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Complete Guide to Anniversary Ring Presents

Which jewelry you should buy for each anniversary year and why

By Mike Fried,

Whether you’re celebrating your 10th, 20th or just your first anniversary, an anniversary ring can be the perfect way to mark and remember your special milestone.

Anniversary ring with a round cut diamond
An anniversary ring with a beautiful round cut diamond in the middle (creation by Abe Mor)

What is an Anniversary Ring?

An anniversary ring is a ring that symbolizes a milestone in the marriage and is usually a band with many diamonds or gemstones. Anniversary rings are most commonly gifted at major anniversaries, like 5, 10 and 20 years, but can be given at any time. They symbolize a lifelong bond and the joys the couple has experienced together. 

The right anniversary ring commemorates the time, love and memories shared by you and your partner. It’s a unique memento that’s completely yours — a piece of jewelry that signifies how far you’ve come and what you’ve accomplished together. This 10 year anniversary band from Blue Nile is a perfect example of a stunning ring that represents a decade of love.

Just like buying the right engagement ring, choosing the right anniversary ring for your partner can be a serious challenge.

To help you with the diamond buying process we lean on our expertise and experience. The author of this article, our CEO, Mike Fried has over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. Mike started from the bottom, sorting and evaluating hundreds of thousands of diamonds to learn every facet (pun intended) of diamond quality and value. Mike followed that up by spending years buying and selling diamonds on the wholesale market as well as selling tens of millions of dollars worth of diamonds to diamond retailers.

Below, we’ve covered everything you need to know about shopping for an anniversary ring for your partner (or a matching set for the two of you). We’ll walk you through:

  • When you should consider buying an anniversary ring
  • The best anniversary rings for your silver, pearl, golden and platinum jubilees
  • What type of ring to get for each anniversary year (including minor anniversaries)
  • How to choose the best anniversary ring for your partner
  • Anniversary ring etiquette & the finger you should wear the ring on

We’ve also listed example rings, earrings and other jewelry for every anniversary year to help you choose the best options, regardless of how many years of marriage you’re celebrating.

Blue Nile is now running a 50% off Mother’s Day sale on jewelry.

When Should You Give an Anniversary Ring?

There are no set rules on giving anniversary jewelry, meaning you’re free to gift your partner an anniversary ring or other jewelry whenever you feel like it.

The popularity of anniversary rings with smaller diamonds seems to be rising as we see sales of those diamonds rising. “Most luxury brands seem to be confident that sales [of diamond bands] will be good, and have already placed orders for mellee diamonds for the coming six months” as reported by Rapaport.

Because giving an anniversary ring after every year of marriage can quickly become impractical, most couples opt to celebrate their major anniversaries with jewelry, like with a 20 year anniversary ring.

anniversary ring in white gold with a small diamond in the middle

The most common anniversaries for anniversary rings include your one year anniversary since it’s a major milestone for you as a newlywed couple. Most couples also celebrate their milestone years, such as their fifth, 10th, 15th, 20th and 25th anniversaries.

It’s also common to give anniversary rings in years in which you and your partner have added to your family. If you’ve recently discovered that you’re expecting, or if you’ve just welcomed a new member to your family, it’s completely appropriate to give an anniversary ring.

In general, there are no specific rules on giving anniversary jewelry. If you feel like giving a ring to your partner on your second, third or other “minor” anniversary, feel free. There’s also nothing wrong with only giving anniversary jewelry to celebrate major, milestone anniversaries.

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The Best Annieversary Rings & Bands by Year

While there are no specific rules for when you should give anniversary jewelry, there are some established traditions regarding what type of jewelry you should give. 

Each anniversary is associated with a different type of metal or gemstone, from gold and silver to pearls, sapphires and other gemstones. For example, 10 year wedding anniversary rings usually include diamonds and 20th anniversary rings often involve emeralds. 

Below we’ve listed anniversary rings by year, along with the traditional jewelry given out as each year’s anniversary ring.

1st Anniversary: Gold

Stackable Blue Nile Anniversary ring

For 1 year anniversary rings, it’s traditional to exchange gold jewelry. Most couples opt for a simple gold stacking ring, or a matching set for him and her.

There’s no customary gemstone for first anniversary jewelry, making this one of the least costly anniversaries to celebrate with jewelry. All in all, giving gold jewelry on your first anniversary is a great way to celebrate how far you’ve come, as well as how much further you can go together.

Recommended: This stunning and affordable Ultra Mini Diamond Pave Stackable Fashion Ring from Blue Nile.

5th Anniversary: Sapphire

Leibish sapphire anniversary ring

The suggested gemstone for your 5 year anniversary ring is sapphire. Eye-catching and extremely durable, sapphire historically symbolizes truth and loyalty, making a sapphire ring a perfect way to celebrate your first major wedding anniversary.

Recommended: This incredible 18k White Gold Riviera Pavé Sapphire Eternity from Blue Nile.

10th Anniversary: Diamond

Nine stone Diamond Ring from James Allen

Congratulations on celebrating 10 years of marriage! For your 10 year anniversary ring, it’s customary to give a diamond anniversary band, which your partner can stack alongside her engagement ring and wedding band.

Recommended: This timeless 14k Rose Gold Diamond Anniversary Ring from James Allen.

15th Anniversary: Ruby

Ruby Drop Earrings with diamond halo from Leibish

Throughout the ages, rubies have long represented love and passion, making ruby jewelry an excellent choice for your 15 year anniversary ring. Rubies look fantastic set in yellow gold and silvery metals, particularly alongside other precious gemstones in an anniversary band.

Recommended: These gorgeous Ruby and Diamond Drop Earrings from Leibish.

20th Anniversary: Emerald

Emerald Diamond Bracelet from Blue Nile

Your 20th wedding anniversary is a major milestone — one that deserves an equally special and rare gemstone. Emerald is the traditional gemstone for 20th anniversary rings, with a stunning green color that adds style and sophistication to any engagement and wedding ring set.

Recommended: This lovely 14k White Gold Alternating Diamond and Emerald Ring from Blue Nile.

The Best Rings & Bands for Major Anniversaries

As you begin to move towards your silver, pearl and golden jubilees, anniversary rings change from being a fun, friendly gift into a special symbol of your love, memories and commitment to each other.

Beginning with your 25th anniversary, each jubilee is connected to a different traditional metal or gemstone. We’ve listed each jubilee below, along with other major anniversaries and each one’s traditional type of jewelry.

25th Anniversary: Silver Jubilee

Silver/Yellow Gold Locket from Blue Nile

Your first major celebration, your silver jubilee marks 25 years of marriage. As you’d expect from the name, the focus here is on silver. A silver sterling band with your partner’s favorite gemstone can be the perfect gift here, especially if it matches their engagement and wedding rings.

Recommended: Any silver jewelry is a good choice for this anniversary. Blue Nile offers a wide range of sterling silver pieces, from timeless pendants and lockets to bracelets, silver earrings, engravable silver gifts and more. If you’re looking for a 25th anniversary ring for your wife, consider a classic luna diamond ring that resembles silver.

30th Anniversary: Pearl Jubilee

Pearl Ring From James Allen

Pearls are a traditional gemstone for your third and 30th anniversaries, making this date a great time to consider a pearl stacking ring for your partner. Both cultured and natural pearls can look fantastic, particularly when set in yellow or rose gold.

Recommended: Looking for a 30 year anniversary ring? This beautiful 14k Yellow Gold Freshwater Pearl and Diamond Trio Ring from James Allen will be a good inspiration for you.

40th Anniversary: Ruby

Ruby/Diamond Anniversary Ring from Brian Gavin

The traditional gemstone for your 40th wedding anniversary is another repeat, this time of your 15th. Known as a symbol of passion and love, a yellow gold or silver-colored ruby anniversary ring is a classic 40th anniversary gift that’s sure to impress (look at the gorgeous halo setting in yellow gold with a ruby center from Brian Gavin on the right).

Recommended: These diamond-lined Yellow Gold Earrings with Ruby Center from Brian Gavin.

50th Anniversary: Golden Jubilee

Rose Gold Floating Diamond Ring from Blue Nile

It’s called your golden jubilee for a reason — this important milestone is the perfect opportunity to commemorate your love with gold jewelry. 50th anniversary rings range from yellow gold to rose gold, usually with inset diamonds and other gemstones.

Recommended: This beautiful 14k Rose Gold Riviera Pavé Diamond Eternity Ring from Blue Nile.

How to Choose an Anniversary Ring

Design a ring that represents the unique love you share—whether it’s for a 10 year anniversary ring or a 25th anniversary ring for your wife. Follow the three steps below to find an anniversary ring that wows your partner and lasts a lifetime.

1. Opt to Match or Contrast Other Wedding Jewelry

Consider whether you’d prefer a complementary or contrasting ring. A complementary ring has a similar design to your partner’s engagement and wedding rings. This gives them the option of wearing their anniversary ring on the same finger as part of a matching set.

A contrasting ring features gemstones or precious metal that contrasts with your partner’s engagement and wedding rings. For example, maybe their 20 year anniversary ring features an emerald, while their engagement ring and wedding band has diamonds. Normally, your partner will wear their unique anniversary ring on a different finger or hand than their other wedding jewelry.

2. Choose Your Gemstones and Precious Metal

Check that your partner likes the specific metals or gemstones recommended for each anniversary year. This can be as simple as asking your partner about their favorite gemstones, or taking them window shopping for jewelry and observing their comments.

There are no absolute rules when it comes to anniversary rings, meaning you don’t need to choose the recommended gemstone or metal for each year. You can select an entirely different gemstone and style than the traditional option.

Overall, it’s best to stick with a style that you know your partner will like. If a specific metal or gemstone has sentimental value to you, there’s nothing wrong with choosing it instead of a traditional choice.

3. Involve Your Partner (Optional)

Consider taking your partner shopping with you. Surprises aren’t always expected with an anniversary ring. By shopping together, you’ll be able to find the best option for the two of you, whether it’s a single anniversary ring for her or a matching set for both of you.

Need expert help choosing the right anniversary ring? Send a message to our experts and we’ll get in touch with personalized advice on the best rings for your partner and you.

Anniversary Ring Etiquette: How to Wear an Anniversary Ring

There’s no set rule about which finger to wear your anniversary ring on. Your partner can wear their ring on any finger they like and on either hand. Some wear their anniversary ring alongside their wedding and engagement rings, while others place the ring on the opposite hand’s ring finger. Some choose to forgo their engagement and wedding rings and just wear the anniversary band. You can also trade in your wedding band and put the value toward the anniversary ring.

So what finger do you wear an anniversary ring on? There isn’t a rule, but most commonly, people wear their anniversary ring on their right-hand ring finger (next to their pinky). This allows the anniversary ring to stand out without distracting from the beauty and original design of their engagement and wedding rings.

Best Anniversary Rings & Bands for Her

The best anniversary rings and bands match her personal style and are a symbol of how much she means to you. There are a variety of designs to choose from — from bands with many diamonds to simple rings with gemstones. Here are handpicked recommendations to complement a variety of styles.

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab created diamonds online.
What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. James Allen will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
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Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. Save 25% on settings at Blue Nile with an exclusive coupon code!

Please enter your email address to receive your personal one-time use unique coupon code for 25% off engagement rings:

What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • 100% credit towards future upgrades (must be at least double in value)
  • Best in class fulfillment
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About the author

Mike Fried Mike Fried Mike Fried has over 25 years experience in the diamond industry working with Leo Schachter Diamonds, Moshe Namdar Diamonds, and joining The Diamond Pro in 2007. He is recognized as an industry expert and has been quoted in publications such as Us, People, Page Six, The Next Web and more.

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