Anniversary gifts have been a ritual for many years. Since every anniversary signifies a certain sense of longevity it is sometimes compared with material worth rather rarity. From the list below, it is easy to see many common gift materials between different countries. It signifies an common understanding of worth. The differences in material choice as the years go on is interesting as it provides incite into what each country or culture values.

Comparing the country lists with a “Modern U.S.” list brings forth modern society’s sense of value. Certain items are made earlier, others delayed. And perhaps the gem societies list suggests commercialization? or corporate push into our value system?

Anniversary Preferred Term Traditional

 

(U.S.)

Traditional

 

(U.K.)

Modern (U.S.) Gem Societies* German Dutch Scandinavian French Spanish Portuguese Russian
1st Annual Paper Cotton Clocks Gold

 

Jewelry

Cotton,

 

paper

cotton,

 

paper

Paper Cotton Paper Paper Calico
2nd Biennial Cotton Paper China Garnet Cotton,

 

plastic

Paper

 

/ cardboard, horse hair Paper

Cotton Leather Cotton Cotton
3rd Triennial Leather Leather Crystal,

 

glass

Pearl Leather,

 

fruit, wheat, fir

Leather Leather Wheat Leather Wheat,

 

leather

4th Quadrennial Linen

 

(Silk)

Fruit

 

& Flowers

Appliances Blue

 

Topaz

Silk,

 

amber, linen, wax, wine

Silk Flower,

 

Hyacinth, Linen

Wax Silk,

 

fruit, flower

Flower,

 

fruit, wax

5th Quinquennial Wood Wood Silverware Sapphire Wood,

 

rubber

Wood,

 

plastic

Wood

 

/ tree

Wood Wood Wood,

 

iron

Wood
6th Sexennial Iron,

 

steel

Sugar Wood

 

objects

Amethyst Tin,

 

sugar

Iron,

 

tin, fruit

Sugar Chypre Iron,

 

sugar

Perfume,

 

sugar

7th Septennial Wool,

 

Copper

Woolen Desk

 

sets

Onyx Copper,

 

brass, wool

Wool;

 

down

Wool Wool Wool,

 

copper

Brass,

 

wool

Copper
8th Octennial Bronze Salt Linens,

 

lace

Tourmaline Tin,

 

bronze, salt, poppy, nickel, earthenware / stone

Bronze;

 

poppy

Bronze Poppy Bronze,

 

Pottery

Poppy,

 

clay / loam

9th Novennial Pottery,

 

China, Willow

Copper Leather

 

goods

Lapis

 

Lazuli

Ceramics,

 

porcelain, faience, glass / crystal, water, pasture, steers, pottery

Earthenware;

 

Plate-work

Pasture

 

straw, ceramics

Faience Pottery,

 

willow

Pottery,

 

willow / wicker

10th Decennial Tin,

 

White Steel, Aluminum

Tin,

 

Aluminum

Diamond Diamond Roses,

 

oxen, wood, glass, bronze, tin

Tin Tin Tin Tin

 

/ aluminum

Tin,

 

zinc

Roses
11th Undecennial Steel Steel Fashion

 

Jewelry

Turquoise Steel,

 

coral, carnival

Steel Steel;

 

Bernstein

Coral,

 

zinc

Steel Steel
12th Duodecennial Silk Silk

 

and fine linen

Pearls,

 

colored gems

Jade Nickel,

 

earth, silk, linen

Linen Silk Silk Silk,

 

linen

Silk,

 

Onyx

13th Tredecennial Lace Lace Textiles,

 

furs

Citrine Crystal,

 

lily of the valley, salt, tip

Lily Lace Lily

 

of the valley

Lace Linen,

 

lace

14th Quatturodecennial Ivory Ivory Gold

 

jewelry

Opal Ivory,

 

agate

Ivory;

 

lead

Ivory Lead Ivory Ivory
15th Quindecennial Crystal Crystal Watches Ruby Violet,

 

crystal / glass / bottles

Crystal Crystal Crystal Crystal Crystal Glass
16th Silver

 

hollowware

Peridot Sapphire Sapphire Moon Sapphire Obsidian Tourmaline
17th Furniture Watch Orchid,

 

Rose

Rose Amethyst Rose Quartz Rose
18th Porcelain Cat’s-Eye

 

Chrysoberyl

Turquoise Turquoise Daisy Turquoise Aquamarine Turquoise
19th Bronze Aquamarine Cretonne,

 

mother of pearl

Linen,

 

cretonne

Garnet Cretonne Amethyst Cretonne,

 

Aquamarine

20th Vigintennial

 

/ Vicennial

China,

 

Porcelain

China,

 

Porcelain

Platinum Emerald China,

 

tang, Chrysanthemum

China China China China China China
21st Brass,

 

nickel

Iolite Opal,

 

beech

Opal Turquoise Opal Zircon
22nd Copper Spinel Bronze,

 

Tourmaline

Bronze Alliance Bronze Feldspar
23rd Silver

 

plate

Imperial

 

Topaz

Beryl,

 

Titanium

Beryl Tulip Beryl Straw
24th Musical

 

Instruments

Tanzanite Satin Satin Karat Satin Opal
25th Quadranscentennial Silver Silver Silver Sterling

 

Silver

Silver Silver Silver Silver Silver Silver Silver
26th Original

 

pictures

Jade,

 

Oak

Jade Jade Sandalwood Alexandrite
27th Sculpture Mahogany,

 

jute

Mahogany Mahogany Chrome Chrysoprase
28th Orchids Carnation,

 

nickel

Nickel Nickel Fruits Hematite
29th New

 

furniture

Velvet,

 

ebony

Velvet Velvet Tin Herbs

 

/ Leaves

30th Pearl Pearl Diamond Pearl Pearl Pearl Pearl Pearl Pearl Pearl Pearl
31st Timepieces Linde,

 

Soil

Soil Soil Nacre
32nd Conveyances

 

(automobiles)

Soap,

 

lapis lazuli, copper

Copper Copper Pine
33rd Amethyst Tin,

 

porphyry

Porphyry Porphyry Crizo
34th Opal Amber,

 

Emerald

Amber Amber Olive
35th Coral,

 

Jade

Coral Jade Emerald Canvas

 

/ linen, coral, jade, ruby

Coral,

 

Ruby

Coral Ruby Coral;

 

Yade

Coral Linen
36th Bone

 

china

Emerald,

 

Moon, muslin

Muslin,

 

Emerald

Muslin Cedar
37th Alabaster Malachite

 

, paper

Paper Paper Aventurine
38th Beryl,

 

tourmaline

Fire,

 

mercury

Mercury Mercury Oak
39th Lace Sun,

 

crepe

Crepe Crepe Marble
40th Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby,

 

garnet

Ruby Ruby Emerald Ruby Ruby,

 

Emerald

Ruby
41st Land Birch,

 

iron

Iron Iron Silk
42nd Improved

 

real estate

Garnet,

 

pearl

Nacre Nacre White

 

Gold

43rd Travel Lead,

 

flannel

Flannel Flannel Azeriche
44th Groceries Stern,

 

Topaz

Topaz Topaz Carbonate
45th Sapphire Sapphire Sapphire Sapphire Brass,

 

platinum, tourmaline, vermeil, precious white sapphire

Sapphire,

 

platinum, vermeil

Sapphire Vermeil Sapphire Platinum,

 

sapphire

46th Original

 

poetry tribute

Lavender

 

Marble

Lavender Lavender Alabaster
47th Books Kashmir,

 

Sapphire

Kashmir Kashmir Jasper
48th Optical

 

goods (e.g. telescope, microscope)

Diadem,

 

Amethyst

Amethyst Amethyst Granite
49th Luxuries,

 

any kind

Cedar Cedar Cedar Heliotrope
50th Semicentennial

 

/ Quinquagenary

Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold Gold
51st Pasture Camellia Camellia Bronze
52nd Topaz Tourmaline Tourmaline Clay
53rd Uranium Cherry Cherry Antimony
54th Zeus Wood Sable Nickel
55th Emerald Emerald Emerald Platinum,

 

gem, emerald, turquoise, Venus, sapphire

Emerald,white

 

gold, orchid, camellia

Emerald Orchid Emerald Amethyst
56th Lapis

 

Lazuli

Lapis

 

Lazuli

Malachite
57th Azalea Azalea Lapis

 

Lazuli

58th Maple Maple Glass
59th Mink Mink Cherry
60th Diamond Diamond Diamond Alexandrite Diamond,

 

iron

Diamond Diamond Diamond Diamond Diamond,

 

Jade

61st Elm Plane Plane Copper
62nd Aquamarine Ivory Ivory Telurita
63rd Mercury Violet Lilac Sandalwood,

 

lilac

64th Sky Chan Astra

 

Chan

Fabulita
65th Blue

 

Sapphire

Blue

 

Spinel

Star

 

Sapphire

Iron Brilliant,

 

Rosewood

Krondiamant

 

(Crown Diamond)

Rosewood Iron
66th Chives Jasmin Jasmin Ebony
67th Stone Chinchilla Chinchilla Snow
68th Granite Granite Lead
69th Larch Larch Mercury
70th Platinum Grace,

 

platinum, copper, iron, stone

Platinum,

 

diamond

Iron Platinum Wine
71st Zinc
72nd Oats
73rd Marjoram
74th Apple
75th Dodranscentennial Diamond,

 

gold

Diamond,

 

gold

Diamond Crown

 

jewel, diamond

Alabaster,

 

rhodium

Atom;

 

steel crown jewel (Denmark)

Alabaster Platinum Brilliant,

 

Alabaster

Brilliant
76th Cypress
77th Lavender
78th Benjoim
79th Coffee
80th Oak Diamond,

 

pearl

Oak,

 

Brass

Oak;

 

plutonium

Oak Oak Walnut,

 

oak

81st Cocoa
82nd Carnation
83rd Begonia
84th Chrysanthemum
85th Wine Diamond,

 

sapphire

Angel Uranium Marble Sunflower
86th Hydrangea
87th Walnut
88th Pear
89th Fig
90th Stone

 

(granite)

Diamond,

 

emerald

Granite Granite Granite Poplar
91st Kiefer
92nd Pasture
93rd Imbuia
94th Palm
95th Diamond,

 

Ruby

Iridium Onyx Sandalwood
96th Olive
97th Fir
98th Kiefer
99th Pasture
100th Centennial 10-carat

 

Diamond

Sky Water Jequitiba

Sources: Chicago Public LibraryPears Cyclopaedia via anniversarygifts.co.ukBartlebyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anniversary, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedding_anniversary

I apologize for the lack of clarity in the table above. Here is the PDF version: anniversaryMaterialsByCountry.pdf

One note about Ivory: Ivory trade has been made illegal many countries so other organic substitutes have been used. This would definitely have an effect on the overall perception of its use.