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Anniversary jewellery

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Author: Val Starr, Posted: Saturday, 23rd February 2019, 09:00

The romantics among us will be aware of the age-old tradition of giving wedding anniversary gifts that have a different theme each year. Paper for the first anniversary, cotton for the second, leather for the third, and so on.

As the years go by, gemstones and precious metals come to the fore, which can result in some really beautiful gifts being exchanged. Different anniversaries hold special meaning for different people, but I will highlight three of the major milestones where precious stones can be given to remember that very special day.

Pearl – 30th Anniversary

Pearls can be natural or cultured and it is often hard to distinguish between the two except in the price, natural being the more expensive. Pearls have historically been given to celebrate important milestones and they have rarely gone out of favour.

A fascinating story of pearls dates back to 1918 when Lady Northcliffe, the wife of a press baron, had the wonderful idea of a fundraising campaign to support the war effort. She asked all her aristocratic friends to donate a single pearl – most ladies in that era wore them. The donated pearls would be restrung and auctioned to raise much needed funds for wounded troops.

It became known as The Red Cross Pearl Appeal. Queen Alexandra was one of the first to donate and she was quickly followed by most of British society. The huge success of the appeal inspired women from all walks of life to participate and this extended across the globe. ‘Pearls before Poppies’ is a fascinating book by Rachel Trethewey about the Appeal and is well worth reading. Perhaps the book could accompany your pearl anniversary gift.

Gold – 50th Anniversary

The first evidence of gold dates back to ancient Egypt. It was prized by pharaohs and even the capstones of the Giza Pyramids were made from solid gold. California in 1849 was known for the famed gold rush, so when you next buy an item of gold jewellery give a thought to the history.

Gold comes in several carats, 24 being the purest, followed by 18 carat at 75% pure and 14 carat at 58.5% pure. The price of gold changes according to the carat purity. Gold bars are seen as an investment in the uncertain currency markets, however I doubt if many of us are buying gold bars as an anniversary gift! Instead, perhaps a gold chain, cufflinks or earrings would put a smile on your loved one’s face.

Diamond – 60th Anniversary

Diamonds are not called a girl’s best friend for nothing! They are a magnificent, hardy stone and come in so many brilliant settings; certainly there is one out there to suit every style and budget. It is worth bearing in mind the four Cs of diamonds; cut, colour, clarity and carat weight, which are all reflected in the price.

If you can afford the real thing then it can often be seen as an investment. For those on a tighter budget, simulated diamonds are now so well made that you’d often need a jeweller to distinguish the fake from the real deal. Many people often now travel with simulated jewellery, which looks wonderful and eliminates the worry of losing an expensive item of jewellery.

Whatever anniversary you are celebrating this year, nothing beats the magic of opening that special box and seeing someone smile!

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