The giving of wedding anniversary gifts specific to how long a couple has been together has its origins with the Holy Roman Empire or the superstitious Middle Ages. Maybe.
All we know is, 21st wedding anniversary gifts seem to have no origins in superstition or ancient history.
But before you give up and opt for a necktie to say ‘I still love you after 21 years’, keep reading.
At some point in history, some clever person (or people) designated three types of symbolic gifts to celebrate a wedding anniversary: Traditional, modern, and alternate. Later on, an official flower and precious stone were added to the list as well.
In other words, if you want to stick with the custom of giving a specific gift that aligns with the number of years you’ve been married, you really have up to five different types of inspiration.
For a 21st wedding anniversary, it is now seen as customary to give brass, nickel, iris, or iolite. Notably, there is no ‘traditional’ 21st anniversary gift, but brass and nickel are considered the modern options.
So there you go! Now you don’t have to worry about giving your beloved a big box of empty for your anniversary!
There are plenty of meaningful, symbolic things to give that celebrate 21 years of wedded bliss, and we’ve got a perfect list of ’em right here.
21st Anniversary Gifts for Her
1. Hammered Brass Cuff Bracelet
You’ll give it to her for your 21st, but this statement piece is perfect to wear on any occasion. It’s wide enough to get noticed but not so wide that it’s uncomfortable to wear, and it’s sooooo shiny. Really, she’ll love it.
2. Brass & Moonstone Crescent Moon Earrings
Moonstone is symbolic here because it’s a type of iolite – the official stone of the 21st anniversary. These earrings are pure magic, and we couldn’t love them more.
3. North Star Locket
Handcrafted and designed with the North Star over a crescent moon, this beautiful brass locket will remind her that you love her in so many ways. The star symbolizes your reliability. The extra-long chain keeps the locket close to her heart with your picture tucked inside.
4. Modern Brass Candle Holder
by West Elm
Simple and elegant, these candle holders are sure to impress her. They’d be perfect for a romantic candlelit dinner at home… with you cooking up a feast. After all, you want to impress her, right?
5. Brambly Cottage Slade Table Vase
This gorgeous brass table vase is perfect for storing kitchen utensils, to house a decorative plant, or on her dresser with a huge bouquet of flowers that mark your 21st wedding anniversary. Speaking of flowers, we enjoy a good segue, which you’ll discover when you move on to #6 on our list….
A fantastic bouquet featuring the iris is perfect because it’s the 21st wedding anniversary’s official flower! Arrange them in the brass table vase above, and you’ve got a gift that’s both classic and meaningful. Perfect.
7. Hammered Brass Sink Bowl
Suppose you’ve meant to give your bathroom a remodel for a while, but haven’t gotten around to it. This gorgeous powder room sink bowl is sure to motivate you! Made in Marrakesh out of thick hammered brass, it’ll remain a family heirloom for years to come.
A surprise bathroom remodel with a stunning sink bowl? Now that’s an anniversary gift she won’t forget.
21st Anniversary Gifts for Him
8. Engraved Handcrafted Compass
by Modern Timez
We love the old-school feel of this handcrafted brass compass! Engrave a special message along with the date you were married and his initials, and you’ve got something exceptional to give him.
9. Personalized Brass Cufflinks
Have your initials and the date of your anniversary engraved on these shiny cufflinks for a very meaningful gift that he’ll love showing off at the office.
10. Brass Sundial
The inscription on this sundial from the Robert Browning poem: “Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be” is absolutely heart-melting. If there’s a more perfect 21st wedding anniversary gift, we’re not sure where you’ll find it.
11. Classic Brass Boxing Bell
Perfect for a man-cave or behind a countertop bar, this gift is so original, he’ll be thrilled when he opens it. Seriously, a brass boxing bell?! A gifting win.
12. Solid Brass Belt Buckle
This glowy brass belt buckle can be hammered for a more rustic textured finish or, if you prefer, you can keep it smooth and shiny. Either way, it’ll make him look like a million bucks.
13. Classic Brass Cocktail Shaker
This solid, hammered brass cocktail shaker would be an amazing addition to any bar. The contrast in textures is so gorgeous that the next time you entertain guests, you’ll have to be prepared to field many compliments!
Gifts For Both
14. Wine Chiller & Champagne Cooler
There’s something about hammered brass that makes it super classy, particularly when it comes to kitchen and bar accessories. This wine chiller and champagne cooler is just begging to brought out at your next party or perhaps a more intimate evening for two!
15. Burnished Brass Fireplace Tools
Brass fireplace tools remind us of massive, cozy, Victorian fireplaces. You know, like something out of a Jane Austin novel. Who knew fireplace tools could be so romantic?
16. Brass Bed
We don’t know for sure where the connection between a brass bed and romance originated, but our money’s on Bob Dylan. This is one of the most beautiful we’ve ever seen. The fact that it’s handmade makes it even better.
17. Pavo Brass Incense Holder
For lovebirds who adore eclectic decor! This incense holder is handcrafted from solid brass by artisans from northern India. We dig the very cool design as is, but that peacock topper makes it stand apart.
18. Smart Brass Growhouse
Wouldn’t a brass growhouse make such a cool 21st anniversary gift? Nurturing a living thing and helping it grow takes a lot of care. So does nurturing and growing a marriage for 21 years.
Unlike marriage, however, this grow house can be controlled by an app on your phone.
19. Hanging Bird Bath
We love the little hummingbird accent on this sweet bird bath. The cool thing about brass is that it only gets more beautiful when exposed to the elements over time. Every time you look out the window, you’ll love it even more.
20. Large Solid Brass Planter
We envision this gorgeous planter next to the sofa holding a stash of lazy reading magazines. Or in a corner with a beautiful palm planted in it. Let’s face it, you can’t go wrong with a hand-crafted and hammered brass planter. Honestly, it will go with everything and fit in anywhere.
21. Lilac Iris Print
This striking print is such a creative representation of the iris’s stunning beauty. We think it’s a lovely, symbolic image for your 21st anniversary year.
Happy 21st Anniversary!
People say that marriage is a lot of work, and that may be true. But anything worth keeping is worth working for. If you’ve made it to your 21st anniversary, congratulations!
You’ve put in the time, so take a moment to celebrate each other. Here’s to 21 more!