a wreath of silver when she had lived with her husband twenty-five years. The silver symbolized the harmony that was assumed to be necessary to make so many years of matrimony possible. On the fiftieth anniversary of a wedding the wife was presented with a wreath of gold. Hence arose ‘silver wedding’ and ‘golden wedding.’ This practice, borrowed from the Germans, has been elaborated upon in modern times”
– INFORMATION ROUNDUP by George Stimpson (1948)


The best wedding anniversary trivia comes from Hallmark‘s Website:

Celebrating anniversaries has always been a popular custom. Early reasons to celebrate were linked to cycles of life: seed-time, harvest-time, the changing of seasons, and life events – the wedding, for example. The anniversary of the wedding day became a legitimate reason to celebrate.

According to Hallmark research, the custom of associating silver with the 25th wedding anniversary and gold with the 50th wedding anniversary appear to have originated in the Germanic region of Middle Europe. The silver anniversary included a husband giving his wife a silver garland when they had been married 25 years. On the 50th anniversary, the husband gave the wife a wreath of gold.

Currently two diamond anniversaries are celebrated – one at 60 and one at 75 years. The 75th anniversary is the original diamond anniversary and the 60th was added when Queen Victoria (English Empire Monarch) celebrated her Diamond Jubilee on her 60th anniversary of accession to the throne in 1897.

In 1922, Emily Post published the first known list of traditional anniversary gifts. She expanded the list to include more years in 1957.

How do you celebrate your anniversaries?

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