What Are The Traditional Wedding Anniversary Gifts By Year latest 2023

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Traditional VS. Modern Anniversary Gifts

Most people are familiar with the list of traditional materials that good etiquette requires us to use as a guide when selecting a gift to commemorate a wedding anniversary. If you’re like most people, you might find it a bit difficult to convert the materials on the list into an acceptable gift idea. You may have more choices than you think. Do you know that an updated “modern” gift list is available and becoming more and more popular? This article discusses the history of the traditional list, highlights the differences between modern and traditional lists, and helps you decide which is right for you.

Parts of the traditional list have been around since medieval times. Historians can trace the origins of silver and gold anniversaries to medieval Germany, where garlands made of these metals were presented as gifts for 25th and 50th wedding years. The rest of the list might not be as traditional as you think. I was surprised to learn that the traditional list, as we know it today, did not exist until 1937. That year, the American National Retail Jeweler Association published a list, which combined a material for each birthday until the 15th year, then every fifth year thereafter until the 60th birthday. Here is the list of materials from 1937 to the 60th year:

* First – Paper

* Second – Cotton

* Third – Leather

* Fourth – Fruits/Flowers

* Fifth – Wood

* Sixth – Candy/Iron

* Seventh – Wool/Copper

* Eighth – Bronze/Pottery

* Ninth – Pottery/Willow

* Tenth – Pewter/Aluminum

* Eleventh – Steel

* Twelfth – Silk/Linen

* Thirteenth – Lace

* Fourteenth – Ivory

* Fifteenth – Crystal

* XXth – China

* Twenty-fifth – Silver

* Thirtieth – Pearl

* Thirty-fifth – Coral

* Fortieth – Ruby

* Forty-fifth – Sapphire

* Fiftieth – Gold

* Fifty-fifth – Emerald

* Sixtieth – Diamond

The list of modern birthday materials presents us with a contemporary and easier to use alternative. The modern list doesn’t have a clear beginning, but like the original, each year’s gift is more valuable than the last. This arrangement is intended to honor the longevity of the engagement. The new list retains the spirit of the traditional list, but loses some of the meaning of the label in the original. Although more practical, the modern list sacrifices the thought previously required to make a good gift from the more mundane materials of the old list. However, the modern list is more extravagant (expensive) than the original, which in some cases may be more appreciated than a thoughtful but humble gift from the traditional list. Here is the widely accepted modern list, up to the 60th year:

* Premier – Clocks

* Second – China

* Third – Crystal/Glass

* Fourth – Devices

* Fifth – Silverware

* Sixth – Candy/Iron

* Seventh – Office Sets

* Eighth – Bronze/Pottery

* Ninth – Linen/Lace

* Tenth – Leather

* Eleventh – Jewelry

* Twelfth – Pearls

* Thirteenth – Textiles/Furs

* Fourteenth – Gold Jewelry

* Fifteenth – Watches

* Twentieth – Platinum

* Twenty-fifth – Silver

* Thirtieth – Diamond

* Thirty-fifth – Jade

* Fortieth – Ruby

* Forty-fifth – Sapphire

* Fiftieth – Gold

* Fifty-fifth – Emerald

* Sixtieth – Diamond Jubilee

For most couples, I recommend using the modern list. When you select a gift from the modern list, you get more specificity, for example a desk set is much lighter than copper/wool. With the modern list, you do not risk insulting your spouse by rewarding 10 years of companionship with a pitiful gift in tin or aluminum. Believe me, she won’t settle for the excuse of tradition. Also, good luck finding the Ivory Candlesticks for Year 14! Unless you really like the creative challenge of using the traditional list, try the modern list this year.

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