Some traditional wedding anniversary gifts are wood for the fifth year, tin or aluminum for the 10th year, crystal for the 15th year, china for the 20th year and silver for the 25th year. Examples of gifts for some of these years include planting a tree for the fifth, making a treat baked in tin foil for the 10th and a monogrammed crystal wine glass for the 15th.
The wedding anniversary gift-giving tradition dates back to the Middle Ages, where there may have been a belief that certain items brought luck that corresponded with a certain number of years of marriage, states About Relationships.
In the United States, simple gifts, such as paper or flowers, are associated with the earlier years of marriage. Gifts increase over time to become more valuable and substantial, likely symbolizing the couples' investment of time and their deepening commitment to one another, says About Relationships.
In Germany, couples use a list of symbols that indicate the growth of strong marriage bonds over the years. In medieval times the 25th and 50th anniversaries were the only ones celebrated as significant, but by the middle of the 20th century, many other marriage years were celebrated as milestone anniversaries.