Your Guide to Anniversary Band Etiquette

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You probably spent months researching men’s wedding band materials until you found the perfect ring for you. You similarly must have spent months searching for the perfect engagement and wedding ring for your spouse. But the ring searches don’t stop there.

Down the road, you’ll have to search for the perfect anniversary band. We’re not talking about playing ZZ Top at your 25th wedding anniversary dinner. We’re talking about an additional ring to go alongside your partner’s wedding ring.

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But what’s common anniversary band etiquette? Here’s what you should keep in mind.

What’s an anniversary ring?

An anniversary ring is just as it sounds. They are given on important wedding anniversaries to celebrate and symbolize your eternal love.

It’s more common for the female partner to receive the anniversary ring. However, this is an old-school mode of thinking. Men are just as willing to share in the tradition. Furthermore, the increasing acceptance of same-sex marriage has shown, culturally, that traditions are meant to be broken, as they’re an advancement of society. Same-sex partners should share jewelry with each other, just the same as male and female partners should exchange their own anniversary rings.

When are anniversary rings given?

Anniversary rings can be given every year. They can be, but you’ll soon run out of finger space in just a few years’ time. The most commonly celebrated anniversaries include the major milestones, which often involve all factors of five: the 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 30th, and, with any luck, many more anniversaries.

The joy is that you don’t have to keep adding to the rings on your ring finger unless you want to. There are no rules to what you have to do, either. While there is a general rule of thumb for anniversary etiquette, it’s always worth breaking tradition. You should make choices that fit your sizing needs and style choices.

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What’re the common rings?

Knowing the differences between a promise ring and an engagement ring is already tough enough. Knowing the most common anniversary rings is a whole other issue. But knowing what to look for is pretty easy. Common rings include:

  • Gold jewelry tends to be the go-to choice for the 1st Couples tend to choose either small gold stacking rings or will opt for different types of gold jewelry, such as a bracelet, necklace, or earrings.
  • The 5thanniversary tends to be marked by sapphire. Sapphire has long been a symbol of strength, truth, kindness, and loyalty. Plus, it will catch any passing eye, allowing every spouse to proudly show their love for their fellow partner.
  • Diamonds are the name of the game for your 10th As before, stackable rings tend to be the go-to, as thin diamond rings for menwill keep the finger feeling light. However, large diamond bands can be chosen for anyone looking to truly commemorate 10 years of love.
  • Rubies are the common choice for your 15thanniversary, most times paired in a gold, rose gold, or silver band. The red shine of rubies are an unmistakable symbol for love, and their pairing with traditional precious metals really helps them to stand out.
  • Your 20thwedding anniversary deserves a ring as unique as possible. Emerald is the stone of choice for 20th anniversary rings, as the gemstone truly manages to stand out from the crowd. It’s recommended you pair it with a platinum band, as the two pair together for their significance and style.
  • The silver anniversary is here for your 25th You can add diamonds if you want, but a silver band is the best way to go when choosing a ring. Whatever style you go for, just make sure it matches the look and feel of their wedding band, engagement ring, and any other rings they regularly wear.
  • Finally, the 30th, 40th, and 50thwedding anniversaries truly are a blessing. To spend so many years with a loved one is nothing but remarkable. There might be common tradition to follow with these anniversaries, but now is the time to leave tradition behind: You’ve made it this far, so make it work entirely for you. Whether it’s gold, rose gold, silver, diamonds, pearls, or personal gemstones, you should choose a ring that means something special to you and your spouse.

Break tradition and make it unique.

As we have mentioned time and time again, you don’t have to follow every tradition to a tee. There are things you should keep in mind when choosing your anniversary ring, including:

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Any time you’re choosing a ring, make the choice based on surrounding jewelry. Rings stand out on the finger, so you want to make sure that all of the rings stylistically match. That includes inlays, band materials, gemstones, and more.


Source: George Rudy/Shutterstock

Don’t feel compelled to get them a ring if you don’t want to, either. Not every anniversary needs to be celebrated with a ring. Feel free to give your partner a necklace, a wristwatch, a pocket watch, earrings, a bracelet, anklets, cufflinks, and more. Whatever it is, it should match what they’re bound to use in their daily life.

Last, don’t be afraid to involve them in the process. They’re going to know what they most want. There’s nothing better than simply asking someone what they’d like. And they don’t have to pick out the anniversary ring themselves. Rather, they can give you some guidance, which can be used to inform your choices when researching.

You’re sure to find them the perfect anniversary ring with a little insight. Moreover, you’re sure to continue sharing the love for decades to come.

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