No one is sure where or when the wedding anniversary gift chart originated, although it has been around for more than 100 years. Martha Stewart Living believes the inventor of the list was from the Victorian Era, since Victorian people were passionate about celebrations. Hallmark notes that Emily Post first published a list of traditional anniversary gifts in 1922.
The anniversary gift chart assigns particular materials for each wedding anniversary. Preferred materials are cited from anniversaries from the first year through the 15th, with every subsequent 5-year mark having a celebration after that. For example, the 20th, the 25th, the 30th and so on.
Historically, celebrations of anniversaries have been ingrained into society, with the earliest celebrations centering on the harvest. Life events became a reason for celebration over time.
The association of the 25th wedding anniversary and the 50th gold anniversary originates in Middle Europe in the Germanic region. Traditionally, the husband gave the wife a garland of silver for 25 years of marriage or a wreath of gold for 50 years.
Diamond anniversaries are also celebrated at the 60-year and 75-year mark. Originally, the diamond anniversary was celebrated at 75 years only, but Queen Victoria brought celebrating the 60th anniversary as a diamond anniversary into fashion with the celebration of her Diamond Jubilee to mark 60 years from her ascension to the throne.