Happy anniversary! These are sweet words for couples who have committed to spending their lives together. Such special occasions warrant gifts that reflect the depth of that commitment – a wedding anniversary gemstone fits the bill perfectly.
Gems and jewelry have long been used to mark important celebrations. They are rich in symbolism and withstand the passing of time. They also are sentimental heirlooms that will be cherished by generations.
Although there is no single authoritative wedding anniversary gemstone list, we’ve compiled our selections from various lists. We hope you find this a useful and inspirational guide in helping you select that perfect wedding anniversary gift!
11th Wedding Anniversary Gemstone: Turquoise
Turquoise jewelry is a wonderful way to celebrate the start of the second decade of married life. Its colors, which include the prized robin’s egg blue, greenish blue, avocado, and lime green, symbolize a prosperous and healthy future. And while you’re enjoying the life you’ve created together, you can marvel that turquoise was one of the first gems used in jewelry, dating back to 4,000 BCE. Today, the Nishapur district of Iran, China’s Hubai Province, and Arizona in the United States are all noted sources for the gem. Turquoise is also one of December’s birthstones, too. Now that we’ve piqued your interest in the gem, our Turquoise Buying Guide will be a great help!
12th Wedding Anniversary Gemstone: Jade
Poets have penned how they would give their lovers the sun and stars, and now you can give yours the “stone of heaven,” (better known by the trade name jade) for a 12th wedding anniversary gift. Jade is actually two different gem materials: jadeite and nephrite. Jadeite is more rare than nephrite and the best jadeite is semi-transparent and has a fine (smooth) texture. The Hutton-Mdivani necklace is one of the more well-known pieces of jadeite jewelry. If you’re wondering whether your spouse will be delighted by a gift of jadeite or nephrite, consider that the Mayans and the Aztecs prized jadeite and Chinese cultures valued nephrite for centuries. Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) is one of the most important sources for jadeite. Our Jade Buying Guide can help you find a piece of heaven for your beloved.
13th Wedding Anniversary Gemstone: Citrine
Citrine is the gem for the 13th wedding anniversary gift – and it comes with an interesting story. It belongs to the quartz family, which has been used in jewelry since the days of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Natural citrine is rare, so the piece you’re giving is probably an amethyst treated with heat to change its color. Treatments aside, citrine is a popular and affordable alternative to topaz and yellow sapphire. Fine specimens are saturated yellow to reddish orange, free of brownish tints. It remains a favorite because of its soothing color and because it’s November’s birthstone. Our Citrine Buying Guide can help you pick a piece your spouse will cherish!
14th Wedding Anniversary Gemstone: Opal
Romans believed opal symbolized love and hope, and that might be reason enough to give one to your spouse on your 14th wedding anniversary. Here’s another bit of romantic lore that might inspire you to purchase opal jewelry: Bedouins believed that opal fell from the sky during thunderstorms. One reason opal enchants is its play-of-color – it displays different colors when viewed from different directions, making it a perpetually entertaining kaleidoscope. Opal is also October’s birthstone, and now that you want to get one for your beloved, our Opal Buying Guide is sure to be invaluable.
15th Wedding Anniversary Gemstone – Ruby
The Sanskrit word for ruby is ratnaraj or “king of precious stones,” so it’s the perfect 15th wedding anniversary gift for the princess (or prince!) of your heart. Love may be a mystery, but the source of a ruby’s color is known to science: trace elements of chromium give the mineral corundum a red hue. The more chromium, the greater the intensity of the stone’s red color. The most prized rubies have a pure, vibrant red to slightly purplish red color. Rubies are found around the world: Myanmar has historically produced fine rubies, while Mozambique, Vietnam and Kenya are now important sources. There’s a lot to learn when purchasing such a coveted gem, our Ruby Buying Guide and post on July’s birthstone can provide invaluable insight when you go shopping.
16th Wedding Anniversary Gemstone: Peridot
Want to give your spouse a wedding anniversary present that’s literally out of this world? Most peridot was brought to the surface of the earth by volcanic eruptions, but some peridot hitched a ride to earth on meteorites! Ancient Egyptians also mined it on the island of Zabargad in the Red Sea. Today, the United States, China, Vietnam, Finland, Pakistan and Myanmar are important peridot sources. Peridot is usually yellowish green to greenish yellow. Yellowish green is the most common color seen in jewelry. The Green Goddess peridot, a pear-shaped 154 ct gem, is a breathtaking example. Peridot is August’s birthstone. We share our Peridot Buying Guide to help you make a smart decision.
17th Wedding Anniversary Gift: Wristwatches
They may not be gemstones, but beautiful timepieces are always a favorite on anniversary gift lists and a very lovely way to symbolize 17 years of life together. A little bit of history to go with your gift: instead of wearing a watch as a pendant, nurses in the mid-1700s wore watches as a bracelet or armband, probably to keep them out of reach from the curious fingers of children and infants. Wristwatches for men had their origin in the military, where soldiers and officers used them to coordinate artillery attacks and other maneuvers. Watches made appearances at historic moments, like when Sir Edmund Hillary summited Mount Everest in 1953 wearing Rolex’s Oyster Perpetual Explorer and when Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon with an Omega Speedmaster Chronograph. Now that you’re ready to go shopping, get some tips from our Father’s Day Wristwatch Buying Guide.
18th Wedding Anniversary Gemstone: Cat’s-Eye Chrysoberyl
Do you and your beloved still cast flirtatious or knowing winks? Then a cat’s-eye chrysoberyl is perfect for the playful nature of your relationship – and your 18th wedding anniversary. Chrysoberyl displays a cat’s eye effect, called chatoyancy (shah-toh-yen-cee): when light reflects off the gem’s surface needle-like inclusions cause a band of light to appear. Rotate the gem between two light sources and the band will split in two, move apart and then merge – just like a cat blinking its eyes. Fine quality cat’s-eye chrysoberyl should have a band that runs the length of the cabochon (a cutting style that produces a gem with a smooth round dome, without any facets). Cat’s eye chrysoberyl can also have the “milk and honey” effect – the side nearest to the light remains the original bodycolor, while the other side displays a milky appearance.
Cat’s-eye chrysoberyl comes in a range of colors: yellow, yellowish green, grayish green, brown and brownish yellow. A semi-transparent golden yellow to slightly greenish yellow or brownish yellow are the preferred colors.
19th Wedding Anniversary Gemstone: Aquamarine
Why is aquamarine a thoughtful gift for a 19th wedding anniversary? Legend has it that it brings happiness to a marriage and calms stormy waters – so it’s appropriate on two counts. The meaning of its name also conjures a romantic getaway to a tropical paradise. Aquamarine is Latin for seawater, but if you want to find it, you’ll have to head to dry and arid places, like Minas Gerais in Brazil and the foothills of Pakistan. Fine-quality aquamarine has medium-dark blue to slightly greenish blue hues with moderately strong intensity and no visible inclusions. The 1,298 ct Roosevelt Aquamarine is one of the most famous. Our Aquamarine Buying Guide can help you pick a piece of peace for your sweetheart.
20th Wedding Anniversary Gemstone: Emerald
Emerald evokes springtime and the renewal of life, making it a perfect gift for couples celebrating two decades of married life! A few facts about emerald: it is a bluish green to green variety of the mineral beryl, and traces of the elements chromium, iron or vanadium cause its color. The most prized emeralds are bluish green to pure green in color, with vivid color saturation and tone that’s not too dark. Did you know that Cleopatra reputedly had a passion for emeralds? Colombia has historically been the most important source for emeralds; Brazil and Namibia are key emerald providers. Afghanistan is also home to beautiful emeralds. Our Emerald Buying Guide gives you essential information in just one page.
With your wedding anniversary approaching, celebrate it in style with an unforgettable present. Giving the gift of jewelry shows your love, and creates a lasting memory. And now that you know what to look for in gems and jewelry, you can shop with confidence.
If you’re looking for a wedding anniversary gemstone for the first decade of marriage, then you’ll want to read the first post in this series, Wedding Anniversary Gemstone List for Years One through 10.