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Traditional Wedding Anniversary Symbols
by: Tony Luck
Most people are aware that significant wedding anniversaries such as 40th and 60th are linked to precious stones, in these cases ruby and diamond; and that the 25th and 50th anniversaries are linked to precious metals: silver and gold . However, it is less well known that all anniversaries up to and including the 15th, and then every 5th anniversary, have their own particular symbol. So, if you are looking for a present for your spouse to commemorate your wedding anniversary, you can now buy something appropriate. However, if it your sixth anniversary, I doubt whether a bag of sugar or a candy bar will be quite enough! The list below shows the symbol traditionally associated with each anniversary.


1st - Paper
2nd - Cotton
3rd - Leather
4th - Books
5th - Wood
6th - Sugar, candy
7th - Wool, cooper
8th - Bronze, pottery
9th - Pottery, willow
10th - Tin, aluminium
11th - Steel
12th - Silk, linen
13th - Lace
14th - Ivory
15th - Crystal
20th - China
25th - Silver
30th - Pearl
35th - Coral
40th - Ruby
45th - Sapphire
50th - Gold
60th - Diamond
75th - Diamond

The Silver (25th) and Golden (50th) Anniversaries appear to be the most traditional. In Central Europe going back hundreds of years a man would present his wife with a silver or golden garland to mark the occasion of their anniversary.

The other materials have been added to the list more recently, and there is now a more modern list which incorporates the missing years 16-19. Amazingly, a ten carat diamond has been added for a 100th Wedding Anniversary! How many couples will get that far?

The traditional version is still preferred by most people.

About the author:
Tony Luck runs a shop with unique personalized plates. Visit the shop at

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