Wedding Band Vs. Anniversary Band

Wedding Band Vs. Anniversary Band
Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

An anniversary band can be a heartfelt gift that lets your spouse know how excited you are to celebrate another year with her. However, there are some basic differences between the anniversary and wedding bands that you should be aware of before you shop for the gift. Your spouse’s personal style, as well as the anniversary year you’re celebrating, can help you find the ideal jewelry piece.

Stone Settings

  • Wedding bands don’t always feature stones; many are basic bands made of gold, silver or platinum that complement the engagement ring, which usually features the diamond. Anniversary bands often showcase several stones — a popular design is the three-stone setting, which represents the past, present and future of the couple. Of course, if your spouse prefers an anniversary band with a single or several stones or diamonds embedded in the band, this is acceptable as well.

Type of Stone

  • If the wedding band has a stone, it is likely a diamond, which is the most popular wedding gemstone. An anniversary band can be diamond-encrusted as well, or you can choose your spouse’s birthstone to include in the gift, such as a pearl ring if your sweetie was born in June, or a garnet-accented ring if her birthday is in January. The gemstone that matches your anniversary year is also appropriate for the anniversary band. For instance, an onyx ring signifies the seventh wedding anniversary; an amethyst symbolizes 17 years of marriage.

Additional Accents

  • Most wedding bands, if they are not diamond-encrusted, are usually plain. For example, in a traditional Jewish wedding, the wedding band must be made from only one type of metal, and with no engravings, to make it easy to determine the worth of the ring. Some couples choose to have their rings engraved, but the design is often inside of the ring, where it cannot be seen. Anniversary bands, however, can feature as many accents as the gift recipient would like. An engraved image like a heart or wedding bell, or numbers that represent the birth of each of the couple’s children, can make meaningful anniversary gifts.

Wearing the Ring

  • Wedding bands are worn on the ring finger of the left hand, underneath the engagement ring. Some people choose to replace their engagement or wedding bands with their new anniversary ring, particularly if the band is given at a milestone anniversary, like the 10th, 25th or 50th. It is also acceptable to wear an anniversary band on the ring finger of the right hand.