A Guide To Anniversary Gemstones and Jewelry: What You Need To Know

Do you find yourself struggling to find the perfect anniversary gift every single year? We get it – no material thing could ever come close to expressing the love and affection you have for your spouse. And for an occasion as big as a wedding anniversary, it can be tough picking out a present that would make them feel special. If you’ve given them generic items for the past years, why don’t you opt for something romantic and meaningful this time, like anniversary gemstones and jewelry?

In this article, we’ll provide you with a list of anniversary gems and explain the different meanings and qualities attached to each of them. Whether you’re celebrating 10, 35, or 40 years together, you’ll find that shopping for the perfect piece is easy as long as you know what to look for. By the end of this guide, we promise that you’ll be ready to scour the stores and buy that swoon-worthy gift for the love of your life.

What Stones Are For Each Wedding Anniversary?

When it comes to anniversary gifts, people often refer to the traditional list like this one from The Knot, which designates a different material per anniversary year. The first year is paper, next is cotton, third is leather, and so forth. If you have good taste, you’ll probably find a fabulous gift made of these materials. Also, there are plenty of choices out there. However, nothing screams of romance more than sparkling gemstones and fine jewelry, right?

Gemstones have meanings and qualities attached to them

Each anniversary year has a stone assigned to it. This not only leaves out the guesswork in picking out items from the store, but it also makes the gift-shopping experience both easy and fun. Besides, almost every marriage begins with some form of jewelry – such as engagement rings and wedding rings – so it’s only natural to give them as an anniversary gift. And for a significant – and supposedly romantic occasion like a wedding anniversary – you’d want to give your spouse something that’ll make her say, “I do” to you forever. Below, we’ve compiled an anniversary gemstone list for quick reference.

Anniversary gemstones for 1st to 50th anniversaries

  • 1st – Gold
  • 2nd – Garnet
  • 3rd – Pearl
  • 4th – Blue Topaz
  • 5th – Sapphire
  • 6th – Amethyst
  • 7th – Onyx
  • 8th – Tourmaline
  • 9th – Lapis Lazuli
  • 10th – Diamond
  • 11th – Turquoise
  • 12th – Jade
  • 13th – Citrine
  • 14th – Opal
  • 15th – Ruby
  • 16th – Peridot
  • 17th – Carnelian
  • 18th – Cat’s Eye or Chrysoberyl
  • 19th – Aquamarine
  • 20th – Emerald
  • 21st – Iolite
  • 22nd – Spinel
  • 23rd – Imperial Topaz
  • 24th – Tanzanite
  • 25th – Silver
  • 30th – Pearl
  • 40th – Ruby
  • 50th – Gold

Anniversary Gemstones Meanings

Now that you know what gemstones correspond to each anniversary year, it’s time for an in-depth look into their meanings. Yes, these gems aren’t only beautiful, they also carry distinct purposes, virtues, and qualities. Knowing this just makes the act of giving and receiving them as gifts a lot more meaningful.

Mohs Hardness Scale

According to the National Park Service, “a mineral’s hardness is a measure of its relative resistance to scratching, measured by scratching the mineral against another substance of known hardness on the Mohs Hardness Scale.”

In this guide, we’ve also indicated the ranking of each gemstone in the Mohs scale to show a comparison of hardness among the minerals. 1 is the softest while 10 is the highest.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

1st year: Gold

Ah, the one year mark. It’s the sweet stage where couples are enjoying their honeymoon phase and finding their footing in the relationship. This makes gold jewelry the perfect gift; it’s precious and pure, just like the growing love you feel for your partner.

Mohs scale: 2.5

2nd year: Garnet

Garnet comes in many colors: yellow, green, and pink. But the color it’s most known for is red. This fiery shade represents passion and intimacy, two qualities that couples have already secured in the second year of marriage. It’s also believed to boost libido and professional drive.

Mohs scale: 6.5-7.5

3rd year: Pearl

Pearl, the oldest known gem, is considered one of the most valuable treasures in the world. It symbolizes all the desirable things you’d want in your marriage: beauty, purity, innocence, faith, and honesty.

Mohs scale: 3

4th year: Blue Topaz

Topaz comes in several colors and shades, but blue is rare in nature. Today, this color can be manufactured using a process called diffusion, which turns colorless topaz into light blue. This placid blue gemstone is often associated with love and affection, which makes it pretty much a great anniversary gift.

Mohs scale: 8

5th year: Sapphire

Sapphires come in a range of colors, but its most popular shade is blue. Deep blue sapphire is associated with faithfulness and symbolizes truth and sincerity, which makes this tough gemstone a popular choice for anniversary and even engagement jewelry. According to the GIA, the Ancient Greek and Roman kings and queens believed the gem shielded them from harm.

Mohs scale: 9

Sapphire symbolizes truth and sincerity

6th year: Amethyst

Amethyst is a translucent purple variety of quartz. Its color is formed from iron impurities within the stone. This gem represents tolerance and forgiveness. It’ s also believed to eradicate negative feelings – something that every couple would find useful in the instance of misunderstandings.

Mohs scale: 7

7th: Onyx

This stone is durable and popular in men’s jewelry styles. Despite its dark color, jet-black onyx is thought to promote happiness and stability. It’s also believed to be a protective stone that can ward off negativity in a marriage.

Mohs scale: 7

8th: Tourmaline

Tourmaline is the chameleon of anniversary gemstones as it comes in nearly every color imaginable. Each diverse stone has its own distinct qualities, but in general, tourmaline is thought to promote openness and reduce stress – two things that are much-needed in a marriage. It’s also believed to enhance love and friendship.

Mohs scale: 7.5

9th: Lapis Lazuli

This deep blue, marbled stone is a protective gemstone that represents truth, friendship, and harmony. This relatively rare, semi-precious gemstone has been sought after since ancient times for its intense blue color.

Mohs scale: 5.5

10th: Diamond

Congratulations! You’ve reached your first decade as a married couple. Your spouse deserves a one-of-a-kind gem for this special event: the diamond. This 10 year wedding anniversary gemstone is suitable for celebrating a decade of love as it symbolizes everlasting love and strength. For the wife, it’s the perfect time to upgrade the engagement ring or gift her with a diamond anniversary band. For the husband, a diamond ring will do, or if he wears an earring, a simple diamond stud.

Mohs scale: 10

11th: Turquoise

Turquoise comes in marvelous shades of green, greenish-blue to light to deeper blue. It represents courage and truth and is meant to bring protection and peace to its wearer.

Mohs scale: 5-6

12th: Jade

Though it can be found in many shades, the signature color of jade is green. This stone is said to bring good fortune to its owner. It’s usually carved into beads to make necklaces and earrings. In rings, it’s usually made into a cabochon – a round dome shape.

Mohs scale: 6.5-7

13th: Citrine

Citrine’s signature color, golden yellow, is like a burst of sunshine. Its lighter color is also reminiscent of citrus fruits like orange. This stone ranges in color from honey browns to pale yellow and represents joy, optimism, and confidence. It’s also believed to clear the mind.

Mohs scale: 7

14th: Opal

Opal can be transparent or opaque. It comes in many colors, but the one we often see the most is a creamy white that exhibits rainbow-like colors when hit by light. This stone’s benefits are as impressive as it looks; it’s said to inspire love, hope, luck, and happiness.

Mohs scale: 5.5-6.5

15th: Ruby

The amazing saturated red color of rubies made them an emblem of love and fiery passion. Natural ruby comes in different shades of red and often has undertones such as a purplish cast. You won’t have to look hard for the perfect ruby accessory as you’ll find this stone in almost every kind of jewelry.

Mohs scale: 7

Rubies represent love and passion

16th: Peridot

Peridot is the symbol of undying love and admiration. It comes in various shade of green, but the lime-green variant is just the right shade if you’re not a fan of green’s darker tones. It looks amazing against white metals, while a yellow gold setting can bring out its yellow undertones.

Mohs scale: 6.5-7

17th: Carnelian

Carnelian has some interesting qualities that every married couple would want in their marriage. It’s said to increase pleasure, sexuality, joy, and boost energy. It also helps keep a healthy sense of humor within a relationship. This smooth, orange-red stone also symbolizes endurance.

Mohs scale: 7

18th: Cat’s Eye or Chrysoberyl

Chrysoberyl strengthens the kindness, consideration, and generosity of its wearer. When fashioned in a rounded cabochon cut, the surface of this gemstone creates an optical illusion of a band of light down its center. That straight line gives it the uncanny look of feline eyes, hence, the name cat’s eye. The specific stone that exhibits this phenomenon is the chrysoberyl, but it can also happen in quartz, sapphire, and ruby.

Mohs scale: 7.5

19th: Aquamarine

As the name implies, aquamarine depicts the colors of the ocean: clear pale blue and darker blue with a shade of green. As you reach the 19th year of marriage, it’s only fitting to gift your spouse with gemstone jewelry that symbolizes fidelity and hope.

Mohs scale: 7.5-8

21st: Iolite

The name Iolite comes from the Greek word ios, which means violet. This violet-blue gemstone looks like a crisp, dark winter sky. They say that this stone helps clear a person’s thought process and strengthen their intuition. 

Mohs scale: 7.5-8

22nd: Spinel

This durable and affordable gemstone comes in a wide range of colors, such as red, pink, purple, black, and blue. Spinel is said to be the stone of revitalization, which helps release stress and anxieties. This stone can also bring forth new ideas and inspire a person to think differently about any situation, especially when they’re feeling stuck.

Mohs scale: 8

23rd: Imperial Topaz

Often compared to cognac, imperial topaz can range from yellow to a deep golden color. It’s dubbed as the “stone of good fortune,” because it can bring prosperity and abundance to its wearer. In love matters, it’s said to strengthen the bond between partners and enhance affections.

Mohs scale: 8

24th: Tanzanite

This blue gem, often with a purplish/violet tone, can help its wearer harness his or her full potential. It can also help repair relationships and fill a person’s heart with love.

Mohs scale: 6.5

Milestone Anniversary Gemstones and Jewelry

Every wedding anniversary is an occasion worth celebrating, but a few of them are considered extra special because they mark the pivotal breakthroughs in a marriage. Hence, we created a separate section for milestone anniversary gems and jewels. We’ve also included recommendations about the gemstones and precious metals that would go best with each of them.

What is the stone for 20 year anniversary?

Emerald. This beautiful green gemstone, which is the sacred stone of the goddess Venus, preserves love in a relationship. Emerald is a classic and elegant-looking stone that will go well with any kind of jewelry, but it looks best against jewels with vintage and Art Deco style designs, according to a recommendation from Hitched. As stunning as it is, emerald’s only caveat is its fragility due to the fissures within it.

Mohs scale: 7.5 – 8

Emeralds look amazing against jewels with vintage and Art Deco style designs

25th-anniversary gemstone

Silver. You’ve been married for a quarter of a century – that’s a fantastic achievement! The 25th year is known as the silver jubilee, so it’s pretty special. And a momentous occasion like this deserves a fabulous gift made of silver. This element is associated with the 25th year of marriage because it’s a precious, durable metal; it’s representative of the long-lasting nature of a happy couple’s relationship. Moreover, silver is also said to represent harmony.

There’s so much available in silver jewelry for both men and women. You also don’t have to limit yourself to just silver; embrace the color and include metal watches, white gold, or platinum jewelry on your list.

Mohs scale: N/A

Gemstone for 30 years of marriage

Pearl. Freshwater pearls can take one to six years to form, while saltwater one can take five to 20 years to develop. As we all know, a pearl is buried inside its shell. This symbolizes the hidden beauty in the relationship brought about by maturity. After three decades of marriage, this is a truly fitting gift.

Since this is also the gem for the third anniversary, the pearl jubilee is the perfect time to upgrade your present. If it was a simple gold necklace with a small pearl pendant then, maybe it’s time for a long opera length necklace. Don’t limit yourself to only white; feel free to explore other colors, too.

Mohs scale: 3

40th-anniversary gemstone

Ruby. This gemstone is also the gem for the 15th anniversary, but its draw remains the same: its fiery red color expresses the essence of love and passion. Find new ways to show your spouse your gratitude after spending four decades together by giving her a ruby gemstone set in a white gold or platinum band. Choosing a yellow gold band, on the other hand, will give this stone a more classic, vintage look.

Mohs scale: 7

What stone is 50th anniversary?

Gold. Although there is no 49th anniversary gemstone, you can make up for that during your 50th year by giving something grand. Gold is said to promote good health and success, so take this golden jubilee as an opportunity to give your husband an expensive gold watch that will last a lifetime. For her, there is a myriad of options available: a gold bangle bracelet, gold studded with diamonds, or gold styled with gemstones.

Mohs scale: N/A


Gemstones and jewelry are gifts that anyone would love to get on any occasion. Still, there’s something about giving and receiving them during a wedding anniversary that makes the gesture even more meaningful. Love is a beautiful thing, and the union between two people is its ultimate manifestation. A blissful marriage is one of the most beautiful treasures we could ever be blessed with in this life, and there’s nothing more poetic than celebrating it with gifts that can endure the passing of time.

We hope you found this anniversary jewelry by year guide useful in picking out the perfect wedding anniversary gift for your spouse. Just in case you’d need it again, don’t forget to bookmark this article so you can go back to it in the coming years!

If you’d like to shop for your gift on the internet, then you might want to check this helpful article on how to buy gemstones and jewelry online.