In Western and some Eastern cultures, from the moment couples decide to get married jewelry plays an important role in their relationship.
A gold engagement ring – often set with one or more diamonds – is usually offered as a betrothal gift by the man, as a sign of his wish to marry. Then when the couple is married, the new husband gives his wife a ring – usually a gold band – to wear as a symbol of their life partnership. Increasingly brides also give their grooms a gold wedding band to wear. In some cultures, the bride is also given a toe ring or a bangle to wear.
And that’s not the end of it. Over time wedding anniversary gift lists have been drawn up to guide couples in choosing a symbolic item for their spouse each year, on the date they were married. Both traditional and modern wedding anniversary gift lists feature precious metals in the form of gold and silver, as well as jewelry and precious stones. Generally the idea is to give a symbolic gift every year for the first 15 years of marriage, and then a special gift every five years. Often husbands choose to give an eternity ring (often a gold band set with multiple small diamonds) to their wives for a wedding anniversary he considers significant.
Traditional anniversary gift lists specify precious metals and stones every five years from the 25th wedding anniversary. These include silver for the 25th wedding anniversary, pearls for the 30th, coral for the 35th, rubies for the 40th, sapphires for the 45th, gold for the 50th, emeralds for the 55th and the ultimate diamond or diamonds for the 60th wedding anniversary.
Modern anniversary gift lists have been reorganized to meet the needs of most modern couples, but jewelry and precious metals and stones remain firm favorites. Here are some examples from a modern gift list:
- diamonds (10),
- fashion jewelry (11),
- pearl-colored gems (12 – which gives the opportunity for husbands to give their wives anything from rings to bracelets or necklaces),
- gold jewelry (14),
- watches (15),
- platinum (20),
- jade (35),
- ruby (40),
- sapphire (45),
- gold (50),
- emerald (55),
- diamond (60).