Lists of appropriate wedding anniversary gifts vary by country and the traditional list below is for the United Kingdom.
Sweet and Sugar
The earliest know references are to silver for the 25th wedding anniversary and gold for the 50th wedding anniversary. The tradition may have originated in medieval Germany. The spouse would give his wife a silver garland when they had been married for 25 years.
A reference to wood for the 5th wedding anniversary was has been found dating back to 1875. Other anniversary names have been added over time. The diamond was a well known symbol for the 75th wedding anniversary, but became popular for the 60th wedding anniversary after Queen Victoria’s 60 years on the throne in 1897 was widely marked as her Diamond Jubilee.
The modern names have evolved in response to commercial influences. For example the American National Retail Jeweller Association issued a list in 1937.
If you are not in the UK you are invited to add a list of wedding anniversary names for your country as a comment to this post.