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The John Atencio Jewelry Glossary The John Atencio Jewelry Glossary
Glossary › What Is an Anniversary Band?

What Is an Anniversary Band?

An anniversary band is a ring that symbolizes the passing of another year in a marriage or relationship. Traditionally, the band is set with gemstones that correlate to certain anniversary years, though many opt for diamonds or other personal stones. 


The custom of giving wedding anniversary bands began in medieval Europe as a way to celebrate and renew marital commitment. Today, these rings remain a popular tradition as a way of honoring enduring love. Anniversary bands can also be used to commemorate other occasions, such as the birth of a child. Whatever the case, these rings hold deep significance as tangible reminders of the memories and milestones couples have shared.

Features and Material Options

While wedding rings represent the start of a marriage, anniversary bands mark the passage of time and continuation of a couple’s special union. Many designs celebrate this notion by integrating small diamonds or gemstones into the band, one for each year together. Other designs feature detailed engravings or the couple's birthstones. 

Throughout history, jewelers have fashioned anniversary bands from precious metals like gold and platinum—cherished metals that, like the bond itself, stand the test of time. 

Styles of Anniversary Bands

These days, anniversary bands are available in a wide array of stunning designs. Some of the most popular include:

Eternal Love Bands

Originating as a romantic gesture for anniversary gifts, these bands gained fame thanks to De Beers in the 20th century. They typically feature a continuous loop of diamonds around the band, radiating unparalleled dazzle. Low-set diamonds in pave or channel settings are the norm to safeguard the petite gemstones, though there are other setting styles available.

Anniversary eternity bands can also be made with a mix of diamonds and specific gemstones, which can be chosen based on meaningful dates like birth months of children or even specific colors that hold sentimental value.

Pave & Channel Set Bands

In these configurations, diamonds are securely embedded within the ring's band, ensuring that the gems are safeguarded while also delivering a fluid appearance. These settings are highly versatile and can accommodate a range of diamond shapes.

Bezel & "Floating Prong" Designs

These are contemporary settings where the metal fully encases the diamond either at its girdle (in bezel settings) or its pavilion (in floating prong settings). They are most commonly used for round brilliant diamonds.

Flexible Prong & Claw Configurations

Known for their style adaptability, like trellis or scallop prong styles, these settings also offer flexibility in terms of diamond shape. They can easily accommodate unique diamond shapes, including the shape of a heart.

Three-stone Bands

Another popular choice for anniversaries, three-stone bands are imbued with special symbolism. Traditionally, they represent the trinity of a couple's past, present and future. But they can also stand for three vital elements of a marital relationship: friendship, love and loyalty.

Whether worn singularly or stacked alongside other rings, anniversary bands are elegant tokens of your shared journey. If you're looking for inspiration, consider metals that correspond to the particular anniversary you're celebrating, like silver, gold or platinum.

Just as metals have anniversary significance, so do gemstones. Opt for a gem that corresponds with traditional anniversary celebrations to add an extra layer of meaning to your perfect gift.

Eternal love bands, including the classic eternity style, are versatile enough to be stacked with wedding bands. If you plan on wearing the anniversary ring alongside other rings from your wedding set, feel free to mix gold colors for a stylish effect, while ensuring that the width and style are compatible for a harmonious fit.

Types of Metals Used in Anniversary Bands

Gold is preferred for anniversary bands thanks to its radiance, durability and precious symbolism. Yellow gold's warm, rich hue evokes the early days of marriage and enduring ties. White gold offers a contemporary shine, with a sleek, silvery color that nods to fresh starts and new chapters. The romantic blush tone of rose gold adds feminine flair, representing an unwithering affection.

Beyond the classic gold varieties, platinum and titanium offer modern metals for anniversary rings. Platinum's rarity mirrors lasting love, and its purity evokes the untarnished commitment of milestones reached. Titanium conveys strength and resilience through its hardwearing properties. Both metals convey the solidity of devotion, with a sleek, contemporary look fitting for anniversaries and the unfolding of a timeless love story.

Gemstones and Their Significance

The diamond's enduring allure and sparkle make it a timeless centerpiece for anniversary rings. As the hardest, most brilliant gem, the diamond represents the clarity, incorruptibility and everlasting nature of true love. A solitaire diamond captures light eternally, just as a couple's commitment remains a steady, radiant beacon over time. Diamonds convey what words cannot, reminding spouses to cherish the journey they share.

Beyond diamonds, traditional anniversary gems like sapphires, rubies and emeralds hold symbolic meaning. Blue sapphires evoke faithfulness and wisdom, qualities deepened through years together.

Red rubies represent passion's flame, still burning bright. Lush green emeralds symbolize growth and vitality, just like love itself. These colored gemstones communicate devotion through their beauty and significance.

Many opt for birthstones on anniversary bands to add personal symbolism. Two gems, one for each partner, make the ring uniquely meaningful. Or a single birthstone can represent the month a couple first met or married. Whatever their meaning, birthstones are a wonderful way to transform anniversary bands into tributes to a couple’s shared memories.

Ring Sizing & Fit

A proper ring fit should allow an anniversary band to slide over the knuckle but feel snug on the base of the finger. While you want the fit to be secure, it’s important to avoid sizing a ring too small since fingers can fluctuate in size. To find your accurate ring size, consult our sizing guide or visit a local John Atencio store to have your finger measured. An accurate measurement will ensure that your ring fits perfectly and comfortably.

Anniversary rings become treasured keepsakes, so take time to find the ideal size for all-day wearability. You can read more about the importance of ring sizing here.

Care & Maintenance of Anniversary Bands

With proper cleaning and care, your anniversary band can last for decades, becoming a cherished family heirloom you will always treasure. For regular cleaning, use a gentle jewelry cleaner or mild soap and water, scrubbing behind stones with a soft brush. Avoid exposure to chemicals like chlorine and abrasive materials that can erode metals and scratch stones over time. 

John Atencio provides a gentle jewelry cleaner specifically formulated for delicate jewelry. He also offers in-store inspections and complimentary cleaning over the lifetime of your John Atencio jewelry. This not only ensures that the piece looks amazing; it also includes thorough examinations to make sure the gemstones are secure in their settings. 

Store anniversary bands safely in a fabric-lined jewelry box, individually wrapped in soft cloth to prevent scratching. For extra protection, consider insuring valuable anniversary bands against loss or theft. Taking steps to care for and safeguard these cherished symbols conveys how deeply their meaning runs.

Ethical Considerations in Anniversary Bands

Unfortunately, very few jewelers share John Atencio’s strict adherence to rigorous social and ethical principles. For one, John always complies with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), a crucial global effort to terminate the trade of conflict diamonds. He has also worked diligently to build and foster long-standing relationships with like-minded miners, diamond suppliers and cutters. This dedication provides customers confidence that their diamond rings will be free of any taint of violence, war or human exploitation.

However, while it's important to always seek conflict-free gems, we advise going one step further. In addition to guaranteeing that his diamonds are constantly conflict-free, John also works hard to ensure that his diamonds are eco-friendly. One of the few local jewelry makers devoted to sustainability, John uses recycled gold and responsibly sourced diamonds to create his stunning, one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces.

A Ring that’s Worthy of Your Love Story

Honor your enduring commitment with a ring as unique as your journey together. John Atencio provides artfully crafted jewelry for every anniversary celebration. 

Shop online or visit us to chat with our fine jewelry consultants, who can help you choose the right jewelry gift or anniversary ring to honor your one-of-a-kind love story.