Guide to Anniversary Rings

Buying jewelry to mark major milestone moments in life is a wonderful tradition that carries a lot of sentimental weight. For couples celebrating the longevity of their relationship, anniversary rings are a lovely way to show your love and devotion. But when do you give an anniversary ring and what should it look like? We’ve got answers to all your questions and some inspiration to make your anniversary ring perfect.

What Is an Anniversary Ring?

Anniversary rings are rings that are gifted to celebrate a couple’s wedding anniversary. It’s most common to give them on milestone years like 10, 15, 20 and higher, but the beauty of anniversary rings is that you choose which milestone years are important for you to mark.

Anniversary rings are very versatile and aren’t meant to only showcase diamonds. While diamonds can be a lovely adornment, you’re just as likely to see rings featuring colored gemstones in rich hues from sapphires, rubies, and emeralds or no gemstones at all in favor of interesting metal work or a smooth band.

Anniversary Rings vs. Wedding Bands

Although at first sight they may seem similar, anniversary rings and wedding bands are quite different. The biggest difference is the meaning behind them. Wedding bands symbolize your marriage and the joining together of two people to forge a life together. Anniversary bands are meant to celebrate accomplishments and meaningful moments within your marriage over the years.

The two also have varying styles. Wedding bands are most often selected to complement the engagement ring without overpowering either the ring’s design or the center stone. Anniversary rings are usually regarded to be on their own, meaning there’s no need to consider how the ring will match or accentuate the engagement ring and wedding band.

A wedding band is meant to be part of a pair of rings. Anniversary rings are usually chosen to stand on their own. They can be small, large, thick, thin, covered in gemstones or purely metal. The choice is yours and reflective of whatever feels right for the way that you want to celebrate your relationship at that moment.

hand with engagement ring and wedding rings

When to Give an Anniversary Ring  

Traditional etiquette provides general theme guidelines based on your anniversary year, like giving paper on the first anniversary, wood on the fifth, and tin on the tenth. There are no such guidelines or suggestions for anniversary rings. Modern-day couples are drawn to gifting rings at memorable anniversaries as a way to celebrate and mark significant moments.

Some may suggest you latch onto significant number markers like 5, 10, and 20, but it’s your relationship and you know best which years you want to mark as milestones. Perhaps you finished building your family by year 7 and want to mark that moment. Or you did some big traveling in year 4. Or made a big move in year 6. Whether markers such as these are more significant or it resonates to celebrate the traditional year markers, it’s yours to choose and recognize over time as it feels right.

How to Choose an Anniversary Ring  

Before choosing a ring, it’s beneficial to have an idea of how your partner would want to wear it. This will help determine the style of the ring and also the ring size. Traditional etiquette suggests it would be worn with the engagement ring and wedding band with the wedding band going on first, your engagement ring in the middle, and the anniversary ring on top. But it can really be worn on any finger with some favorites being the ring finger or middle finger on the right hand.

Anniversary rings typically don’t feature one center stone. Popular designs feature multiple stones in configurations that showcase a small amount, like 4-6, or rows of smaller stones. Considering the meaning behind the year that you're celebrating will help guide you in the design and style of the ring. It’s also worthwhile to have in mind early whether you plan on building an anniversary stack of rings throughout the years or if your partner would wear anniversary rings on multiple different fingers or not at the same time.

If your partner wants to incorporate color, going with your birthstones or your children’s birthstones would be a touching tribute. If complementing the engagement ring and wedding band is important, copy the style (vintage inspired, modern, nature inspired) or copy the setting type (prongs, bezel, channel). And since it is a celebration of your time together in the marriage, this is a perfect opportunity to design something together that can feature both of your points of view.

Anniversary Ring Inspiration  


Bezel-set round brilliant cut diamonds of varying sizes create an eternity band with a vintage appeal.


An interwoven, braided design features etched metal holding small, round brilliant cut diamonds throughout.


The alternating heart-shaped pattern with handcrafted, beaded milgrain encircling every diamond is romantic and sentimental.


Sculptural symbolism is front and center in a natural, carved wood grain-like design with a split shank merging into a single band.


Intricate vintage design elements are emphasized all around the band with alternating marquise and round brilliant cut diamonds.


Pavé-set diamonds cover all three sides of the ring making it shine and sparkle from every single angle.


Trillion and round brilliant cut diamonds come together to create an elegantly curved band perfect to sit atop an engagement ring.


Diamonds and sapphires come together for a sophisticated look on a slightly curved band that pops with unexpected blue sparkle.


Alternating round cut diamonds and emeralds sparkle against a hand-textured, hammered finish band that is highly polished for maximum shine.


Sapphires, diamonds, and pink tourmalines line up to create a dazzling and bold statement against a yellow gold band.

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