Anniversary rings can be given to commemorate any anniversary, but they are most often given on "significant" anniversaries, such as five, ten, twenty, twenty-five or fifty years. While it's more common for women than men to wear anniversary rings, they can be worn by both as a reaffirmation of the vows made when a couple first got married. Anniversary rings are also often given to women as a special gift when a notable life event happens during a particular year, such as a baby's birth.
What exactly is an anniversary ring?
Technically, any ring that's given as a gift on an anniversary can be considered an anniversary ring, but in almost all cases anniversary rings are wedding-like bands of some kind. As with wedding and engagement rings, yellow or white gold, silver, platinum and titanium are generally the metal choices for anniversary rings. The rings can be simple or sophisticated, unadorned bands or filigreed and fancy with engraving on either the inside or outside. Anniversary rings can just be metal bands, or they can be set with gemstones. Diamonds are the most common gemstone used in anniversary rings, but birthstones (either the woman's or the couple's children's) or the stone that represents the month the couple got married are also popular choices.
Some women choose to wear anniversary rings on the same left-hand finger with their engagement and wedding rings. The anniversary ring would be placed on the bottom, then the engagement ring and then the wedding band. Other women wear their anniversary rings separately, on the right hand; this is a good choice if the pattern or setting or metal of the anniversary ring is markedly different from the original wedding and engagement ring set.
Eternity rings, bands that are entirely lined with closely-set gemstones (most often diamonds), are also frequently given as anniversary ring. This style is especially appropriate for anniversary rings, since the circle of stones is meant to symbolize the eternal nature of love. Another popular choice for an anniversary ring is a 3 stone ring, which features three gemstones set in a row; these are sometimes referred to as “past, present and future” rings, with each stone representing a different phase in a couple’s relationship. Gemstones in an anniversary ring are generally all the same size, to avoid its being confused with an engagement ring. Most anniversary rings feature stones in either round, princess (square) or emerald shapes, but any shape gemstone can be used.
In the same way that there are specific birthstones for each month of the year, there are also gemstones traditionally associated with certain anniversaries. Choices for stones in anniversary rings might be guided in this way, based on when in a marriage an anniversary ring is purchased. Some of the anniversary stones are:
- Garnet – 2nd anniversary
- Sapphire – 5th anniversary
- Amethyst – 6th anniversary
- Lapis lazuli – 9th anniversary
- Diamond – 10th anniversary
- Opal – 14th anniversary
- Ruby – 15th anniversary
- Emerald – 20th anniversary
Images courtesy: Blue Nile